Drawing upon—if you'll pardon the pun—his background as both a wildlife biologist as well as a scientific illustrator, Laws approaches the topic of his book from the perspective of one who is not simply interested in depicting his subjects as they would look best in an ideal situation, but as they actually look given their physiology. As a result, The Laws Guide not only gives instruction in how to ensure that proportions are maintained and correct appearances are achieved, but also shows how and why birds do and must move as a result of their physical composition.
The techniques he demonstrates can be applied in as rudimentary or as polished a form as one likes. Whether one’s drawings are merely augmentations to field notes or developed into fine artistic renderings, the essentials skills needed to produce them are the same. Laws presents these skills in easy-to-understand chapters, including an entire section devoted to what is perhaps the most commonly misunderstood element in avian locomotion: flight.
—Review by John E. Riutta
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