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The Top 25 – Best Drawing Books For Absolute Beginners and Intermediate Drawing Artists To Learn From (Updated For 2019)

This week we’re all about choosing the best drawing books to help you improve.

Practicing your drawing is always fun and enjoyable. Added to that is the joy of seeing your progress over time, with practice you become better.

We have scoured top recommendations from professional artists and novices alike to create this list of the best drawing books for artists.

The Top 25 Best Drawing Books

There’s something here for everyone. From drawing for the absolute beginner to advanced artists wanting to brush up on their skills.

Several books focus on anatomy, others on shading, others on perspective. We’ve picked the best in their categories.

Drawing books are an excellent resource for learning how to draw well. You’re bound to find a favorite here.

Keys to Drawing by Bert Dodson

Keys to Drawing by Bert Dodson

 

“Anyone who can hold a pencil can learn to draw with some degree of proficiency.” At least, that’s what the author of this book, Bert Dodson claims. Well, he has some good arguments to back up that statement, which are prevalent in his excellent book. Divided into lessons, called “Keys,” he breaks down complicated practices into straightforward steps.

About The Author: Bert Dodson is a professional illustrator and painter. Bert teaches art and has written many best-selling books on drawing. He’s a children’s book illustrator and has worked on over 70 of them to date.

Topics This Book Covers: Targeted to complete beginners and novices. This book breaks into the world of drawing slowly. It introduces you to new techniques at an easy to follow pace. Part of the book teaches you how to control your hands and elbows to get clean, careful strokes. This is very helpful when you don’t want to make messy drawings. He also teaches the basics on texture, shading, and there are tons of practice exercises to help you.

Why We Like This Book: It has a focus on simple, repeating practice of techniques. He has a clear, easy to understand way of writing. Bert Dobson’s book makes for a guiding light in the confusing world of learning how to draw.

 

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Drawing for the Absolute Beginner: A Clear & Easy Guide to Successful Drawing (Art for the Absolute Beginner) by Mark Willenbrink

Drawing for the Absolute Beginner: A Clear & Easy Guide to Successful Drawing (Art for the Absolute Beginner) by Mark Willenbrink

 

This is another book targeted at absolute beginners. Mark and Mary Willenbrik, have brought another of their comprehensive, enjoyable art tutorial books to the table. Published in 2006, this book teaches you the basics of drawings, in a fun, and easy to do way. A perfect choice if you want to learn drawing, but do so in a way that can be done in short, fun, bursts.

About The Authors: Mark used to be a commercial artist and had a job in advertising. But he had a change of heart and is now a freelance illustrator. He and his wife, Mary, work as a team, teaching drawing courses and writing books about all sorts of art mediums.

Topics This Book Covers: This book is a genuine all-rounder, covering all the basics of drawing. The topics covered include simple things like shapes and shading. Then it builds all the way up to complicated stuff like still lifes and portraits. They guide you through each step of the way. The book is jam-packed with helpful tips and tricks.

Why We Like This Book: Drawing for the Absolute Beginner lives up to its name as a clear and easy guide. The authors have an enjoyable, friendly tone of writing. They would make excellent guides for your first attempt at drawing.

 

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Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain By Betty Edwards

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain By Betty Edwards

 

If you’re an aspiring artist, and you haven’t heard of this book, you must be living under a rock. It’s a wildly popular book, a bestseller in the United States. It’s even been translated into more than seventeen languages. Betty Edwards, the author, knows what she’s talking about when it comes to drawing!

About The Author: Betty Edwards is an art teacher and author from the United States. She has written several successful art books, but none more so than Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain. She taught and researched at California State University, until her retirement in the 1990s.

Topics This Book Covers: It was originally published in 1979. This book has been recently revised and expanded to include more of Betty’s expertise. It’s a general instructional drawing manual. It has lots of tips, exercises, and tricks that artists of all levels of experience are bound to find helpful. What makes this book interesting is the section devoted to talking about the concept of the “right” and “left” brain. It talks about how valuing the right side of the brain is essential. It’s worth checking out the book for just that.

Why We Like This Book: This book may have been written quite a while ago by your standard. But the expertise and tips Betty has to offer are clear, easy to understand, and helpful. She has put an incredible effort into this book, and the research that it must have taken was well worth it.

 

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Drawing for the Absolute and Utter Beginner By Claire Watson Garcia

Drawing for the Absolute and Utter Beginner By Claire Watson Garcia

 

Claire Watson Garcia has always had a passion for art, and that is reflected in her day job. For many years, she taught workshops, but they would only reach a specific audience. In 2003, she published Drawing for the Absolute and Utter Beginner. It covers all sorts of tips and tricks for the budding beginner. The idea for this book stemmed from the workshops Claire has headed on drawing and other art subjects.

About The Author: Claire Watson Garcia is a writer, artist, and teacher from the United States. She’s written and illustrated several children’s books. Her artwork has been featured in several exhibitions across the globe. She works at the Silvermine School Of Art, where she teaches several courses which her book is based upon.

Topics This Book Covers: The primary focus of this book is teaching you drawing still life, of objects, nature, and people. She shows you the basics first. Then building up from basic shapes and textures to drawing complex, realistic still life. There is much information in this book. So it might take a while to sink in, but lessons she has are detailed and perfect for all skill levels.

Why We Like This Book: One thing that stood out to us was the section devoted to creating shading with graphite pencils and charcoal. As some may find the single color nature of those mediums frustrating. Many would find that section very helpful. Her book is carefully constructed, with lots of attention to detail.

 

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Perspective Made Easy (Dover Art Instruction) By Ernest R. Norling

Perspective Made Easy (Dover Art Instruction) By Ernest R. Norling

 

One of the most challenging concepts of drawing to grasp is… Wait for it… Perspective. However, rest assured, struggling artist. There have been countless books written on the subject. Many tutorials have been created that tackle this monster and break it into manageable steps. However, dare we say that no-one has explained it better than Ernest R. Norlingod.

About The Author: Ernest R Norling was a painter and art teacher, who published two books on the topics of perspective and profile.

Topics This Book Covers: Perspective is a fundamental skill in the art of drawing. The focus of this book is to make perspective easy to understand. It contains over 250 line drawings that cover the concepts of horizon, and vanishing point. Also, the relationship of eye level to perspective drawing. You’ll learn how to create shade and shadows. Also, place figures and objects in drawings and construct interiors.

Why We Like This Book: The skill of perspective is not always seen as easy for a beginner. But the content of this book does make it easy. The way it is written is entertaining. It helps build a solid foundation in the concepts of perspective. As it was written in the early 20th century, some of the writing may seem dated, but don’t let that deter you. The activities are easy to follow. The progression of each topic teaches you the essentials in a short amount of time.

 

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Light for Visual Artists: Understanding & Using Light in Art & Design By Richard Yot

Light for Visual Artists: Understanding & Using Light in Art & Design By Richard Yot

 

Another book which zooms in on covering one integral part of drawing. Light for Visual Artists is an essential resource for anyone serious about drawing. Richard Yot, the author has put a tremendous amount of effort into this book. It certainly paid off,  as this is invaluable for anyone who wants to make their art stand out from the page/canvas.

About The Author: Richard Yot is an illustrator who works in traditional print and digital media.

Topics This Book Covers: An introduction to the fundamental skill of rendering light and shadow, what is known as value in art. Learn the drawing techniques of light and shadow. You will also learn to understand the physics behind it. There is also a section about color selection which is extremely helpful in an artist’s tool kit.

Why We Like This Book: One of the best things about this book is it is easy to follow. The detailed writing is not loaded with technical terminology and applies to any visual art. The logical order of the chapters makes sense — a handy book.

 

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Vilppu Drawing Manual By Glenn Vilppu

Vilppu Drawing Manual By Glenn Vilppu

 

Yet another famous bestseller. Vilppu Drawing Manual has an excellent reason to have the status and acclaim it has. Based on a comprehensive art course that took hours upon hours to create, Glenn Vilppu is a master of his craft. This book focuses on life and figure drawing. It has everything there is to know about those two subjects.

About The Author: Those in the animation industry most notably know Glenn Vilppu since he worked at Disney for about 15 years. He taught drawing skills and worked on projects such as The Fox and the Hound and The Black Cauldron.

Topics This Book Covers: Gesture drawing and form construction are two primary concepts covered in this book.  Other areas of study are basic forms to measuring and constructing objects accurately from life.

Why We Like This Book: This is great for complete beginners who are seeking a different approach to life drawing.

 

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The Natural Way to Draw: A Working Plan for Art Study By Kimon Nicolaides

The Natural Way to Draw: A Working Plan for Art Study By Kimon Nicolaides

 

Take a lifetime of learning from the experts, a passion for teaching and passing on knowledge, and put in a book. What do you get? Kimon Nicolaides’s book, The Natural Way to Draw. This is based on his course that he taught for many years at an art school in New York. There are two words to describe this bestselling collection of art tutorials, attention-to-detail and comprehensive.

About The Author: Kimon Nicolaides was born in Washington D.C., in 1891. He went on to have a passion for art as his father was an importer of oriental goods. Kimon studied art under the greats – Bridgman, Miller, and Sloan. He went on to become a teacher at the Art Student’s League of New York and taught for 15 years. He was a highly regarded artist and teacher.

Topics This Book Covers: How to draw figures and objects from life with a focus on sketching and animation. It teaches you to capture figure poses quickly. Packed full of exercises and it takes a serious commitment to drawing to get through the whole book.

Why We Like This Book: This book is an incredible resource. But be warned. It will only reach it’s true value for you if you are serious about practicing your drawing skills. Additionally, if you are ready to commit to many hours of practice. It is like taking a full year’s coursework in an art class. It is not for complete beginners.

 

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Figure Drawing for All It’s Worth By Andrew Loomis

Figure Drawing for All It's Worth By Andrew Loomis

 

Figure Drawing. If you’re like some budding artists I know, the very two words make you want to run and dive for cover. Humans are some of the most interesting subjects to draw. However, unfortunately, they are also some of the hardest. Andrew Loomis was an esteemed art teacher and author in his time, and he wrote many books on the subject. If there’s going to be one person you learn from, it should be him.

About The Author: Andrew Loomis was born in 1892. He studied art and eventually opened his studio in Chicago. Over the years he worked in editorial and advertising for many notable companies. He became an art teacher and is well known for his books on Realist illustration and art. He died in 1959.

Topics This Book Covers: All the intermediate steps you need to draw a figure. How to draw body parts in the proper proportions and many different poses. Perspective is a big part of the teaching in this book. It teaches you how to create realistic figures with clothing and shading. Also, (insert gasp of relief), how to draw body parts – heads, hands, and feet.

Why We Like This Book: Many people recommend Figure Drawing for All It’s Worth as an excellent resource. Particularly for a beginner to figure drawing. The step by step teaching approach is easy to follow. Although the style of drawing may seem a little outdated, it’s fantastic for learning the fundamentals.

 

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How to Draw What You See By Rudy De Reyna

How to Draw What You See By Rudy De Reyna

 

If you like to draw or sketch still life, you may be aware of the problem I am about to illustrate. You set up a collection of things nicely, ready to use them as a reference. You collect your art supplies, sit down to draw. Then, you begin, drawing what you see. Except… When you’ve finished, it looks nothing like what you see in front of you. Frustrating, right? Well, if you’re starting with drawing, then Rudy De Reyna’s book is bound to help.

About The Author: Rudy De Reyna has written many books including Magic Realist Drawing Techniques.

Topics This Book Covers: It is written with exceptional detail. You’ll learn about shading, perspective, and forms. This will be through a series of realistic drawing exercises. The first 18-20 chapters cover drawing and then it covers charcoal and watercolor.

Why We Like This Book: The realistic drawing exercises are helpful and simple to understand. It’s written for novice artists who have never attempted to draw from what they see around them. As it covers different mediums and not just drawing this may not suit those only interested in a book without the extras.

 

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Traveling With Your Sketchbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Travel Sketching with Emphasis on Pen-and-Ink By Joyce Ryan

Traveling With Your Sketchbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Travel Sketching with Emphasis on Pen-and-Ink By Joyce Ryan

 

Travelling is an incredible experience to have in life, for many, it can be life changing. Whether you travel long term or look forward to yearly vacations, travel sketching can be an excellent way to make memories. Besides, you’d be learning a new skill and an enjoyable hobby at that. Joyce Ryan’s book will give you the tools you need to start sketching on your travels.

About The Author: Joyce Ryan is an author from the United States. She has written several books on drawing, cooking, and other leisurely hobbies.

Topics This Book Covers: As the title says, this book focuses on how to sketch your environment, mainly nature and urban scenes. She provided many examples, lessons, and techniques that you’re bound to find helpful. This book is best suited to people who have already grasped the basics of sketching and drawings. It gives lessons and techniques that would be useful for intermediates and up. To inspire you, she includes many of her sketches from her portfolio.

Why We Like This Book: Traveling With Your Sketchbook is an excellent guide for travel sketching. It does focus solely on that topic of drawing. However, many of the techniques covered can be applied in any area of illustration. It makes for a fantastic resource, with lots of helpful tips for learning how to sketch well.

 

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A Foundation Course in Drawing By Peter Stanyer and Terry Rosenberg

A Foundation Course in Drawing By Peter Stanyer

 

Looking for a book with extensive coverage of topics on drawing? But something that doesn’t make your head explode from too much information? Peter Stanyer and Terry Rosenberg have managed to straddle that divide with their book. A Foundation Course in Drawing. The perfect choice to get started with being serious about drawing.

About The Authors: Both authors are University lecturers in London, they teach popular drawing courses there.

Topics This Book Covers: The projects in this teaching guide to include fun drawing exercises. You will learn different ways to look at a subject by studying space, texture, light, form, and shape. Also, the movement of figures, still life, landscape, and abstract subjects. Indeed a “foundation course” this book gives you everything you need to jump right into it.

Why We Like This Book: Although not necessarily for beginners, the content of this book is wide and varied. The projects offered are exciting and the techniques covered are many.

 

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Learn to Draw and Paint by Curtis Tappenden

Learn to Draw and Paint by Curtis Tappenden

 

Drawing and painting although two different art mediums have so much in common. Sketching and drawing is often the beginning of many painting projects. Having that knowledge improves your ability to both draw and then to paint. This book offers a range of basic art techniques with those who are a little time poor but eager to learn.

About The Author: Curtis Tappenden is an artist and illustrator. His work is exhibited in many collections throughout the world. Curtis is based in London.

Topics This Book Covers: A guide to the basics of drawing and painting with hands-on lessons. With a focus on pencil and charcoal sketching. It covers line, contour and pattern, scale and depth drawing and perspective exercises. The painting section covers pastels, oils, and watercolors.

Why We Like This Book: There are plenty of useful tips and great ideas. It has various colored illustrations to inspire. If you are interested in both drawing and painting. Then this book would help build your skills in both art mediums. It is aimed at more intermediate artists. So if you are a beginner, you’d need a book that looks more in depth at some of the techniques covered.

 

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How To Draw: Drawing And Sketching Objects From Your Imagination By Scott Robertson

How To Draw: Drawing And Sketching Objects From Your Imagination By Scott Robertson

 

With 208 pages of content, this is a serious resource. If you are eager to understand drawing in using a process of model building, this is the book for you. The authors have written a big section on drawing with  3D drawing computer programs. This is sure to help enhance your drawing skills and knowledge.

About The Author: Scott Robertson has almost two decades of experience teaching how to design, draw, and render. He has the expertise of the highest college level. He has co-authored many books and has worked on projects for notable companies.

Topics This Book Covers: It is a guide for perspective drawing but focuses more on design. Creating grids, model process, working with volume, ellipses, and rotations are some of the topics covered. It would make sense that this book is connected to the digital world. More than 25 pages can be scanned via a smartphone or tablet using the new Design Studio Press app. Which links to video tutorials for that section of the book. This is a fantastic feature.

Why We Like This Book: A very detailed guide on the topics mentioned above. It’s accompanied by excellent images and explanations of each technique. The addition of video tutorials makes it even easier to learn the methods within the book.

 

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Framed Ink: Drawing and Composition for Visual Storytellers By Marcos Mateu-Mestre

Framed Ink: Drawing and Composition for Visual Storytellers By Marcos Mateu-Mestre

 

Storytellers who love to draw need their illustrations to engage their readers. Illustrations, when done well, make their story come alive. It can be a bit of a struggle to do this, but this is where this book comes in. Graphic novel enthusiasts who want to try their hand at creating stories will find this a fabulous resource.

About The Author: Marcos Mateu-Mestre is a visual concept and traditional animation layout artist. He also writes and illustrates graphic novels.

Topics This Book Covers: Creating illustrations for novels and other media takes huge effort. It would make sense that there is a wealth of information. So they’ve divided it into several categories. Drawing and composing a single image, arranging shots with a purpose. Also composing for continuity and the Graphic Novel. The techniques are covered in detail and illustrated with excellent examples.

Why We Like This Book: This guide is perfect for understanding the techniques required to create a visual novel or comic. Two things stood out to me. One, the topic on drawing to convey emotions. Two, using light to depict daytime and nighttime. They were fascinating.

 

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Drawing the Head and Hands by Andrew Loomis

Drawing the Head and Hands by Andrew Loomis

 

Another Loomis book! Of course, the man was a master of his craft, so this had to be on the list. Drawing body parts can be difficult for some artists. Especially hands and feet. Good luck trying to ask an artist you know to draw either of them. Don’t be surprised if they look like they want to chuck something at you! Getting the right perspective is not always easy. Andrew Loomis’ book aims to give the artist the skills necessary to tackle drawing heads and hands as objects.

About The Author: Andrew Loomis was born in 1892. He studied art and eventually opened his studio in Chicago. Over the years he worked in editorial and advertising for many notable companies. He became an art teacher and is well known for his books on Realist illustration and art. He died in 1959.

Topics This Book Covers: Most of the book focuses on learning the techniques to draw the human head. There is some content covering the methods of drawing hands. He includes simple means to render proportions in the head and hands. The author is very methodical and mathematical in his approach.

Why We Like This Book: The simple methods given in the book make drawing heads and hands as objects so much easier. No more groaning and ripping out page after page of failed attempts!

 

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Figure Drawing for Artists: Making Every Mark Count by Steve Huston

Figure Drawing for Artists: Making Every Mark Count by Steve Huston

 

Attention to detail and advice and instructions about the tiniest of things is a welcome addition in any tutorial guide. Some fail on this part, but this book has it in spades. Some beginners may find it confusing, but this is an excellent, comprehensive resource.

About The Author: Steve Huston, like many artists, has been influenced by incredible masters of the past. He studied at Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design. Then he went on to illustration work for large corporations and film studios. Later he created a unique teaching method and continues to teach today.

Topics This Book Covers: The fundamental drawing topics. Structure, gesture, perspective and light and practical tips on drawing the human body. It has useful tips on drawing the human body. It also features detailed breakdowns of artworks created by master artists.

Why We Like This Book: There is plenty of useful information on figure drawing. This book will appeal to intermediate to advanced artists.

 

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Figure Drawing: Design and Invention by Michael Hampton

Figure Drawing: Design and Invention by Michael Hampton

 

There have been countless books written on how to draw the human figure, that’s no secret. However, few of them seem to focus on drawing from an anatomical sense. Understanding anatomy is a crucial part if you want to be serious about figure drawing. Fortunately, that’s what Michael Hampton’s book is all about.

About The Author: Michael Hampton is an author and professional life drawing artist. He runs several art workshops and a website all about drawing the human body.

Topics This Book Covers: It focuses on anatomy, and the mechanics of the human figure, as we have mentioned. It helps you gain a helpful, solid skill set that can be translated into other media. It’s structured clearly, with the sections broken into easy to understand parts. It also covers ratios of the human body parts, so you can learn how to draw anatomically correct.

Why We Like This Book: Figure Drawing: Design and Invention caters to all skill levels, not only advanced like some books tend to do. There’s something in this book for everyone.

 

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Successful Drawing by Andrew Loomis

Successful Drawing by Andrew Loomis

 

Many artists revere the mastery of Andrew Loomis’ drawing technique. His style is clean and realist. A superb book that has been a favorite resource for over 60 years.  Are you an artist with some advanced skills and looking to master 3D drawing? This is the book for you!

About The Author: Andrew Loomis was a professional illustrator and artist from the United States. Right from the start, he knew he wanted to be an artist for a living, and that’s what he did. During his lifetime, he was well known in the advertising industry. This is because of all the work he did, illustrating ads and campaigns. He’s known to the public for the collection of instructional drawing books he published. He died in 1959.

Topics This Book Covers: Learn the fundamentals of proportion, perspective placement, planes, and pattern. There’s a detailed examination of scale, the effects of light and 3-dimensional drawing. It covers five main areas. Conception, construction, contour, character, and consistency.

Why We Like This Book: It’s filled with beautiful illustrations, step-by-step instruction. Also, professional tips to increase drawing skills. An engaging and exciting read while developing composition and design skills.

 

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Anatomy for the Artist by Sarah Simblet

Anatomy for the Artist by Sarah Simblet

 

Understanding the anatomy of the human body is critical in figure drawing. Sarah Simblet’s book has high-quality photos. As well as clear, large diagrams that go with each bodily section.

The book includes translucent overlays showing detailed illustrations of skeletal anatomy to go with the figures depicted.

About The Author: Sarah Simblet has studied and worked extensively in Europe. She teaches at the Ruskin School of Drawing. Sarah is also an instructor at Fine Art, Oxford University, and the Royal College of Art in London.

Topics This Book Covers: You will learn how to see inside the human frame, to map its muscle groups and skeletal structure. Also to capture its balance, poise, and grace. Practical drawing lessons on how to draw different parts of the body.

Why We Like This Book: The reference images are excellent. It has excellent diagrams and photos. A unique feature is the use of translucent pages defining the anatomical reference of bones and muscles. Added to that, it has the exact positioning according to the model posing.

 

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Drawing People by Barbara Bradley

Drawing People by Barbara Bradley
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People. Such interesting creatures, full of quirks, uniqueness, and diversity. No wonder many people find them such intriguing and fun drawing subjects. However, with a great intrigue comes a great difficulty, as humans are so complicated. No wonder so many books have been written on the subject. This one stands out for the fact it focuses on drawing people with realistic looking clothing. Because my clothes don’t defy gravity, and I doubt yours do either!

About The Author: Barbara Bradley is an artist and art illustrator, who has been teaching classes for many years. For 25 years, she was the Director of Illustration at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco. Her work has been and is displayed in several collections in the United States.

Topics This Book Covers: As the title suggests, this covers drawing people and their clothing with realism and attention to detail. She focuses on how to draw clothing folds and shadows, so it looks realistic. It also covers how the way clothes hang differently on males and females. Not to mention how clothing responds to its environment, and what the wearer is doing.

Why We Like This Book: This an informative, detailed and entertaining book on a topic so often left out by other guides. The methods she shares are realistic and reasonably easy to master. She gives you plenty of exercises to practice with.

 

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Human Anatomy for Artists: The Elements of Form by Eliot Goldfinger

Human Anatomy for Artists: The Elements of Form by Eliot Goldfinger

 

It is a fact that artists who want to depict the human body must first understand human anatomy. Much like a doctor, artists who are serious about their craft have to know where everything goes, and how it responds to outside factors. Eliot Goldfingers’ book is the definitive analytical work on the anatomy of the human figure.

About The Author: Eliot Goldfinger, is a renowned illustrator and sculptor. He developed the anatomy program at The New York Academy of Art.

Topics This Book Covers: Everything you need to know about the human skeleton, bones, and muscles, and drawing them.

Why We Like This Book: It’s an extremely detailed and thorough analysis of human anatomy. Excellent for visual learners, as it’s in illustrated form. It covers so much content on everything you could want to know to help with your drawing human figures

 

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Drawing the Living Figure by Joseph Sheppard

 

Understanding the effects that underlying anatomical infrastructure has on surface anatomy is essential to realistic drawing. Although there are many approaches to figure drawing. Joseph Sheppard’s “Drawing the Living Figure” will be your primary anatomical reference.

About The Author: Joseph Sheppard attended the Maryland Institute of Art. His art is featured in museums and collections all over the world. He has won many awards. Joseph received a Guggenheim Traveling Fellowship to Florence, Italy in 1957. Joseph Sheppard still works as an artist and has authored many books.

Topics This Book Covers: The focus of this book is how the position and movement of muscles and bones affect the surface forms of live models. The drawings by the artist/author feature many different poses of the human body. The images are typically showing three versions of the same figure. One showing the skeleton, another the muscles and then a finally finished figure.

Why We Like This Book: There is so much detail involved in the illustrations. It is beneficial for understanding the surface form of the human body.

 

 

A Handbook of Anatomy for Art Students by Arthur Thomson

A Handbook of Anatomy for Art Students by Arthur Thomson

 

Arthur Thomson’s A Handbook of Anatomy for Art Students is more accessible and easier to read and digest. This is because it’s a less medical or scientific approach. The illustrations are outstanding. There are many photos of models, male and female in various poses. Often with accompanying flayed examples of the same pose, showing the position of different muscles.

About The Author: Arthur Thomson M.A. M.B. was a Professor of human anatomy at the University of Oxford. He was a lecturer on anatomy in the national art training school, South Kensington. He worked at the Oxford University from 1885 until 1933.

Topics This Book Covers: The surface form of the human anatomy with the aid of illustrations and photographs.

Why We Like This Book: If you are looking to study surface form in drawing then this book will undoubtedly help. The less medical approach to anatomy is easier to understand. The illustrations are very detailed.

 

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Pen and Ink Drawing: A Simple Guide by Alphonso Dunn

Pen and Ink Drawing: A Simple Guide by Alphonso Dunn

 

Drawing with pens and ink is great and all, as it creates a vibrancy and feel that gray lead pencils can’t imitate. The only problem is… Once it’s on the page, there’s no going back. You can’t erase the lines made by either of those! Don’t panic though. This book is sure to help you improve! (Also help you lessen the need to scream and lament the fact you can’t use an eraser.)

About The Author: Alphonso Dunn is a professional artist, art instructor, and YouTuber. He runs a successful YouTube Channel. It has helped many people gain the ability to sketch and draw with pen and ink well. He’s written quite a few books devoted to teaching people how to draw with Pen and Ink.

Topics This Book Covers: This book is thorough and an in-depth look at everything there is to know about drawing with this medium. It’s not only a book for advice and instruction, but it’s also packed with inspiration. He’s put a lot effort into this book, and it’s full of his incredible drawings.

Why We Like This Book: Alphonso, like on his YouTube channel, has an entertaining and warm style. His writing makes you feel like you’re getting tips and advice from a friend.

 

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The Big Book of Realistic Drawing Secrets: Easy Techniques for Drawing People, Animals, Flowers and Nature by Carrie Stuart Parks and Rick Parks

The Big Book of Realistic Drawing Secrets: Easy Techniques for Drawing People, Animals, Flowers and Nature by Carrie Stuart Parks and Rick Parks

 

Ever wanted a comprehensive, detailed book that includes everything you ever wanted to know about the basics of realistic drawing? Well, Carrie Stuart Parks and Rick Parks have pretty much succeeded with creating such a guide! Their title is accurate to the contents of the book, that’s for sure.

About The Authors: Carrie Stuart Parks is a forensic artist. She has worked for many police departments across the United States and even the FBI. She’s also an illustrator, and a fine artist. To top that off, Carrie has written several best selling mystery and crime novels. Rick Parks is an actor and screenplay writer, and art teacher. He and Carrie have written several instructional drawing guides together.

Topics This Book Covers: This book contains everything you needed to know about the basics of drawing. It covers shading, form, structure and touches on the anatomy of people, animals, and plants. It’s packed with helpful tips, exercises, and tricks. They will help you drastically improve your drawing skills.

Why We Like This Book: Carrie and Rick’s book has some excellent tips and tricks on drawing realistically. Their style and tone of writing is amiable and down to earth. This book is perfect for beginners and advanced artists alike.

 

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The Artist’s Complete Guide to Drawing the Head By William Maughan

The Artist's Complete Guide to Drawing the Head By William Maughan

 

Master Art instructor William Maughan introduces the reader to the centuries-old technique of ‘chiaroscuro”. Italian for ‘light and dark.’) Leonardo da Vinci developed it during the High Renaissance.

About The Author: William Maughan has been a commercial illustrator since 1973. His Fine Art career began in the early 1980s. He started creating Western and Civil War art and Limited editions prints sold worldwide.

Topics This Book Covers: The basics of ‘chiaroscuro.’ Showing how to analyze form, light, and shadow; use dark pencil, white pencil, and toned paper. The elements of design to enhance a likeness, and capture a sitter’s gestures and proportions. There is step by step instructions on how to draw each facial feature. Also to develop visual awareness, and render the head in color with soft pastels.

Why We Like This Book: Learning a centuries-old technique is a great skill to have in your drawing repertoire. The step by step instructions is excellent for helping to achieve likeness and proportions. Easy to understand with beautiful illustrations.

 

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Classic Human Anatomy: The Artist’s Guide to Form, Function, and Movement by Valerie L. Winslow

Classic Human Anatomy: The Artist's Guide to Form, Function, and Movement by Valerie L. Winslow

 

Valerie Winslow has had more than thirty years of research and teaching. Classic Human Anatomy has more than 800 distinctive illustrations. They detail the movement and actions of the bones and muscles.

About The Author: Since 1979 Valerie Winslow has taught at renowned institutions. These include the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and the California Institute of the Arts. (CalArts). Even at Pixar Animation Studios. Valerie Winslow is currently a full-time faculty member at San Francisco Academy of Art University. She’s also the anatomy coordinator there. Many of her works are in private collections, and she has won many museum awards.

Topics This Book Covers: There are three major sections in this book. The skeletal form, the muscular form and action of the muscles, and movement.

Why We Like This Book: Anatomy of the human body is a complex subject. But with the way the author has broken the main topics into sections is helpful. The writing and instructions are easy to understand. This is more suited to an intermediate artist. Particularly one who wants to improve their figure drawing skills.

 

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An Illustrated Life by Danny Gregory

An Illustrated Life by Danny Gregory

 

Imagine a book filled with the ultimate amount of artistic inspiration. All sorts of artists are pitching in to share drawings from their private sketchbooks. All kinds of mediums, styles and creative processes. That’s precisely what An Illustrated Life by Danny Gregory is.

About The Author: Danny Gregory is an Executive Creative Director at a well-established advertising agency. He’s also a blogger. He runs the successful blog Everyday Matters chronicling his life experiences and drawing. He is a well-traveled man, having lived in places all over the words.

Topics This Book Covers: This isn’t an instructional art guide. Although you may learn some tips and techniques. Danny interviews each of the artists featured. He asks about their creative processes and such. This is perfect for inspiration for your drawing pursuits.

Why We Like This Book: It’s an incredible book, every piece is impressive in its unique way. Good luck trying to read the book without your jaw dropping open. Alternatively, without having the urge to draw for that matter!

 

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There you are, the best drawing books to help you further your drawing skills and creativity.

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