Art: The greatest book ever for anyone desiring to be good at drawing is . . .
 
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  1. #1
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    Red face The greatest book ever for anyone desiring to be good at drawing is . . .

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  3. #2
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    Try Loomis to start out, they're all great but if you're very new to drawing I suppose fun with a pencil would be best. link also draw from life often and you might want to study drawings and paintings of masters.

    sketchbook blog tumblr

    The key to getting better at anything is to do it a lot.
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    "Classical Drawing Atelier" by Juliette Aristedes, "The Human Figure" by John Vanderpoel (to copy the drawings from) and "Alla Prima" by Richard Schmid. Those are three books I would highly highly recommend.

    I self-published a book on the fundamentals of drawing from life.

    http://www.amazon.com/Fundamentals-D...8951905&sr=8-1
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    What is the best approach to using that book for drawing? I have been reading it for two weeks and I am having trouble with making my own pictures look good and I cannot afford to not knowing how to draw. Should I copy Loomis's pictures or not? If not, then what should I do then?

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    Copy the drawings from the book.
    Take a step back and try to point out to yourself what you're doing wrong.
    Do a few doodles from your own imagination using what you absorbed when copying the drawings.
    Take a step back and try to point out to yourself what you're doing wrong.

    Repeat.

    -><-My sketchbook. Please, if you have time, crit as if your life depended on it.
    Or maybe check out my friends, they deserve it more.
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  8. #6
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    -_____-

    I don't mean this to be an insult to you, your intentions to become a better artist, or to any of the countless others who've asked this question on this forum, but there is NO SUCH THING as the "best book ever for anyone who wants to be good at drawing."

    There seems to be a common idol worship for the idea of art books as practical bibles for your artistic education, and no doubt more will quickly jump in here and immediately list Bridgman, Loomis and Ryder as the literal word of god. And while there is NO DOUBT that all these men and several other authors of drawing books are accomplished and extremely gifted draftsmen who have plenty of helpful insights, the books themselves will do nothing for you.

    The fundamentals of drawing and painting are numerous and consistent - most artists have a strength in describing one of those areas, usually by their training in a particular style: those who have had a more impressionistic training than others typically have strength in understanding colour theory. Those with a more painterly background tend to have superior strength in understanding and recognizing shape and graphic value. Those who have strong training in draftsmanship tend to have greater understanding of structure and form. etc, etc. When you are looking for education in ANY of these areas, study NATURE itself. It is nature and its laws after all, which the authors of those books are talking about. The only time you should use a book is to gain deeper insight into nature YOURSELF by reading the words of a more experienced practitioner which may or may not help clarify or trigger a greater understanding. But even then, YOU yourself have to do the work of materializing that new comprehension into ability.

    The only road to becoming a better draftsman and painter is to simply DO it. As with most things, mastery of craft comes from often boring and laborious repetition. I believe it was Bouguereau who said, "There is only one superior teacher, and that is nature." Study, study, study, and then STUDY some more until you understand. Some great exercises in the fundamentals of drawing and painting such as hue,value,chroma, structure, form, etc, are mastercopying, simple colour and value studies, drawing from casts, and glueing your sketchbook to your hands.

    "Art is the invisible, rendered visible, wrought with love"
    - Frank Mason
    MY SKETCHBOOK http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=143696
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    If you are looking for a book to get you jump started from square one then I'd recommend this one:
    "Your Artist's Brain" by Carl Purcell

    It presents most of the fundamentals in an easy to understand way with illustrations to back up the concepts. This is excellent for visual learners.

    What Oruhito says is true in that you have to "do". Meaning that no one book can teach you how to draw. Only you can teach yourself how to draw by drawing and using your analytical though process to determine what works best and what doesn't. Every book is biased in the author's favor. This is also an advantage in that you can use books to gain different perspectives and ways of doing things that will help you learn when you try them yourself.

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    Oruhito,

    - "study NATURE itself"
    I wouldn't recommend to do this entirely on your own though, otherwise you'll turn into an art Mowgli.

    - "Study, study, study, and then STUDY some more until you understand."
    You can "study" ballet all your life but this won't make you a great dancer without a good instructor.
    You can "study" something all your life without really comprehending a subject of your studies. The guidance of good instructors and books is a necessity, not a luxury.
    This goes for many disciplines, including arts.

    www.4-art.org - art educational books
    www.Practicum.org - art educational portal
    guru@4-art.org - my direct e-mail
    Russian Academy of Arts thread - all about it

    There was a sign on the Academy building, “Free Arts”. “What’s that?”, we asked our professor. – “That’s to be able to create anything, but to create what you want to.”
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    Not to be a complete smartass, and even though it sounds irreverent and snooty, I really don't mean it that way, but the best book ever to learn how to draw is your sketchbook. Muscle memory and control really only come through practice, like Oruhito said.
    A book can help, but if you are lost in the weeds completely, take a sketch class (preferably a life drawing class, no offense to the Atelier methodology), or a still life class. Living teachers can review your work and tell you what to work on, plus, and maybe more importantly, a peer group will help you figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are, and get you over the fear of displaying your work with out anonymoty.
    Worst comes to worse, and you can't afford a class with time or money, find some drawing styles you like by artists you like and copy their drawing, then with that style in mind and hand, go out in the world (or ride a bus) and draw what it is you want to learn. I order soda and beers and sketch people at bars, while pretending to be social with my friends =)

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  13. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Book Guru View Post
    Oruhito,

    - "study NATURE itself"
    I wouldn't recommend to do this entirely on your own though, otherwise you'll turn into an art Mowgli.

    - "Study, study, study, and then STUDY some more until you understand."
    You can "study" ballet all your life but this won't make you a great dancer without a good instructor.
    You can "study" something all your life without really comprehending a subject of your studies. The guidance of good instructors and books is a necessity, not a luxury.
    This goes for many disciplines, including arts.
    - Where did I say one should study on their own? The need for a mentor and teacher is critical. All I was saying, is that a book is not a teacher.

    - Once again, I didn't say one doesn't need an instructor. But when it comes down to it, as Robert Henri once said, "All education is self education." You could have Rubens or Rembrandt himself rise from the dead and be your personal painting guru, but you'll NEVER be able to paint until you yourself COMPREHEND (and subsequently materialize into ability) what it is that they're saying. As any good teacher will tell you, one doesn't 'learn' drawing from someone. They learn how to SEE. A bizarre pill to swallow, but most artist's technical abilities will evolve and reach a peek relatively early in their career and then plateau - but how they see often continues to evolve until the day they die. In other words, technical skills are easier to learn than learning to see visual input and conduct a painting in a methodical sequence. But that's a whole other convo.

    A book or even a living breathing instructor may (and most decent ones CAN) articulate the concept of 'seeing' a certain way, but they themselves literally CAN NOT manipulate how you SEE and then REGISTER something. They can manipulate and mold your technique until you hold your brush the exact same way, and become carbon copies of themselves, but they CAN NOT manipulate how you see and process information. Obviously a teacher can say or demonstrate something that might trigger you to understand, but the work of actually materializing that new found understanding into ability is entirely left to the individual. The fact that art critics exist proves my point - they can easily point out the technical inefficiencies or strengths of a masterpiece at whim, but the fact that they simply KNOW that or read it in a book doesn't mean they themselves can do jack shit.

    "Art is the invisible, rendered visible, wrought with love"
    - Frank Mason
    MY SKETCHBOOK http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=143696
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  14. #11
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    Lol Oruhito, you are very articulate.
    I agree with what you are saying. I think an artist needs to do art for themselves first and try to discover more about their own wants and goals from art, then explore how others accomplished those wants. Say you want better volume, you'll try to see it on your own first, experience the space the model takes, then ask for good books on volume. You will notice things in the book that will either agree with your own thoughts, or go against them.

    ANyways, I think good books to start off with are ones that teach gesture like Force by Mattesi, then the ones that teach volume like Bridgemans, then the anatomy ones to reinforce everything you learned. Then go back to gesture.

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    I agree with Oruhito 100%...but would like to mention a book I've found to be as close to a single, excellent book on observational drawing as I've ever seen. The book is "Drawing Essentials" by Deborah Rockman - covers everything you need to get started in the right direction.

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    I don´t have an artbook for recommendation but what I want to add to this topic is the 10.000 hour rule (mentioned in the book "Outliers")

    It says that if you want to achieve success in what you are doing you need to spend at least 10.000 hours of practise. This has been proven right with violinists and others. I think you can adapt this to artists as well.

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    My website for learning traditional fine art on your own! --- Derived from THIS thread at CA.org
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    drawing casts (geometric shapes, anatomical casts, skull), tutorials on Bargue drawing and cast drawing, Willow Charcoal, free drawing exercises
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