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I am looking for the bare essentials for a beginning artist. What (3) would you all recommend?
Creative Illustration - Andrew Loomis. I'd start there.
If you're starting completely from scratch-
Perspective Made Easy - Ernest Norling
Figure Drawing for All its Worth - Andrew Loomis
Drawing People - Barbara Bradley
My first drawing teacher, Brian Curtis, also has a book out that helped me a lot when I didn't know you were supposed to do things like measuring, just called Drawing from Observation. Maybe give that one a gander too.
nah fransisco, even though those books are fucking ace ( my favoritebooks : O ) they shouldn't be on ones list for books to start out studying from.
If you can find Rex Vicat Cole's perspective for artists book, Andrew Loomis' books and
maybe something more specific on anatomy ( Hogarth's Dynamic Figures or Bridgemans Complete guide to drawing from life )
then you should be all set to study to become an artist.