14 Of The Best Books to Learn Drawing That You Can Get Today

Sep 1, 2021 | 0 comments

Are you looking for the best books to learn drawing? Searching for them but not really finding the ones you like and connect to? Well, that’s what we are going to talk about today. Keep reading!

Drawing is a fundamental skill in art-related practices, so learning how to draw is important whether you are a painter, a sculptor, an illustrator, or the like. And practicing your drawing skills is the key to refining and mastering it. With the help of drawing guide books, your practice and your progress will become better.

We have listed 14 of the best books to learn drawing and they are for artists of various levels.

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The Best Books to Learn Drawing

Drawing for the Absolute Beginner by Mark and Mary Willenbrink

When the authors said it’s for absolute beginners, they really weren’t kidding. The book begins at the very start and guides you as you begin your drawing journey. It starts with how to choose your materials, how to properly hold your pencil, and how to proportions and perspective.

As you go through the book, you’ll gradually move to more advanced lessons and learn about forms, lighting, perspectives, reflection drawing, and so many more.

This book will be great for people who do not have any background and experience in drawing but who are genuinely interested to be good at drawing.



Keys to Drawing by Bert Dodson

This is a popular book for amateur artists. It introduces 55 keys to drawing that will allow you to sketch anything. It teaches you how to convey light, depth, and texture through drawing practice exercises.

This book was published two decades ago but it is still relevant today. You will learn how to control your elbow and shoulder motions to make accurate lines. And this goes hand-in-hand with measurement and in seeing things accurately.

“Anyone who can hold a pencil can learn to draw.” – Bert Dodson



Perspective Made Easy by Ernest R. Norling

Perspective is a tricky technique to learn and master, but this book will make it easy for you to understand the basics of it. Perspective is one of the main fundamental art skills an artist needs to learn.

The great thing about this book is it teaches you the concept of perspective in a more understandable way. You will learn about vanishing points and horizontal lines. You will also get neat tricks to help you draw buildings and other things in perspective.

This book will not make you an expert, but it will definitely give you the background and knowledge you’ll need to master perspective drawing.



How to Draw What You See by Rudy De Reyna

This book is old, being published in the 1970s, yet it remains one of the best books to learn drawing. the author shares how to recognize basic shapes that you’ll see in every object and use those shapes as guides when you draw your subject.

This book will teach you about forms, shading, and perspective as well. It’s a simple book but a very helpful one.



Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards

As one of the most well-loved books for learning how to draw, this book has been translated into more than 17 languages. The book combines drawing exercises and theoretical knowledge about brain capabilities. It has a lot of practice drawing exercises that are perfect for beginners. It will teach you how to see negative space, perspective, and values.

When you are done with this book, you’ll be surprised how much you’ve learned on how to truly see the world around you.



The Natural Way to Draw by Kimon Nicolaides

This is a very content-heavy book. The author really expects the reader to take drawing seriously.

The Natural Way to Draw teaches you how to make objects and figures with a quick sketch artist’s attitude. The author emphasizes how to make marks quickly without being very concerned about your line quality.

If you are a complete beginner, this book will be hard for you and we don’t recommend you to get this. But if you are an aspiring illustrator and animator, this book will be your best teacher. This book will teach you how to capture figures and poses quickly with their weight and style.



Drawing the Head and Hands by Andrew Loomis

This is a classic drawing book that’s a reference to anatomy and there’s a whole treasure of information inside it. Not only will you learn how to draw portraits, but you will also learn how to draw hands.

You’ll learn and understand the principles and fundamentals behind drawing realistic portraits and master this skill as you pair it up with constant practice.

This book contains detailed and engaging information that will overwhelm you’ll want to take it slow.



Figure Drawing for All It’s Worth By Andrew Loomis

For beginners, this book by Andrew Loomis can make the biggest impact. Drawing figures can be daunting and arduous, and sometimes, it can be stressful, too, especially when you don’t even understand the basics.

This book breaks down the process of figure drawing by teaching you how to see the figure and how to construct it one line at a time. Figure Drawing for All It’s Worth is one of the best books to learn drawing and it is also one of the most highly recommended to learn figure drawing.



You Can Draw in 30 Days: The Fun, Easy Way to Learn to Draw in One Month or Less by Mark Kistler

Most of us think that drawing is an innate talent, but the author insists that it is actually a skill that can be acquired and developed.

This book will help anyone tap into their hidden artistic abilities and learn and master drawing. The only thing you need to do is to dedicate 20 minutes of your time every day for a month to draw. Of course, constant practice definitely produces results.

Inside the book, you’ll find the 9 fundamental laws of drawing to create the illusion of depth, time-tested tips, techniques, and tutorials for drawing in 3D, and 75 student examples to help gauge your own progress.



A Foundation Course in Drawing By Peter Stanyer and Terry Rosenberg

If you are on the lookout for a book that has extensive coverage of topics about drawing but is not too packed with information so you won’t be overwhelmed, this is the one.

This book will teach you the different ways to look at a subject by studying texture, light, space, shape, and form. You will also learn still life, landscape, the movement of figures, and abstract subjects from this.

This is the absolute definition of a foundation course for drawing. And although this book is not necessarily for beginners, its content is wide and varied and can be of some help for amateur artists.



Light for Visual Artists: Understanding & Using Light in Art & Design By Richard Yot

Learning how to render light and shadow in your drawing is a must if you want to refine your drawing skills.

This book is the best introduction to understanding the basic physics and artistic techniques of light and shadow. The book covers different materials and how they reflect light. The author also talks about the concepts of multiple light sources and how these affect subjects in a scene. There’s also a section about color selection for lights and shadows which is very helpful for artists using multiple media.

The best thing about this book is it is easy to follow. The detailed information is not loaded with technical terms and the chapters of the book make logical sense. A very handy book indeed to learn how to draw.



Traveling With Your Sketchbook by Joyce Ryan

This book by Joyce Ryan is popular among students because the author’s approach is casual and is best suited for those who are also experienced with sketching and drawing.

This book covers topics about how to sketch your environments, like nature and urban sceneries. There are many clear and helpful suggestions on drawing composition and techniques, and this book also offers exercises and examples for you to practice on and explore.



Vilppu Drawing Manual By Glenn Vilppu

Not many people know about this book because it’s been privately published by the author and his estate. This is a very underrated book but this has the most helpful drawing guides for life and figure drawing.

This book covers a range of topics from basic forms to measuring and constructing objects accurately from life.

This book is great for complete beginners who want to study a different approach to life drawing.



Draw 50 Animals: The Step-by-Step Way to Draw Elephants, Tigers, Dogs, Fish, Birds, and Many More by Lee J. Ames

Are you interested in learning how to draw animals? This book will help you learn how to draw elephants, lions, giraffes, rhinos, penguins, and more animals than you can ever think.

Draw 50 Animals is an easy step-by-step guide to drawing animals and it will help both children and adults develop their technical skills in drawing an animal subject.



And there you have it, 14 of the best books to learn drawing and further your skills and creativity. Of course, you’ll have to do your part and constantly practice to have noticeable progress.

If you found this article to be helpful, please share it with your friends who will also appreciate this blog. We aim to help artists to become better at their crafts, one at a time!

If you have any book recommendations that we might have missed, our comment section is open for you!

For more articles like this, visit our blog.

Renee Alexis

20-something Filipina, an introvert who loves young adult fiction, brush pens, Taylor Swift, and Mobile Legends. Coffee runs in my bloodstream.
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