Top 10 Books for Hand Drawing

books for hand drawing

Article by Irene Crowo Nielsen We take a look at a selection of our top 10 books for hand drawing, helping you to get better at this wonderful skill. Always wanted to grip a pencil and draw beautiful drawings? Have you looked at others and thought, “wow, that looks easy”, but when you try it is so hard! If yes, keep reading! Because here are some seriously inspiring books to improve your hand drawing skills whether you are just starting out, think you suck at hand drawing or are a more experienced drawer looking to take your drawing skills to the next level. Whether you want to draw realistic cityscapes, lifelike trees, or completely master the art of perspective drawing. It’s time to embark on your creative journey. Pick up your pencil and begin today!

Books for Hand Drawing

10. Drawing Trees (2007), by Victor Perard  This book is super-inspiring for how to draw realistic trees using different sketching techniques. It also offers plenty of trees in every height, shape, and type to trace.

Drawing Nature for the Absolute Beginner

Front cover of Drawing Nature for the Absolute Beginner by Mark Willenbrink, Mary Willenbrink

9. Drawing Nature for the Absolute Beginner: A Clear & Easy Guide to Drawing Landscapes & Nature (2013), by Mark Willenbrink, Mary Willenbrink This book offers a great beginner’s course on drawing nature. It is written in a fun and friendly teaching style and focuses on how you can realistically capture the world around you. You will learn how to break every component down into basic shapes and then how to add texture and detail and before you know it you have created realistic rocks, trees and other natural elements, step-by-step. 8. Keys to Drawing (1990), by Bert Dodson A book that pushes you to draw straight away, it has no first chapter with tools and descriptions. Use whatever pencil you have to get to the action; “look, hold, draw”. Dodson shares his complete drawing system – fify-five “keys” that you can use to render any subject with confidence, even if you are a beginner.
Digital Drawing for Landscape Architecture

Front cover of Digital Drawing for Landscape Architecture

7. Digital Drawing for Landscape Architecture: Contemporary Techniques and Tools for Digital Representation in Site Design – Bradley Cantrell and Wes MichaelsA digitized, contemporary version of a book such as Reid’s Landscape Graphics, Digital Drawing for Landscape Architecture bridges analogue and digital representation methods. Each chapter and section demonstrates varying techniques, from using Photoshop to create sections and plan graphics, to scaling and working with aerials. This is a great resource for anyone wanting to improve his software and rendering skills“. – Paul McAtomney – Top 10 Books For Landscape Architecture 6. The Urban Sketcher: Techniques for Seeing and Drawing on Location (2014), by Marc Taro Holmes Draw the moment; see the world. The Urban Sketcher teaches you how to complete drawings on the spot, it helps you achieve a fresh impression of not just what you see, but also what it feels like to be there. You will find everything from still lifes and architecture to people and busy street scenes in this one. Practical advice for working in the field, choosing subjects, capturing people in motion and more are covered through daily exercises. WATCH >>> The Urban Sketcher: Techniques for Seeing and Drawing on Location

5. The Art of Perspective: The Ultimate Guide for Artists in Every Medium (2007), by Phil Metzger If the concept of perspective makes you shiver, because you expect pictures of confusing angles, fancy measuring gadgets, and complicated theories, get ready for a very pleasant surprise! This book demystifies perspective, and presents simple but powerful techniques for achieving a convincing illusion of depth and distance. 4. You Can Draw in 30 Days: The Fun, Easy Way to Learn to Draw in One Month or Less (2011), by Mark Kistler If you want to start drawing, but you don’t know how or where to begin, this book is perfect for you! This book shows you quick and easy step-by-step instructions for drawing, from simple spheres to apples, trees, buildings, and the human hand and face. The mantra of this book “…In just 20 minutes a day for a month, you can learn to draw anything, whether from the world around you or from your own imagination.” 3. Experimental Drawing , 30th Anniversary Edition: Creative Exercises Illustrated by Old and New Masters (1992), by Robert Kaupelis This book is not your average “how-to-draw” book. It focuses on how you can improve the way you form ideas and concepts. You will most likely take your drawing skills to a new and more intriguing level by performing some of the innovative exercises you will find in the book. How about drawing models while blindfolded or integrating a grid system?

books for hand drawing

Front cover of The Art of Urban Sketching

2. The Art of Urban Sketching: Drawing on Location Around the World (2012), by Gabriel Campanario A book packed with inspiring drawings from more than 100 sketchers from all around the world. With different kinds of focus (architecture, people, landscapes), they altogether capture real places in real time. Learn the inside tips and tricks from the artists as each image has notes on the materials and time used to create it. 1. Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: the Definitive, 4th Edition (2012), by Betty Edwards A legend of a book. A must-have on your bookshelf. It is the world’s most widely used drawing instruction book. This book is not your typical “step-by-step” drawing book. It is packed with content to really explain techniques to enable you to bypass your left (logical) brain, and access your right brain (your subconscious mind). P.S. Any edition is good! There is a jungle of drawing books out there, but hopefully by now you see this jungle as a manageable one. Start with whatever interests you and take it from there, whether it’s drawing trees, landscapes, people, or cities, you will be surprised by how far you can go. Also check out this inspiring Landscape Architects Network article by Win for tutorials online in relation to drawing perspectives. Now, what do YOU want to draw? Go to comments Recommended Reading: 

Article by Irene Crowo Nielsen

Published in Blog

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