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Recommendations on Drawing Instruction Books/DVD's

Any recommendations on books for the DMP method? Some that have been recommended to me are Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards, and How to Draw What You See, by Rudy De Reyna.

A third was I understand a classic The Natural Way to Draw by Kimon Nicolaides but requires the use of live models on a regular basis and lasts about a year which seems like a great way to learn but overkill for Mark's course.

Thanks

Comments

  • edited October 2014
    In terms of drawing, what level are you looking for? The very first drawing book I got once I decided that I wanted to get serious about it was http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Drawing-Realistic-Carrie-Stuart/dp/1581802161/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1414006035&sr=8-1&keywords=drawing+faces+composite
    It made a huge and dramatic difference right away, and she teaches nonartists how to draw composite sketches. Edwards book is good as well, not familiar with de Reyna. At a more advanced level there's Anthony Ryder's book (sorry can't remember the title) among others. Nicolaides is good but intense. I tried to get through it but never finished. There's also the classic Charles Bargue drawing course, which many many art students, including Van Gogh, used. http://www.amazon.com/Charles-Bargue-Jean-Léon-Gérôme-Ackerman/dp/2867702038/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1414006633&sr=8-1&keywords=barque+drawing
    I did drawingtutorialsonline.com, a paid site, for a couple of years and its very good. Wetcanvas.com has a free ongoing mentored online drawing class that's very good as well. All of these are for making finished drawings for their own sake, but provide useful foundations for painting as well, because, like DMP, they train you how to see in terms of abstract shapes (right side of brain) rather than analytically/symbolically (left side).

    The "draw" part of the DMP method, though, is just how to accurately render the contours of the objects you will be painting as your underdrawing on the canvas. You don't really need anything other than the info on this site for that, and I'm not aware of any book that is so limited in scope.
  • Not that it matters for this discussion but it's one of my pet peeves -- right/left lateralization of brain function is a myth, not supported by neuroscience. The mythological left/right brain split we have in pop culture comes from second hand sources (psychologists) where the primary source was flawed (debunked research published by a pair of neuroscientists in the 60s). I would suggest that any book that bases its method of learning on this is also flawed. wetcanvas in particular is notoriously unscientific.
  • I'm unsure of the direct correlation between drawing well and painting well. I drew quite well with dry mediums but could not paint for the life of me until Mark gave me the right tools and instruction to do so. You don't need to manipulate lines into a solid shape in painting like you do with drawing, however, proportion is important to both disciplines. I don't know what it's like to paint without drawing, so I can't comment on that. Here's what I think: if you want to become a better painter, paint. If you want to expand your mediums, then draw. But to do both really, really well, you need to devote time into both mediums to excel.

    Your charcoal drawings have a very distinct style. It has stylized shapes. This can render well in paintings and there are artists that are very successful at it. But I think I see what you mean. The drawings and the painting are (is?) missing the detail that really makes it pop. The charcoal drawings are missing quite a few value steps from mid to light range. The painting is also missing a lot of middle range. The painting renders more realistically than the drawings though because of the supportive aspect of color in the image.

    To answer your question, I picked up a book from Lee Hammond. I don't think you want to learn from her if you want to learn to paint. She herself doesn't paint that well IMO (yet). I'm not sure it really teaches you to draw either. She relies on the grid system and it may give you better outcomes, but I don't think it'll help you draw from life very well. Basically, I think you should draw with the PD, do some limited palette value studies (with paint). Do 9-10 value steps from black to white and paint only with those values. Use burnt umber if you want more of a sepia look. I would even use 9 different brushes. This teaches you to use a brush, obey your lines, and see values shapes abstractly.
    BOB73
  • edited October 2014
    rgr said:

    Not that it matters for this discussion but it's one of my pet peeves -- right/left lateralization of brain function is a myth, not supported by neuroscience. The mythological left/right brain split we have in pop culture comes from second hand sources (psychologists) where the primary source was flawed (debunked research published by a pair of neuroscientists in the 60s). I would suggest that any book that bases its method of learning on this is also flawed. wetcanvas in particular is notoriously unscientific.

    I definitely can't offer an informed opinion on the left/right brain thing, but I can tell you that we/I tend to symbolize familiar objects rather than seeing them abstractly and this translates into drawing and painting errors, e.g., eyes that are drawn as footballs with circles in them, eyes placed too high on the forehead, too white teeth with dark lines separating them, strands of hair, too green grass ... the list goes on and on. The first step to avoiding these errors, i.e., to learn to draw or paint, is to see these things as abstract masses. These books/courses helped me immensely. Wetcanvas drawing 101 course is mentored by volunteers and its light on theory.

  • edited October 2014
    MeganS said:

    I'm unsure of the direct correlation between drawing well and painting well.

    @MeganS I'm at one of those intersections right now: I learned how to model forms/masses as part of learning to draw and that comes up all the time in my painting. I'll be posting a painting soon (I keep saying that!) that involves a bowl lit on one side turning into shadow. I'm painting from life, but even using Mark's method, I'm heavily relying on what I know about modeling basic shapes to get this right. Its made more difficult because the bowl is white with blue decorations on it, and I've decided to paint it just white, so I'm not literally painting what's in front of me - I'm using what I know from drawing to fill in the blanks.



  • I definitely can't offer an informed opinion on the left/right brain thing, but I can tell you that we/I tend to symbolize familiar objects rather than seeing them abstractly and this translates into drawing and painting errors, e.g., eyes that are drawn as footballs with circles in them, eyes placed too high on the forehead, too white teeth with dark lines separating them, strands of hair, too green grass ... the list goes on and on. The first step to avoiding these errors, i.e., to learn to draw or paint, is to see these things as abstract masses. These books/courses helped me immensely. Wetcanvas drawing 101 course is mentored by volunteers and its light on theory.

    If they work for you, that's great. I only meant that attributing this to brain lateralization has no scientific support. If they claim to do something for you because of brain lateralization, I would question that. If they are useful because working out these abstractions (using what ever parts of the brain are necessary) are useful, then that sounds grand.

    Martin_J_Crane
  • Martin and Castillo, the videos are excellent and exactly what I am looking for at this point. I am not familiar with the Wet Canvas website but will look into it.

    Megan, your thoughtful critique of my drawings and painting were appreciated, focusing on improving my value steps is not something I was thinking about. I was more concerned with getting better at developing an accurate likeness - contours, proportions, etc. but I can see how your suggestion is just as important and would contribute greatly to a more realistic and moving portrait or picture.

    Kingston, you have a direct, to the point style with many of your posts that works for me. Loomis's book gives me plenty of material to work with. Good stuff. Hopefully in the future I will be able to participate in one of your portrait challenges.

    Thanks to all for your input and suggestions. I will checkout each of them, lots of great ideas.
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