Are you looking for the top 10 drawing books available on the market, (for yourself or for someone else maybe?). Everyone who loves to draw should own a good selection of amazing and inspiring drawing books, something to go to every time you need a solid artistic nudge or you want to learn some new skills.
I myself own a few books that have helped me tremendously along the way and that I go back to frequently every time I need to brush up on a technique.
Now keep in mind this list will be a list of the top 10 drawing books I love and classics on Amazon that are super popular. Also I will be posting another list with books concerning digital techniques.
So here we go, my top 10 list of drawing books, enjoy!
- Figure Drawing For All Its Worth – This is an old classic by Andrew Loomis focusing on figure drawing and one of my all times favourite. While its stile may look a bit dated and it may as well be for modern standards, it’s a powerhouse of rock-solid fundamental drawing techniques and should be in the library of anyone even remotely serious about drawing.
- Drawing The Heads and Hands – Again by Andrew Loomis (you can tell I love this artist) one of the best book on Earth explaining how to tackle and master the difficult subject of drawing heads and hands with a realistic finish. Looking a bit dated on the style but my number one resource to tackle this subject.
- Dynamic Figure drawing – by Burne Hogarth. I simply love this book and yet it’s so different from the more traditional approach in the Andre Loomis book. Burne explores the strength and beauty of dynamic and stylized (non realistic) figures and explains techniques and underlying concepts necessary to create human figures in motion that posses a strong dynamic energy.
- Dynamic Wrinkles and Drapery: Solutions for Drawing the Clothed Figure – Do you struggle when it comes to dress your beautifully drawn characters with costumes showing believable wrinkles and folds? If you do, like I do, you will love this book by Burne Hogarth. I keep it with me all the time and it has been my top resource to crack the problem of drawing believable drapery and cloth wrinkles on my characters.
- Drawing Dynamic Hands – There are an infinity of books and tutorials that teach you how to draw hands but I have never seen one quite like this incredible book by Burne Hogarth. He knows that the way you draw hands can make or break the finish and quality of your character design and he goes to great lengths to explain how to draw and pose the (admittedly difficult to draw) hands consistently and effectively to achieve a sense of motion and dynamism.
- How to Render: the fundamentals of light, shadow and reflectivity – If you want to take your drawing to the next level you need to be able to render surfaces and reproduce the way different materials look when hit by light. This book gives you the practical knowledge necessary to render surfaces correctly with a series of exercises starting with simple forms and then moving to complex shapes like cars and planes. It’s a must buy particularly if you are into drawing shiny objects!
- Perspective Made Easy (Dover Art Instruction) – Knowing how to draw perspective is such a critical part of creating stunning images and yet it is such an underrated, and often completely ignored, skill among artists of all levels. Perspective comes into play in almost every drawing, be it a simple character design or a full fledged landscape. Mastering its secrets is tough but at least understanding its basic principles mandatory for a good artist and this book tries to make learning perspective an easy and enjoyable journey.
- Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist – I have to admit I have yet to find the perfect book that teaches anatomy to the artist, an ideal blend of great drawings, clear and concise anatomical information and plenty of poses and real life body positions. However I think this book might just be the next best thing, it comes packed with useful information and solid anatomical references to use over and over in every project involving the drawing of the human figure.
- Creative Illustration – Unlike some of Loomis‘s other books, this one is less about single drawing techniques but instead an advanced approach to putting all techniques together in making an effective illustration, with emphasis on line, tone, composition, drama, various mediums… it’s not for the beginner but if you aspire to be a better artist or illustrator, and want to nourish both sides of your brain, then this is ‘must-have’ for your library.
- Framed Ink: Drawing and Composition for Visual Storytellers – For the final book I have chosen something a bit different from the others, a book about composition. In short, composition is the art of “assembling” the elements of an image to tell a compelling story, the framing, the lighting, the spaces, everything that at the end of the day contributes to create a final image that is more than the sum of its parts. The author spends NO time on how you are supposed to draw and all the time on how you SHOW what you draw, you must check this out!
So, this is my personal list of the top 10 drawing books, but what is yours? What is your favourite drawing book or resource? Let me know in the comment section below!