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Drawing books

edited September 2013 in Drawing
Drawing is something I've always struggled with. I watched a video of an interview with Glenn Vilppu on the Proko youtube channel. He is a lifelong artist and was an illustrator for Disney and taught for Disney all over the world. His statement "drawing is a fundamental skill, but also an advanced skill". He also said "if you don't draw well, your painting will never progress beyond the ability of your drawing". Those 2 statements made a lot of sense to me so I followed a recommendation by @Castillo and ordered "Figure Drawing for All it's Worth" by Andrew Loomis along with "Lessons in Classical Drawing: Essential Techniques from Inside the Atelier" by Juliette Aristides and "Drawing the Head and Figure" by Jack Hamm.

The first one by Andrew Loomis was originally published in the 30's if I'm not mistaken and was out of print for a while and is now being published again. After looking it over and reading the opening chat I think this book will be of great benefit to me and anyone who would like to improve their drawing skills of the human figure.

The second one by Juliette Aristedes comes with a DVD where she demonstrates some of the techniques in the book. I also think it will help me. It doesn't just cover the human form. In fact she recommends to start with objects before drawing the human form. Point being that the slightest variation will change the expression. Starting with objects will help hone your skills. Her feeling is that anyone can learn to draw, you just need to learn how. Amen to that!

The third one by Jack Hamm is very thin paperback. Maybe only 1/4" thick. There are a lot of small illustrations and very brief descriptions by each. By far the weakest of the three.

There is a post further back in this thread where you can download a PDF version of the Andrew Loomis book (thanks @Dencal) I downloaded it but bought the book so I can read it and practice sketching from it during my lunch break. Enjoy!
Here are some links
Glenn Vilppu interview
PDF book post
Juliette Aristedes


  • Don't know if you already have this other book by Anthony Ryder, he teaches a different approach to drawing. Several artists I've seen use this method and seems to yield great results. I tried drawing this way a couple of times but is very different from the way I do things, this approach starts on the outside and you work your way in and I'm used to working from the inside out.


  • Oh! and I have been learning anatomy with these in case you're interested

  • @Castillo I only have the Vermeer book (which is not instructional) and the three I just got. When I say I have no formal training I mean it. The Carder Method DVD set and some Bob Ross videos is all of my training. The Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist is recommended by Aristedes on her website.

    My feelings were I couldn't consider myself an artist if I could not draw or paint people accurately. It's one of the reasons I stopped painting over 20 years ago. It's been gnawing away at me ever since. I was much worse at it than I am now thanks to @Mark_Carder. @Kingston, while I might disagree with your taste in art at times I do respect your experience and credentials. I have searched on line for a life drawing class and found one that starts October 10th. It has three 2 hour sessions and fits into my work schedule. It's a start. After doing the August challenge, I really think I can do it. I just need some guidance. Education is a wonderful thing. I heard a saying once "when you cease to grow, you start to go".
  • This is a great drawing book that really focuses on putting gesture and life into your figure drawings, i.e., force. It also helps with drawing pretty much anything and putting life into it.
  • edited September 2013

    Are you referring to "The Eye of the Painter" by Loomis? That book was not finished by Loomis but by his wife or somebody she found to help finish it, because he died unexpectedly while in the middle of it. From what I understand, he went into the hospital in his 50's for a routine procedure and came out dead. Anyway, it was at a time in his life when he finally felt financially secure and was looking forward to doing more of what he wanted rather than what his clients needed. I think this book was his first turn in the direction of fine art. Who knows what other treasures he may have given us if he had lived, both in art works and in literature.

    As far as I know, that book hasn't been republished and I'm not sure there are plans to do so. However, there used to be a couple of sites that had it available to read and maybe download, but it's been a while and sometimes those things are taken off if someone complains.
  • edited September 2013

    Oh yeh, I've seen lot's of his work and have several of his books...I love, love, love his stuff. And what is also great about Loomis is that he was determined to succeed even though he was told by one of his first-year art instructors that he was wasting his time and should withdraw from art school...that sort of thing could destroy a young person's self-confidence. I wonder how many students that instructor did ruin?! And in addition, Loomis just seemed to be an all-round great guy from everything I've read about him. Lots of other greats had a dark side, even Rockwell a tiny bit, or others were downright nasty is some ways, such as Flagg...but I love their work too.
  • I started with a Loomis book I liberated from my local High School library. Absolutely essential primer for anyone wanting to at least learn illustration and the basics of drawing.

    For observing life and drawing realistically my eyes were opened by a book called, I believe, The Zen of Seeing, by an author with the last name Franck. It taught me to draw what I saw, not what I wanted to see. Then it was advanced by some life drawing classes and one other book by the artist Ted Seth jacobs, a precursor to the work Anthony Ryder wrote about. His book is called Drawing with an Open Mind. It may not be published anymore but it is groundbreaking for representational artists. He shows you what you are seeing when you are drawing realistically. It's extrememly well balanced with drawings and text.

    Another resource I found is an artist I briefly studied with who now publishes all of his courses and material online - Michael Britten's Art Academy. If you subscribe to his newsletter you will receive much of his courses over time.

    And I completely agree with the first steps of building a light box, painting some blocks, throwing them into the light box, and drawing what you see. Do that for a month as many times as you can.
  • All the Loomis books are excellent and I can thoroughly recommend William Maughans book "The Artist's Complete Guide to Drawing the Head" which covers the classic chiaroscuro method. The Ryder book is great too ( i just love art books though but still hold in my mind some advice that I read somewhere on the interweb that practise is the best teacher. Learn from your mistakes!)
    Oh and one of my favourites is "How to draw with charcoal, sanguine and chalk" by Jose Parramon. Great stuff and cheap on Ebay.
  • jcdrjcdr -
    edited October 2013
    Kimon Nicolades - The Natural Way to Draw. If memory serves this is a complete years course from the NYSAL. Takes a lot to get through but there are some wonderful drawing exercises.
  • Check out 'Drawing on the right side of the brain' by Betty Edwards. One of the best I have found. The others mentioned here are good like Lomus but I like Edwards.
  • Drawing is a fun activity that improves a kid's motor skill, inspires creativity, and evolve artistic talents. Guiding a kid with perfect drawing techniques helps them to stay motivated. The wrong technique with hard and complicated instructions will make them discouraged. So it is very mandatory to introduce a child to age-appropriate drawing techniques.

    I know there are many varieties of Drawing Books available in the market for one to learn Drawing for both beginners and advanced learners. But the most popular one or the one that has the largest number of users in my country is The Drawing Book for Kids for beginners and advanced learners by a noted Woo! Jr. Kids Activities. We all believe it is the widest used textbook in the world for this purpose.
  • The Juliette Aristides book is the most thumbed of my collection of art books. I love her writing and the inspiring drawings which I often try to copy. She has been to the UK in recent years to do workshops at the Edinburgh atelier - they do get sold out fast.
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