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    Sketch Practice


    5x8" unlined sketch moleskine, pitt pen

    I went through about 10 books on drawing this week at the bookstore and settled on two. On the left, sketches from Figure (Pinsker); on the right, exercises from Drawing with Your Artist's Brain (Purcell). 

    I liked Drawing With Your Artist's Brain even more than Drawing With the Right Side of Your Brain (although I'll likely get that at some point). What made sense to me was the concept of drawing things not starting with an outside outline (with wacky unbalanced results) but by starting at some point and working on relationships within the item you are drawing. For example, the edge of the hat is parallel with the edge of the hand and the back of the elbow is aligned with the crease on the jacket. Perfect for the analytical artist.

    The Figure book was irrestible if only for the cover art. The painted lines form the whisp of the shape, not the entire shape yet the eye brings it together. This is a beautiful book to peruse and I drew some girls that didn't make me cringe (well not much).

    There were a lot more books on the shelf, but most focused on realistic, ultra side-of-the-pencil shaded drawings.  I am interested specifically in line art, not sure why there were fewer books.

    What are your favorite drawing books?  How did you learn to draw (in addition to practice, practice, practice)?


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    Reader Comments (8)

    Drawing books never really "did" it for me, but I LOVE watching someone draw and have learned a lot that way. I've been sketching and drawing ever since I was old enough to hold a crayon, but got really serious about it when I was about 12-13 years old and took my first real "art" class in High School. I still remember our very first exercise in sketching - a three apple still life. We drew those apples from different angles for almost a month. To this day, whenever I see a beautiful apple, I think about that art class. Hugs, Terri xoxo

    The Creative License by Danny Gregory
    Practice a lot
    Drawing Nature by Cathy Johnson
    Claire Walker Leslie
    Danny Price- How to make journal of your life.

    These are a few favorites.

    03.4.2010 | Unregistered CommenterCarol

    I'm actually taking a drawing class (Adult Education through my local school system). It's really great- the teacher is a working artist so we get some insight and feedback on what we're doing and it makes a HUGE difference. Even though his style is very much based on detail-based photograpic reproduction and I prefer a looser illustrative style, I am learning invaluable information that I can apply to what I want to be doing. I also got a lot of out of "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" and I'm working my way through it.

    03.4.2010 | Unregistered Commenterchel

    I don't work well with drawing books, but I would like some ideas or exercises. That Purcell one sounds good, I'll take a look.

    I own Drawing With the Right Side of the Brain... and it's very good. I only ever got through about half of it though. I'll be picking it up again now that I've restrated by creativity. It got me drawing faces which I never thought I could do.
    But like you, I'm less inetrested in the super realistic style.

    03.5.2010 | Unregistered CommenterMonica

    nice, I like these, especially the man with the rake.

    In high school, I loved Kimon Nikolaides book, the Natural Way to Draw. I reacquired it a few years ago as an adult, and it's charmingly impractical: "if you can't afford to hire your own model, get together with some friends to hire one." Yet, the information in it, while seemingly outdated, is quite solid. He gets you thinking - maybe more importantly, seeing and feeling. I still really like it.

    More recently, I love Danny Gregory's Creative License, and Cathy Johnson's Sketching in Nature. Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is a classic but I don't have the attention span to get more than halfway through. Sad, I know.

    Of course, now that you've posted this, I'm interested in the Purcell book, especially, I'm naturally inclined towards that analytical approach.

    03.5.2010 | Unregistered Commentersophie_vf

    I haven't done much drawing, save for some sketches of leaves and flowers in the summer when I'm out in the yard with the kids. I just wanted to say how much fun it is to see you trying new things in your art.

    Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain has been on my "get from the library" list for a while.

    03.5.2010 | Unregistered CommenterRabia

    I've been relearning how to draw but with an already full schedule so books are my only resources (other than practice). I've liked:
    Creative License by Danny Gregory
    Cathy Johnson books like Sketching in Nature
    And, probably because I have limited time - kids art books by Usborn, especially Drawing Faces - I got them from the library.

    03.8.2010 | Unregistered CommenterKirstin

    I just replied to everyone then smartly hit delete. So I'll try this again!

    Terri, Carol, Chel, Monica, Sophie, Rabia and Kirsten, Thank you for the excellent book recommendations. I am going to investigate those new to me. I'm not a learn-from-books person, but there are a number of drawing concepts that I would simply not discover by experimenting. It just doesn't come naturally to me. I like Terri's idea of watching someone draw (like watching embroidery stitch videos) and that might be something to look for on YouTube.

    At present I'm drawn to architecture, perhaps it's the lines and angles... this summer it might be fun to explore drawing flowers and leaves with the kids.

    I strongly recommend all of Danny Gregory's books on art and creativity. In fact he wrote an older book about an amateur radio operator's vast collection of QSL cards, the unique postcards that were exchanged when connecting for the first time on the radio....Hello World: A Life in Ham Radio. It's on my reading pile.

    03.16.2010 | Registered Commentergypsy

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