Drawing Book Recommendations

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These are not just little tips and techniques, but a full course of learning how to see, think, and draw like an artist.

Here's a list of the top five drawing book recommendations you need to get you started or keep you going.


Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: The Definitive, 4th Edition

This is the definitive version of Betty Edwards' groundbreaking book that got me started drawing in the eighties.  


Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain Workbook: The Definitive, Updated 2nd Edition

The companion to the Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain drawing instruction book.  Additional exercises, and a way to have an enduring record of your learning.


Keys to Drawing

Another great classic among books on drawing, by the well-known illustrator Bert Dodson.  Incorporating ideas and methods of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain and other instruction books, he adds his own special take on teaching drawing.

Dodson has worked out a series of fifty-five keys, or key ideas, that he gives you to gradually develop your ability to see and draw.

E-book version:

Keys to Drawing

The Natural Way to Draw - A Working Plan for Art Study

Kimon Nicolaides' famous book is based on the year-long drawing course he offered at the Art Students' League in New York in the early 20C. This is where blind contour drawing started.

In this book he basically reproduces his course; if you decide to undertake it (I did) be prepared to follow a careful schedule of drawings and exercises he has prepared for you to do each week. 

One of the best-loved, if not THE best-loved book on drawing for beginners.

E-book version:

The Natural Way to Draw - A Working Plan for Art Study
Anatomy: A Complete Guide for Artists (Dover Anatomy for Artists)

One last drawing book recommendation.  This book was my bible in life drawing classes at the Ateliers de Beaux-Arts de Paris.  My colleagues couldn't keep their hands off my dog-eared copy.  This makes the basics of anatomy for artists clear.


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