Israel Sketchbook by Ricardo Cabral

Rating: **** (4 out of 5)

Review: Traveling sketchbooks seem to be popping up everywhere these days, but this was my first experience with one of them. I bought this during my city’s book fair, mainly because the author was there and, knowing his work but not having owning any of it, I really wanted something for him to sign.

The book’s strongest point is Ricardo Cabral’s art. He sketches in situ and then photographs the scene so he can color it back home. Thus, the paintings end up looking very photographic, mixed with his style of drawing, result in an unique look that’s very appealing. However, this book had a few weaker points for me. First and foremost, the binding. My copy was read twice and all the pages are already falling out from the spine. Second, the words that accompany the images, which supposedly narrate the travel, hinder more than help the book. They’re too superficial to give true insight into the journey. Just by looking at the images, you can tell that it was the author’s intention not to have a particular story or direction, but the words make it seem otherwise.

Still, this is a lovely book, and a good introduction if you don’t know Ricardo Cabral’s art.

The amazing sketch he did when we asked him to sign the book:

Last effort to clear my to-read list a bit before the new year!


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