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1. Verdura : The Life and Work of
$31.47 $29.57 list($49.95)
2. Marker Magic : The Rendering Problem
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3. The Gashlycrumb Tinies
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4. New Drawing on the Right Side
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5. Cy Twombly: Fifty Years Of Work
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6. The Devonshire Collection of Italian
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7. Drawing on the Right Side of the
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8. The New Drawing on the Right Side
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9. Anatomy for the Artist
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10. Elephant House: Or, The Home of
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11. Lee Bontecou: A Retrospective
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12. Drawing With Children: A Creative
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13. Interior Graphic and Design Standards
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14. Fashion Design Drawing Course
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15. The Sketchbook: 80 Unique Designs
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16. The Natural Way to Draw : A Working
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17. The Art of Responsive Drawing
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18. Beautiful Botanicals: Painting
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19. Character Costume Figure Drawing
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20. Pencil Drawing Techniques

1. Verdura : The Life and Work of a Master Jeweler
by Patricia Corbett
list price: $55.00
our price: $55.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0810935295
Catlog: Book (2002-12-01)
Publisher: Harry N Abrams
Sales Rank: 38445
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Book Description

A master of metamorphosis, Sicilian duke-turned-jewelry-designer Fulco di Verdura (1898-1978) studded seashells with precious gems, transformed sailor's knots into pearl-encrusted necklaces, and wrapped blazing ruby hearts with braided gold rope. Since the mid-20th century, his ultrasophisticated neo-Baroque pieces have been the status symbols of a near-secret society of European blue bloods, Hollywood royalty, and Park Avenue patricians. Verdura's by-appointment-only patrons included Wallis Simpson, Marlene Dietrich, and Diana Vreeland, who considered his Maltese Cross cuffs an essential part of her daily uniform.

In this lavish book, featuring fresh color photographs as well as vintage images, Patricia Corbett presents a deft evaluation of Verdura's work and a glimpse inside his impossibly glamorous world. ... Read more


2. Marker Magic : The Rendering Problem Solver for Designers
by Richard M.McGarry, GregMadsen
list price: $49.95
our price: $31.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471284343
Catlog: Book (1992-12-01)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Sales Rank: 12283
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars I absolutely love this book!
This book got me through architectural school. Hand renderings were never my strong point until I got this book. My rendering skills went up considerably (along with my confidence and grades) and I still reference this book today in my professional career. The book gives great examples and the tips from the professionals are very informative. This is definately one of the best books on how to make profession looking presentations.

5-0 out of 5 stars Questions Answered Here
The question and answer format of this book is useful and allows a different kind of organization to its contents. It also incorporates the work of a broad cross-section of designers. This allows the editors to expose you to many of the best in different fields in which markers are used to increase the effectiveness of visual communication. While certainly useful for the beginner, it will also stimulate the more experienced designer. ... Read more


3. The Gashlycrumb Tinies
by Edward Gorey
list price: $9.00
our price: $8.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0151003084
Catlog: Book (1997-10-15)
Publisher: Harcourt
Sales Rank: 2538
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

"A is for Amy who fell down the stairs. B is for Basil assaulted by bears. C is for Clara who wasted away. D is for Desmond thrown out of a sleigh..." The rhyming couplets of this grim abecedarian are familiar, of course, to devotees of macabre humor, but the darkly crosshatched drawings are (as Poe put it) "the soul of the plot." Several years went by during which The Gashlycrumb Tinies: Or, After the Outing was not available in a small hardcover edition like this one, which is the true format for Edward Gorey's specialty, the adult picture book. (For those who wish to share the gloom there's a 10-copy assortment with The Curious Sofa.) ... Read more

Reviews (66)

5-0 out of 5 stars "N is for Neville who died of ennui"
But you will not die of ennui if you open this book. It illustrates the misfortunes of 26 children with names A-Z to a ghoulishly humorous rhyme. The cover image of the umbrella wielding symbol of death and his doomed "tinies" is one of the most famous artwork out there; especially in the gothic world. Inside are drawings of the children before or after their sudden deaths. My favorite is "H is for Hector done in by a thug" with a drawing of an innocent schoolboy and two arms holding a long piece of cloth in the background. No doubt this scene was inspired by the barbaric cult that practiced ritual strangulation known as the "Thuggies." The most gruesome drawing is "K is for Kate who was struck with an axe" the rest are more witty than grisly. Like the title, this book is tiny in size as well but big on macabre humor!

5-0 out of 5 stars DARK FUN
Edward Gorey's illustrations, those spindly, dark and often macabre etchings of pen and ink, are instantly evocative - they place you in a dark, vampire-ish Victorian-era place, where behind every curtain lurks another pair of hands with a scarf, ready to choke you. This truly inspired, and hilarious, collection of drawings and their accompanying poem, detail the ghastly deaths of 26 children, one by one, through the alphabet. Whether you are a fan of Gorey's large paperback compilations, or of his spectacular set designs (Dracula), or not, this book is strictly for those with a twisted sense of humor. And if yours is, you will love it. Since I first read this 20 years ago, friends still quote it - "A is for Amy who fell down the stairs...."

5-0 out of 5 stars Drop-Dead Humor from A to Z
Edward Gorey's dark subversion of children's alphabet books is a tiny book guaranteed to bring a sinister smile to the face of every one with a twisted sense of humor. Opening with "A is for Amy who fell down the stairs" and running all the way to "Z is for Zilla who drank too much gin," the simple but inspired rhymes combine with Gorey's pseudo-Victorian Gothic crosshatch illustrations to wickedly funny effect.

Although his disaster-specific illustrations (such as "R is Rhoda consumed by a fire") are macabrely witty, Gorey is really at his best when he leaves the most to your imagination. Consequently, it is really his illustrations of impending doom ("P is for Prue trampled flat in a brawl") or the shocking aftermath of an unknown circumstance ("K is for Kate who was struck with an ax") that are most likely to inspire a mischievous grin.

Although you might not want to give this to your anxiety-prone niece or your traumatized stepson as a Christmas stocking stuffer unless you wish to make them worry about your intent, older children will likely find it every bit as comical as adults--but adults are the real audience here, much more likely to catch the drop-dead humor involved. Wickedly amusing and sinisterly charming in every way.

GFT, Amazon Reviewer

5-0 out of 5 stars Cute and Creepy
This is for anyone with that sense of humor that most people just don't seem to get. A genuis dark twist on teaching the ABC's... very delightful.
~CS112_tih2

5-0 out of 5 stars A cool little book
I'm so surprised to find this book here! I actually have this one! My cousin bought it for me, knowing my morbid sense of humor. It's pretty funny if you have my kind of humor. ... Read more


4. New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain Workbook:Guided Practice in the Five Basic Skills of Drawing
by Betty Edwards
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.56
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1585421952
Catlog: Book (2002-10-01)
Publisher: Tarcher
Sales Rank: 1331
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Millions of people have learned to draw using the methods of Dr. Betty Edwards. Now, in an essential companion to her bestselling classic, Edwards offers readers the key to mastering this art form: guided practice in their newfound creative abilities.

Here are forty new exercises that cover each of the five basic skills of drawing. Each practice session includes a brief explanation and instructional drawings, suggestions for materials, sample drawings, and blank pages for the reader's own drawings. Also provided in this spiral-bound workbook is a pullout viewfinder, a crucial tool for effective practice.While The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain focused primarily on portrait drawing with pencil, this workbook gives readers experience in various subject matter-still life, landscape, imaginative drawing-using alternative mediums such as pen and ink, charcoal, and cont&eacute crayon.

For all those who are taking a drawing class, who have already received instruction through a book or course, or who prefer to learn by doing, this volume of carefully structured "homework" offers the perfect opportunity to reinforce and improve their skills and expand their repertoire.
... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Portable Classroom
I started out as an insecure, fumble-fingered incompetent -- couldn't even doodle. With the techniques Edwards puts forth, I've been able to learn a tremendous amount about drawing, and about looking at the world (a side-effect not to be understimated). This workbook provides a classroom experience for those who can't find or afford a classroom. For those of us with some experience, it's a great refresher course. I recommend it very highly. In fact, I'm ordering my second copy, for an insecure, fumble-fingered friend.

1-0 out of 5 stars 80% "wordy" text, but only 20% illustration
"DRAWING ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BRAIN"?

Same author also wrote: "Drawing on the Artist Within".

In one instance, it is drawing on one side of the brain, and in the other, it's drawing on the "artist within". Next year, perhaps "drawing on" the cash in your wallet. Betty Edwards is an art fad theorist.

What EDWARDS actually offers is a psychological crutch, for all the drawing instruction is founded upon a singular theory. Art has never been founded upon a singular theory. Often as not, ART is the anti-thesis, the opposite, of all theorizing. EDWARDS makes the practice of ART a theory-dependent activity. I cannot recall it was ever considered beneficial that we all be bound by a confusing theory. It's a very undemocratic idea; but at the same time, credit Edwards with coy marketing.

What does one actually draw WITH? Is it one half of the human brain? ...OR... Is it the Heart? Because if it is the latter, EDWARDS' art theorizing collapses. To put this in simplest terms, I venture to state that strong artists draw from their HEART, and that is what makes Edwards' rambling intellectualizing so corny.

ART is the opposite of any such instruction that reduces itself to any kind of theoretical hand-holding. And for these reasons, EDWARDS books are a conflicting hodge-podge of New Age metaphysics, pseudo-scientific jargon, infectious ideas, the nature of which, great ART has been combating from time immemorial, for all such ideas place a crippling limitation upon free spirits. Art is about freedom, rather than the binding or crippling attachment to intellectualizations, human fear, doubt, insecurity or angst. If you are not burdened with such negativisms, there is no reason to buy Edwards' theory; no need to draw-on-the-cash-in-your-wallet.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent tool for artists and non-artists
I have to disagree with the few negative reviews that have recently appeared for the Edwards workbook.

This is a fine gift for anyone interested in learning to draw. While it doesn't go into depth as "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" does, it does provide enough information to get started - the methods and approach of Dr. Edwards are groundbreaking and absolutely essential information if you want to use your WHOLE brain. (And yes, Nicolaides' book is important, too, but Edwards work is very complementary to it, and carries his work many steps further...)

5-0 out of 5 stars A fine workbook - worth the price!
This isn't meant to replace Edwards' outstanding books, including the classic Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. But it is helpful with its exercises, drawing tool, and current research. Don't expect miracles, but do expect improvement in your drawing skills! ...

5-0 out of 5 stars A great resource!
I have loved every book that Betty Edwards has published, and this workbook is an excellent "companion" to those. If you already know how to draw and want to brush up on your skills, this book has some excellent tools and tricks to support you. If you're just learning to draw, it is a supportive guide. Buy it along with THE NEW DRAWING ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BRAIN, and they will change your life! ... Read more


5. Cy Twombly: Fifty Years Of Work On Paper
by Cy Twombly
list price: $75.00
our price: $47.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1933045175
Catlog: Book (2005-05-30)
Publisher: Schirmer/Mosel
Sales Rank: 65985
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Amazon.com

When the Hermitage in St. Petersburg celebrated the city's 300th anniversary in 2003, they assembled a selection of 50 years of Cy Twombly's works on paper, coinciding with the artist’s seventy-fifth birthday. At first look, even the most savvy and well-heeled art lover is apt to think "my kid could do that," and there is a (very surface) bit of truth to this. Twombly, an American who moved to Rome in the 1950s, was obviously influenced by Jean Dubuffet's idea of art brut, as well as the work of Paul Klee, and of children. But it doesn't take long to see Twombly's genius. He created something very new with the pure gestures of abstract expressionism, and in this survey it's a joy to see the ways his work constantly changed, from adopting some of the formal strictures of minimalism in the 1970s to embracing vivid colors in the 1980s. Like the graffiti scratches (ancient and modern) that are perhaps Twombly’s greatest influence, it's very playful, often rather dirty work. Unlike graffiti, it's exceptionally labored over. Once you can decipher his scratchy line, you notice that the subtle interplay of words and images is matched by very few others, though the work of Raymond Pettibon and Nancy Spero do spring to mind. Assembled for the St. Petersburg's show's arrival at the Whitney Museum in New York City, this book is a joy. Simon Schalma's essay is ribald, terse and excellent, while Roland Barthes’ writing is, unsurprisingly, worth the price of the book alone. In a review for the New York Times of the show at the Whitney that this book accompanies, Holland Coter wrote that Twombly's early highly referential works are "as if Western cultural history was unfolding on the walls of a toilet stall." It's hard to think of higher praise. --Mike McGonigal ... Read more


6. The Devonshire Collection of Italian Drawing: Roman and Neapolitan/Venetian and North Italian Schools/Tuscan and Umbrian Schools/Bolognese and Emili (Devonshire Collection)
by Michael Jaffe
list price: $525.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0714829374
Catlog: Book (1994-12-01)
Publisher: Phaidon Press Inc.
Sales Rank: 443311
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7. Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: A Course in Enhancing Creativity and Artistic Confidence
by Betty Edwards
list price: $16.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0874775132
Catlog: Book (1989-05-01)
Publisher: J P Tarcher
Sales Rank: 45738
Average Customer Review: 4.68 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (34)

5-0 out of 5 stars Practical, to the point, effective and interesting!!!
This book is a must have, not only for people interested in learning how to draw but also for those interested in the psychology around the skill. The book explains really clearly how the drawing process works and develops, and how to achieve great results if you feel you don't have the natural skill. I have taken many drawing lessons and I already apply many of the principles in this book, however, I found it very refreshing and I enjoyed doing the exercises very much!!! I highly recommend it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Drawing Out Hidden Talent
When my wife, an artist, received this book recently as a gift, we both had a good laugh over it, for Emma is self-taught and extremely talented in many areas of artistic expression. Good-natured and a voracious reader, she cracked open the book and was pleasantly surprised by what she learned about herself and the way humans visually perceive things. Drawing On The Right...can't turn no-talents into featured artists at big-city galleries, but it can open the doorway between the creative mind and worried hands and allow those who "can't draw a straight line" to find delight in doing simple portraits or design where there was little aptitude for these things before. Emma thoroughly enjoyed the simple exercises and her work underwent an immediate leap towards the refinement of her style. It also helped her experiment artistically with styles she'd never explored before. I relented and read it myself, amazed at my own progress with simple line drawings and determining the placement of shadow. She'll always remain the artist, but now I can better express my own ideas on paper with brushes or graphite, sketching for my own enjoyment or giving her outlines she can flesh out for me with colors and shadows. Not entirely an instructional guide, Drawing...reads nothing like a boring textbook and ventures into fascinating studies of people who've suffered brain injury and how this affects perception. A fantastic and highly recommended book for artists (even great ones), art therapists, art teachers, beginning artists, or anyone who ever thought they had no talent or couldn't accomplish anything. This book gives hope where there was none before, can boost self-esteem, and improves near-perfection in art.

1-0 out of 5 stars 80% written text, but only 20% illustration
Betty Edwards book, "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" is 80% text and only 20% illustration for all 254 pages, and very few of the illustrations are from Edwards.

It is a clunky and overly intellectual approach to drawing. According to p. 46, an "alternative state of consciousness" is required before one can draw. Gee, okay, if you want to limit yourself with that, go ahead.

Otherwise, Edwards shifts back and forth (virtually without warning) between unscientific New Age rhetoric and scientific empiricism. Some scientists are quite amused, I am sure, to find Edwards describing human sight like so:

"By the most direct means your visual perceptions stream through the human system--through retinas, optic pathways, brain hemispheres, motor pathways --to magically transform an ordinary sheet of paper into a direct image of your unique response." -Betty Edwards, DRSB, p. 248

If sight is "magic" as Edwards ascertains, optometrists are not doctors, but magicians or wizards. That's very coy, but boring nonetheless, even if some very dull people need to buy a book to be informed of such trivial and highly personalized views.

With a penchant for a New Age rhetorical style of writing, it is not surprising that Edwards makes a foray into discussing "Zen" by Chapter 12, entitled, "The Zen of Drawing Out the Artist Within". It's a very corny trend in American culture, when you want to baffle the audience, just mention "zen" as though both you and they knew precisely what you are talking about, the "zen" of something. It sounds very exotic and other-worldly, similar to a science fiction book or movie where they name things with lots of X's and Z's and K's. As long as nobody questions anything, the pretending isn't a problem. After all, everyone knows precisely what you mean by "The Zen of Drawing Out the Artist Within", right? Oh sure, by all means....er....um.....

I believe the real purpose that this book was written, had something to do with...."The Zen of Drawing Money Out Of Everybody's Wallet".

5-0 out of 5 stars This book will improve your drawing immensely!
I read this book, and later took a course based on this book. In fact, the book was really all I needed. For anyone who thinks drawing is a talent you have to be born with-check out the drawings by Van Gogh included in this book. It seems Vincent was in despair and was going to give up art, until he read a book on drawing (but not this one!). The author gives a before and after example of Van Gogh drawings. The difference was amazing, and clearly shows that drawing is a skill you can learn, no matter how inept your drawing is at first. Do the tasks in this book, and while you may not draw as well as Vincent (or you may), you will be pleased with the improvement you make.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great book!
I am incredibly happy to have found this book. I have just completed all the lessons (it took me about 6 months with a few breaks), and my family is amazed at how well I can draw now. I'm still amazed when I look at my "before" drawings. My improvement is as dramatic as the before and after pictures she shows in the book.

I checked out The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain from the library because I thought a new version might be more helpful. There are some parts that were explained more clearly in the New book, but it requires a lot of materials. I found it harder to stick with. It was at this point that I was almost ready to quit. I picked up the the old one again, though, and resumed the lessons. However, reading different explanations of the same concept was very helpful.

I became very frustrated because for a long time, I saw little improvement (though now I see I was pretty critical of myself). If you stick with it, you should begin to see results.

I don't think I go into "right-brain mode" every time I draw, and I was ready to give up at first because she stresses that this is the most important part. However, I have learned to draw anyway, even without fully entering into this right-brain mode. Maybe most people do experience this, but I didn't exactly as she described. Even so it teaches you the fundamentals of drawing. I took a weekend drawing class and found I knew as much as people who had taken art classes before.

I looked at other drawing books and found this one to be the easiest to follow and the most encouraging. She is very good at demystifying the process of drawing. I've heard The Natural Way to Draw is also very good, but he expects you to have access to models over a period of several months, which few people have.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who thinks they have no talent in drawing, which is what I believed too. I'm convinced, after completing this book, that anyone could learn to draw if s/he just took the time and effort to do so. ... Read more


8. The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain
by Betty Edwards
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.86
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0874774241
Catlog: Book (1999-09-01)
Publisher: Putnam Publishing Group
Sales Rank: 612
Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

illustrated with 12-page color photo insert and line art throughout

A revised and expanded edition of the classic drawing-instruction book that has sold more than 2,500,000 copies.

When Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain was first published in 1979, it hit the New York Times bestseller list within two weeks and stayed there for more than a year. In 1989, when Dr. Betty Edwards revised the book, it went straight to the Times list again. Now Dr. Edwards celebrates the twentieth anniversary of her classic book with a second revised edition.

Over the last decade, Dr. Edwards has refined her material through teaching hundreds of workshops and seminars. Truly The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, this edition includes:

* the very latest developments in brain research;
* new material on using drawing techniques in the corporate world and in education;
* instruction on self-expression through drawing;
* an updated section on using color; and
* detailed information on using the five basic skills of drawing for problem solving.

Translated into thirteen languages, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is the world's most widely used drawing-instructionguide. People from just about every walk of life--artists, students, corporate executives, architects, real estate agents, designers, engineers--have applied its revolutionary approach to problem solving. The Los Angeles Times said it best: Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is "not only a book about drawing, it is a book about living. This brilliant approach to the teaching of drawing . . . should not be dismissed as a mere text. It emancipates."
... Read more

Reviews (79)

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended! A great start for drawing newbies!
I have been drawing for a long time (since I was 4). Drawing is a major influence and passion in my life, so I always am looking for new art books, and new perspectives on drawing. I consider this book to be an excellent addition to any artist's (or aspiring artist's) library.

Also, I once attended a class taught by one of Betty Edwards' students. It was such a helpful and inspiring class, and everyone improved dramatically. It was a wonderful class.

Even though I am no longer a drawing "newbie", I found new insights and new ways to observe and see, thanks to this book. It truly can help new artists and "non" artists draw more accurately. It's amazing! Fabulous!

However, this book is not the ultimate book on drawing, and it should never be regarded as such. It cannot possibly answer every question, or provide every insight. It is only a first step. Drawing accurately is just one component to being an artist. (And I hasten to add, I'm REAL big on drawing accurately, I think it is important.) There is a lot of exploration and growth that each artist must undertake in order to fully develop. There will be further study of anatomy, color, line, etc. etc. This book does not pretend to teach everything, and no one should expect it to.

But, don't worry about that right away, if you are a "newbie". Get the book, enjoy it, learn from it, and then look into other books. This book will give you that needed "jump start" and will help you gain a great deal of confidence. You will be most pleased with the progress you will be able to make, thanks to this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Quite simply the best book on drawing what you see
Drawing is the basis of most art so this fundamental skill is taught first in most traditional settings. What this so often fails to do is teach the perceptual underpinnings of draughtsmanship, focussing instead on the academic, 19th century "école" practice (itself a product of the Renaissance studio system) of repetition, copying and study of master works which emphasise the mechanics of drawing. While valuable, for the vast majority of students this may only yield results after years of rigorous application and for some will never work.

Despite having taken the traditional art school route this book taught me that there was still much to learn about how to see. Perhaps more importantly it showed me how much misinformation I had been exposed to and had accepted blindly for many years, only to have my eyes opened (literally!) the first time I picked it up.

I haven't had the opportunity to check out this latest edition but if it is even better than the first then it will prove even more invaluable.

For beginners hoping to draw for the first time or more experienced artists who feel their drawing could take a step up, this cornerstone work will enable you to unlock your hidden potential allowing you to produce work that will surprise even you!

5-0 out of 5 stars indescribable
Anyone who has anything bad to say about this book is
lost in space. There is no person on earth who cannot improve
after doing the projects in this book. Just one thing I would like to note: Try to take this class with a teacher so you don't give up in the middle. Once you get over the muscle pain in your right brain you'll thank yourself a million times over that you did it. You will see things you have never
noticed before and when you show people your drawings their jaws
will drop on the floor. One more thing: Never have a coffee (with caffeine) before doing the projects. You have to be very
calm and get into the drawing like a musician has to get into
the music.
I am thrilled that I am almost finished with the course, and
now I can draw almost ANY object I see.

1-0 out of 5 stars [80% text / 20 % illustration ] & an historic falsehood
"The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" by Betty Edwards

The great falsehood here is that by using some drawings from the Rennaissance, Edwards would have the reader believe that "The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" is in the spirit of the "classical tradition"; but that is not so in the light of certain historical facts which even the most amateur of art historians can present.

FACT THE FIRST:

We must examine what is known of the classical tradition and Rennaissance Art and its view of drawing, and that means considering the historical view of Giorgio Vasari, himself a Rennaissance master, briefly apprenticed to Michaelangelo, and author of the 16th Century biography "The Lives of the Artists" our single most important source on the classical tradition.

As stated in the most recent translation of "The Lives of the Artists," by Julia and Peter Bondanella:

"Vasari's interpretation of his subject matter was documented and argued so persuasively that it has, in large measure, remained the dominant view of Italian Renaissance
art ever since".
-p. x, Introduction, "The Lives of the Artists" by Giorgio Vasari, translated by Julia and Peter Bondanella

FACT THE SECOND:

Having established Vasari as the genuine authority on the classical tradition of drawing, we must consider Vasari's viewpoint on the type of art theorizing which Betty Edwards uses.

"Vasari was opposed to any artistic style that exhibited pedantic book learning, academic exercise, or unusual, laborious effort." -p. xii, the Introduction, Vasari's "The Lives of the Artists" translated by Julia & Peter Bondanella

The same page cites another authority, Baldesar Castiglione, (1478 - 1529 ) author of "Book of the Courtier" which argued:

"True art, according to Castiglione, was art which did not reveal itself to be art and was produced efforlessly and without obvious signs of study and emphasis upon technique." -from p. xii, The Introduction, Bondanella translation, Vasari's "The Lives of the Artists".

In view of these two substantial facts, Edwards employs fuzzy New Age jargon to present a HOW-TO-DRAW book, heavy on fuzzy art theorizing, metaphysical rambling, and philosophical mythology. Ewards essentially has served up a FAST FOOD menu of New Age ramblings advertized as a classical feast. The combining of Asian religion with Western art is not timely at this juncture for it has already been achieved through 19th Century Impressionism, over a century and more in the past.

5-0 out of 5 stars Funny how many people can't draw in art classes...
I started my art experience with this book, and to it I give much credit. For me, it was like a "light switch" had been turned on. One day I could not draw, the next day I could. I did take the lessons seriously, and completed the book. If you are new, this book delivers on it's promises. It doesn't matter if the right/left part is correct or not, the fact is - the methods work. There are many other things to master, but the ability to draw correctly is what separates real artists from the fake ones, of which there are many. Drawing is the foundation. If you want to learn how to draw, this book will take you where you want to go faster than any other. Later, when you are in that expensive oil painting class, and 11 out of the 15 students are stuck because they can't draw, you will be thankful that you started off with this book. You will be one of those who can at the very least render your subject correctly. ... Read more


9. Anatomy for the Artist
by Sarah Simblet, John Davis
list price: $40.00
our price: $25.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 078948045X
Catlog: Book (2001-10-01)
Publisher: DK Publishing Inc
Sales Rank: 9754
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Anatomy for the Artist is like having your own life-drawing studio in the privacy of your home. Carefully constructed photographs of the human form allow you to see the structure and function of the skeleton and main muscle groups. Six imaginative drawing lessons, each supported with photography, show how to portray the bones, head, rib cage, pelvis, hands, and feet in perspective, from different angles, both in still poses and in movement. ... Read more

Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply fantastic!
I'm an art student taking a life drawing class, and I have looked at a number of books on anatomy and own several, most of which I find unequal to my needs. Some are geared to people in health-related fields, and some are geared to artists.

Of all the books I have seen on artistic anatomy, this is one of the absolute best. The translucent paper overlays of anatomical structures are very helpful to an artist trying to figure out how bones, muscles, and skin all fit together. Additionally, the photography is amazing, modern, and not at all cheesey. There are many different motion shots and poses depicted, and the drawing lessons and "master classes" are truly useful to any developing artist and should help people refine their skills and gain confidence in this difficult area of drawing. My only quibble: I could have done with fewer explicit shots of genitalia, but they were necessary to a book that covers its topic as completely as this one.

The bottom line is that this book is worth its weight in conté crayons.

4-0 out of 5 stars A worthwhile anatomy book
This book doesn't try to contain all the knowledge there is related to anatomy and drawing the human figure. That would take several volumes or more. It just does a few important things well. I think the main strength of this book is that it gives you an intuitive feeling for the human body's structure. It does a lot more than just list parts. It tells you how the body works, how the parts work together, and the nature of those parts. She gives you more scientific and historical information than other books generally do. The second strength is the large number of well-lit photographs of fit, lean, muscular models in many informative, useful poses. The models are pretty good for seeing the contours of muscles, bones, and connective tissues. I think the inclusuion of a few body builders might've been good too. The latter chapters of the book deal with poses and the body in motion. They include many photographs of models. I appreciated this, and it's something not a lot of anatomy books have.
As for the overlays, I didn't think they were all that important. As for the drawings of the muscles and bones, they were useful and good, but they could've been better. I would've prefered some sort of smoothly shaded renderings instead of scratchy pen & ink drawings. It would also have been nice to have the muscles in different colors so they'd be easier to differentiate. Although vellum is nice, it tends to warp from humidity and it's not transparent enough. Therefore it would've been better to make the overlays out of plastic.
While this isn't the be-all, end-all of anatomy books, I think it is one of the better books to include in your anatomy library. I have several other great anatomy books besides this one.

3-0 out of 5 stars Excellent photography. Average content.
This is an interesting book in that the photography is excellent. Do you like nude bodies that are in very good shape? This one has it in excess. As one who has studied artistic anatomy for over twenty years I own just about every book written on the subject. One of the things I appreciate are sources showing surface anatomy; with models that have muscle definition. The odd thing about this book is how much could have been done with it. There are about 7 or 8 transparencys that over lay the photos. All but one of these show the skeletal detail over a photo. When I am looking at the surface anatomy of a figure and trying to determine which muscles are which, I would rather have an overlay of the muscles than of the skeleton. This must have been the decision of an editor. The drawings depicting the muscles are good, no better than what has been done. Goldfinger's Human Anatomy for Artists or Richer's Artistic Anatomy are very hard to beat. The other odd note about this book is the bibliography. It's as though the items chosen were selected for their quirky nature and not their value as a source of information. Five stars for the photography, negative two stars for the anatomical content.

4-0 out of 5 stars decent
decent book but could have had a heck of alot more poses. The book splits the body into categories which is helpfull but I would have also liked to see a whole section of various poses for study.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must have for serious artist
This is the best reference guide for drawing people that I have found. The poses and lighting are excellent! Most artist references on the figure show the skeleton and muscles but this book uses semi-transparent overlays so an artist can see a photo of a person then, using the overlay, see how the skeleton or muscles shape the body. A must have for any serious artist. ... Read more


10. Elephant House: Or, The Home of Edward Gorey
by Kevin McDermott, Edward Gorey
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0764924958
Catlog: Book (2003-09)
Publisher: Pomegranate Communications
Sales Rank: 32473
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

An intimate photographic journey through Edward Gorey's home. ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars A specialty item for the true Gorey collector
Even dedicated fans of Edward Gorey will probably know very little about his personal life: he was an enigmatic recluse and few were permitted past his front door. Photographer Kevin McDermott's Elephant House will delight students of architecture and photography, providing rich duotone works of Gorey's intriguing home and its contents. A specialty item for the true Gorey collector, Elephant House is an impressive photographic showcase and a welcome addition to both architectural studies and photographic studies reference collections.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fruitful Coursework
M. McDermott's luxuriant photos admirably capture the subversive hermeneutics of desire at work in every compartment of Edward Gorey's capacious mind. To judge from these photos, at home as much as in his work Gorey enacted a subaltern erotics of duplicity and dialectic: the precise, almost fussy, arrangements of salt shakers and stones, frog spectators and secret guests which echo the Edwardian-styled detail of his famous books and their ecstatic decodification of heterosexual longing into a polysemous weave of interleaved multitextuality illuminate a life's work spent dancing on a metacritical pin. Queer and gender theorists take note: Elephant House will reinvigorate your every critique -- about Edward Gorey and his work, and of course, the texts his prism redacts.

5-0 out of 5 stars At Home With Edward Gorey
Kevin McDermott's Elephant House is an impressive new photography book. The photographs, taken only days after Edward Gorey's death, afford us an intimate portrait of the man as he lived. The book contains insightful photographs that capture the fine details of the way Edward lived and worked in his own space. Gorey clearly had a fascination with light and texture. He scattered a massive array of objects all about his home with a nearly curatorial eye. McDermott's well composed photos not only capture this aspect of Gorey but illustrate a common thread between these two artists: texture. One photograph depicts groups of small stones as they congregate idly on the rough wood of the porch. The cityscape of salt and pepper shakers and a plate of gourd-like, spherical shapes are beautiful studies in the texture and form of ordinary objects abstracted from their normal contexts, while many others are still lives made of the house's windows and the eclectically arranged objects in front of them. The blue bottles in a few images glow like stained glass as the washed-out light of a cloudy day streams in through them. What makes many of the color images so interesting is the spare, nearly monochromatic palette of colors in the rooms which are offset by only the blue luminosity of bottles or the green leaves of spring showing in the background. These are beautiful photographs independent of their connection to Edward Gorey, but serve also to enhance our understanding of him. The text is an entertaining and candid glimpse of Gorey as a friend knew him, and provides a nicely guided tour through each room. This book is handsomely crafted and thoughtfully designed, and I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in photography or Edward Gorey.

5-0 out of 5 stars Elephant House or the home of Edward Gorey
Edward Gorey was a mysterious personage. His works often leave one thinking "what next?". Elephant House by Kevin McDermott helps relieve much of this worry. Mr. McDermott has captured through his photographs and text what it was like to spend time with the elusive Mr. Gorey. This is a personal and moving tribute to a friend that never feels intrusive, but rather illuminates Mr. Gorey and the daily world he invented and inhabited. For those of us who have made Mr. Gorey a part of our own daily lives, Elephant House lets us spend some quality time with the man through his surroundings. A gem and a gift.

5-0 out of 5 stars Elephant House, Or the Home of Edward Gorey
This Fabulous book gives us a photographic incite into Edward Gorey, the man. It enlightens the reader with an increased knowledge of the sources of the characters and whimsy of the Groey books. The personal anecdotes of McDermott, made you wish you could have known the man in real life. Gorey would have been pleased with his friend's understanding of who he was. The photographers eye, saw the "art" of Gorey in his everyday surroundings. It was like walking in Gorey's shoes from room to room. A must have book for every Gorey fan. ... Read more


11. Lee Bontecou: A Retrospective of Sculpture and Drawing, 1958-2000
by Elizabeth Smith, Robert Storr
list price: $50.00
our price: $31.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0810946181
Catlog: Book (2003-09-23)
Publisher: Harry N Abrams
Sales Rank: 11660
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

In the 1960s, the American artist Lee Bontecou was heralded as one of the most important young artists of her time. Painstakingly crafted from castoffs--Army surplus and canvas conveyor belts from a neighboring laundry--her wall reliefs evoked a fearsome sci-fi world of black holes and bared teeth, a mysterious doom-filled terrain no one had ever seen before. In the mid-'70s, however, Bontecou disappeared from the art scene, declining to take part in exhibitions. Lee Bontecou: A Retrospective revisits five decades of this extraordinary artist's work. The texts include Elizabeth A.T. Smith's overview of Bontecou's career, Robert Storr's nuanced analysis of the cultural context of the work, Donna De Salvo's remarks about the otherworldly drawings, and a pivotal essay from 1965 by the sculptor Donald Judd. Especially intriguing is Mona Hadler's brief discussion of Bontecou's personal interests (insect life, model airplanes) and political beliefs. No one has much to say about the critically disparaged vacuum-formed plastic sculptures of fish and flowers from the 1970s. But Bontecou's intricate drawings and recent series of suspended sculptures, which Smith describes as "something between a helicopter and an insect," continue to explore a natural realm that combines delicacy and menace. Lee Bontecou, which contains 175 full-color illustrations, accompanies an exhibition of the same title at the UCLA Hammer Museum in Los Angeles through Jan. 11, 2004, which travels to Chicago and New York. --Cathy Curtis ... Read more

Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars re: the photographic record
I just studied both the book and the exhibition in Chicago. The works are wonderful first hand. The book is a nice supplement in some ways, the quality of the prints is good on the surface, and there are some contextual pictures of studio environment etc. But the book is enormously disappointing in one very important way: Most of the photographs of works in the first section are taken from only one angle, head on, and lit evenly so they give *no* idea of the geometry and depth of the works. The actual works have very dramatic physical depth, but the photographs make them look as flat as paintings. It's great that there is at least an inventory presented here, unfortunately, this book missed the rare opportunity to definitively fill the need for a photographic record of Bontecou's major works. It would have been greatly improved with multiple angles or more informative lighting for the works that demand it. You still have to see an exhibition to really have any idea what her works are like.

Regrettably, Amazon guidelines do not allow me to provide the URLs to Bontecou's own press release response to Storr's statements (search for "bontecou" on ereleases.com headlines).

5-0 out of 5 stars Catalog is a Wonderful Companion to the Exhibition
It is difficult to review the exhibition catalog without first taking in the Lee Bontecou survey at one of the museum exhibitions currently traveling the US. Unfortunately the exhibition will travel to only three museums in the three largest cities in the US, yet most of the works come from public and private collections throughout the country. Luckily, readers get to see all of the pieces in a carefully written, scholarly book full of full-color reproductions, several essays about the artist and her process, essays about the artist and surrounding influences from (and in) art history, and a detailed exhibition checklist with thumbnail photos of each work in the full exhibition. There are over 150 works in the traveling exhibition presented in a catalog of 240 pages. The photographs are standard for a catalog presentation but photographs of the sculptural works may not give accurate renderings of scale or detail; once again, this is a catalog and not a coffee table book of a few of the artist's better-known works. For just a few dollars more than the softcover, get the hardbound edition; you will want to keep this book for a lifetime. ... Read more


12. Drawing With Children: A Creative Method for Adult Beginners, Too
by Mona Brookes
list price: $15.95
our price: $10.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0874778271
Catlog: Book (1996-06-01)
Publisher: Jeremy P. Tarcher
Sales Rank: 8548
Average Customer Review: 4.47 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (15)

3-0 out of 5 stars The title and canned reviews can fool you.
This book is more about teaching art than teaching kids how to draw. More theory than fun. I rate the book 3 stars rather than higher because there are very few simple to use drawing techniques, the kind of techniques found in the "50 Nifty" and the "How to Draw" series of drawing books featuring simple characters, trucks, airplanes, animals, and monsters that grab kid's imaginations. "Drawing with Children" is more a text for art teachers than for use by classroom teachers, Scout leaders, and parents trying to help kids ages 6 to 11 learn how to draw for fun. I'll be ready for this book in about three years, but I can't start kids at this level.

5-0 out of 5 stars Anyone can learn to draw!
Haven't yet begun the lessons, but after reading the earlier reviews I can't wait! The ideas in this book make so much sense! We don't expect children to sit down at a piano a la Mozart and belt out original compositions. We don't expect our children to learn to read without instruction. Yet if they can't draw realistically, we chalk it up to lack of talent (after all, YOU can't draw either, right?).

This book gives you the tools to teach your kids how to draw even (especially!) if you aren't an artist yourself. The author is also very generous in allowing unlimited photocopying of the exercises to elementary teachers which I think shows she genuinely cares about helping children learn. My only regret is that there is no Monart school nearby!

5-0 out of 5 stars Love it! Love it! Love it!
I am 33 years old and have absolutely no artistic ability - or so I thought. I've always been interested in learning how to draw, but no matter what books I consulted, I still couldn't get it. The techniques presented there assumed you already knew some basics, but I didn't. My mother even told me that drawing is inherited, and since there is nobody in my family who draws, I felt I had no chance.

Then I found this book. The first thing you are supposed to do before any instruction is to draw a scene a house, person, tree, bushes, etc. My picture looked like a 4 year old drew it. Now less than one week into the book, I am on lesson 3 with 2 more to go, and I am astounded at my progress. It's simply night and day. I get so engrossed in my drawings now that 3 hours will go by in a flash. My husband is now starting the lessons because he's amazed at my drawings. Today I even started sketching my husband's face as he was eating. It took all of 5 minutes and it turned out beautifully, if I do say so myself. Plus, I hadn't yet started the lesson on drawing humans. I sketch everything in sight and just can't seem to get enough.

You may not need this book if if you already know how to draw and need more detailed instruction on technique, but definitely get this book if you need the basics of beginning drawing. You will not be disappointed. Drawing is not inherited, but developed. I am proof of that.

3-0 out of 5 stars a little too advanced for younger ages...
I bought this book on the advice that it was appropriate for younger children, but after reading it I am convinced that it will be several years before it is appropriate for my son. It seems to be more a "theory" book than a how-to manual which is what I was led to expect.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great book BUT YOUR CHILD MAY NOT BE READY FOR THIS!
The book is great; HOWEVER, my intelligent six year old was not mature enough for the lessons in this book. I meticulously read the directions (and followed same), but my daughter (who loves to create and draw) did not like the lessons because she has yet to perfect her fine motor skills (she likes to create stories but does not like the physical act of writing). I would suggest using this book for an older child (eight years old?), especially if your child does not have his/her fine motor skills fully tuned or does not like to sit still for very long. I admit that I was a little disappointed when the child illustrator on the front cover drew such a wonderful picture (age 5), but every child is different. Incidentally, my art skills (formerly limited to simplistic ball and stick drawings) have improved quite a bit since using the book! ... Read more


13. Interior Graphic and Design Standards
by S. C. Reznikoff, S.C. Reznikoff
list price: $95.00
our price: $59.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0823072983
Catlog: Book (1986-10-01)
Publisher: Watson-Guptill Publications
Sales Rank: 184234
Average Customer Review: 3.75 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best.
A very informative and usefull book for all designers.

1-0 out of 5 stars DO NOT BUY! it's hard to imagine a more worthless book
This book is a fiasco. As a professional in commercial space planning for many years, I picked it up based on a 'glowing review'. I find another few good ratings here on-line. The authors mother must be writing them, because no one who actually attempted to verify the faulty and incomplete information within, could ever see this tome as worth the paper upon which it is printed.

One reviewer was accurate though; it isn't a bad door stop.

3-0 out of 5 stars Interior Graphic and Design Standards
This is a very good book. Deals with the in and out of the interior design standards

1-0 out of 5 stars * WARNING: THIS BOOK'S BEST USE IS AS A DOOR STOP! *
...so S T O P; don't buy this book. It's Junk. Anyone who's been in the profession a while knows it because many of us received it as a Designer's Book Club intro title in the late 80's or early 90's. It wasn't worth the cost of its S&H! Ask around to people in the profession and look it over first. I received mine while having just a few years of experience in practice. Initally excited and impressed with myself having identifed a clear technical error, my feelings quickly changed to surprise and then anger as I began to realize the whole book was packed w/ errors and critical omissions. It was generally a frustratingly incompetent presentation with widely incomplete information on its proposed subjects. That the editors and publisher let this trash out, and were, I presume, making their livings with this level of incompetence was disheartening.

5-0 out of 5 stars Interior Graphic and Design Standards
An excellent book for "standard" measurements and dimensions of both commercial and residential spaces. A wonderful teaching tool! A book that should be on the shelves of every interior designer, architect and design professor. ... Read more


14. Fashion Design Drawing Course
by Caroline Tatham
list price: $21.95
our price: $15.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0764124730
Catlog: Book (2003-10)
Publisher: Barron's Educational Series
Sales Rank: 2250
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A superb reference book and an ideal instructional textbook for classroom use, this beautifully illustrated guide is organized into units that reflect required courses at leading design colleges. Twenty step-by-step exercises cover methods of finding inspiration, developing observation techniques, and creating fashion drawings in both color and black-and-white media. Separate sections are devoted to getting started and understanding figure proportions, planning and designing garments, and creating and assessing flat specification drawings. The book also features cross-references to its various art instruction techniques, a designer’s glossary, and a helpful index. This book guides students through their first steps in fashion illustration, covering everything that is presented in the best college-level courses. It makes a fine starting point for all students of fashion, introducing them to fashion drawing as a first step toward a career as a creative costumier. More than 250 illustrations in color and black and white. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars a real course in fashion design
Unlike other fashion design books, the authors do not teach figure drawing and clothing. They start out with a visit to a museum where you need to gather information, then find a theme and make four sketches. The individual lessons build upon each other so that the beginner can easily follow. The authors require you to be active, go out and find your sources of information and inspiration. You learn to do what fashion designers do: look at architecture and find ideas for a new fashion line, look at flowers and find a color scheme, etc.
The book has 24 lessons that lead the student of fashion design from the first sketch to the fashion show. It's a good book if you are looking for a guided course that helps you to improve and evaluate your designs.

5-0 out of 5 stars Important principles of fashion illustration
The book mentions the main and the important principles of fashion illustration, how to use colors and more. ... Read more


15. The Sketchbook: 80 Unique Designs by the World's Finest Tattoo Artists
by Nancy Heimburger, Marco Bratt
list price: $69.50
our price: $69.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 9074822622
Catlog: Book (2003-12)
Publisher: Hotei Publishing
Sales Rank: 57265
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Book Description

The artistic versatility of tattoo artists has frequently been overshadowed by the negativity that surrounds tattooing in general. Many tattoos are made by would-be artists who copy overused designs. A perfectly tattooed body requires the skills of a professional and talented artist, who creates a unique and personal design. These designs are often inspired by one or more of the various tattoo styles of Japanese, Maori or other tribal origin. "The Sketchbook" offers the reader a selection of 80 of these unique designs by well-known and less famous, but very promising, tattoo artists from around the world. Each artist was requested to create a sketch unrestrained by commercial demands and which reflects their own personal motivations.

The book is divided into two sections: the first comprises an explanation of how this collection was brought together, along with a brief illustrated overview of the history and various styles of tattooing. The second section is devoted to the artists, each sketch being accompanied by a biography and favorite quote.

The concept of this book was developed by Marco Bratt, a tattoo artist from The Netherlands, and his partner, Germanborn lifestyle photographer Nancy Heimburger, who also wrote the introductory chapter. ... Read more


16. The Natural Way to Draw : A Working Plan for Art Study
by Kimon Nicolaides
list price: $16.00
our price: $10.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0395530075
Catlog: Book (1990-02-01)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Sales Rank: 10113
Average Customer Review: 4.36 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Great for the beginner and the expert, this book offers readers exercises to improve their work. ... Read more

Reviews (33)

5-0 out of 5 stars If you can only buy one art book, buy this!
The book was published posthumously in 1941 by Nicolaides' students. Their ferver for their late revered teacher is evident in the manner in which the book is written. They developed a rigorous lesson schedule which demands consistent attention of the artist.

I first read The Natural Way to Draw in 1983. In January of 1985 I began a self study course using this book as my guide. I followed every lesson plan and read and re-read until I could recite the book by heart. Too broke to afford a nude model for the lesson plans, I drew my neighbors chickens, cows, horses and sheep, supplementing those subjects with weekly attendance at a drawing group and borrowing the local science teachers human skeleton. Whatever the subject matter, Niccolaides taught me to understand the essence of gesture. A little over a year and a half later, I finished the book. I went on to earn a college degree (BFA)in Painting and to become a professional artist. When I look back at the past 18 years of my life as an artist,this book had the most influence of any that I have ever read or worked with. I highly reccomend not just reading this book, but studying it. Devote a year of your life to studying this book and you will be a better artist.

5-0 out of 5 stars THE Book for Serious Drawing
I bought this book in 1972 (hard cover). Glad to see it's still in print. If you have some talent, and are willing to put in the work to fulfill the lessons in this book, you can learn to draw as well as ANYONE, and drawing will never be a limiting factor in your creative process. Better stock up on cheap paper, because you will end up with a stack about 6' high. But you will never forget what you learn here. Thanks to Mr Nicolaides!! Note: I didn't have models available for all the exercises, so I just went out to a place where there were a lot of people and drew them. You can adapt the lessons to your circumstances. I completed the course, working 6 hours a day for 6 months. I still use the book when I want to sharpen up some of my skills.

1-0 out of 5 stars Over-complicated & wordy
"The Natural Way to Draw" by Kimon Nicolaides, 221 pages

Nicolaides book is often compared to "Drawing On the Right Side of the Brain. Now I understand why. They are both complicated, overly-intellectualized approaches to drawing. Nicoliades writes the better complication however, because his book is approximately 60% wordy text/40% pictures. Betty Edward's is approximately 80% wordy text/20% pictures.

The quote from the back cover, with the full page photo of Nicoliades shows how narrow an approach he holds:

"There is only one right way to draw and that is a perfectly natural way." -Kimon Nicolaides

Anyone who knows anything understands that there are as many approaches to drawing as there are people. If Nicoliades is simply telling us that all ways of drawing are "natural ways" it is a redundant statement, because nobody is arguing anywhere that anyone's drawing is unnatural. Such tautological complications of basic drawing show Nicolaides approach as wordy and intellectualized.

The gesture drawings in the early chapters are uninspiring. The rest of the sparse illustrations seem to come from either student drawings and master reproductions. There are just too few of them. Nicolaides' approach to art is tedious and discouraging and nobody should be expected to read through 221 pages of boring text.

There are much better books on the market with less text and more illustration.

4-0 out of 5 stars a method of learning to "feel" and move in your artwork
I just finished taking a drawing course in which my instructor taught the same concepts that Nicolaides writes about: extensive gesture studies, blind contour drawing, modeling of the form with gesture-mass studies. Honestly, as I worked in class, I had very little idea of what these exercises were for (it would have been great to have had a hold of this book then). I have always been good at rendering figures in a hyper-realistic manner, but as one reviewer described student work at his school as "well rendered work, but its flat, uninspired, and repetative," my work had no life to it. What I found was that the more I practiced seeing and feeling my subject matter through these "scribble" drawings, the freer my line and hand grew, and the more presence I started to see in what I put on the paper.

If you want a method to help you learn to "feel" your work and move you beyond mere rendering, I highly recommend this book. But along with that desire should come a commitment to practice the exercises with an open mind if you want to get the results. I have learned for myself that having a lot of head knowledge about art techniques hasn't made my work vital, nor his it given me the itch in my bones that I need to truly create. Even though this may sound silly, I used to consider myself a good drawer, but now I feel that the door to being an "artist" is opened to me.

If you are more interested in a book to help you practice techniques with less of a time/effort commitment, I recommend Bert Dodson's Keys to Drawing. It is more of a "how-to" book for beginning students. It takes a very different teaching approach, more practical, but I like it for the many visual examples, the broad range of fun exercises, and the sections on drawing faces and proportions.

5-0 out of 5 stars It's Amazing
This book has taught me so much I wouldn't know where I'd be without. Others have already spoken to all it offers, so I'm gong to limit myself to the folks who've trashed it.

First, this is a book of exercises. You either do them or you don't. But anyone who "flips through the book at the library," then complains it has nothing to offer is like someone who goes to the gym, watches other people work out, then leaves feeling unimpressed with a gym's ability to help him get in shape. Making a judgement about this book without "working" it is exactly as foolish.

Second, there's nothing "modernist junk" at all about "The Natural Way to Draw." You'll be moving into anatomy studies and reproductions of the masters soon enough. Nicolaides is all about observing the details of life and recording them well. Again, such an ignorant comparison of the techniques Natural Way to Draw with a sloppy draughtsmanship and "modernist junk" only reveals the reviewer (who admitted he only "flipped" through the book) didn't flip very far and with little understanding of what he was holding in his hands.

Third, there's a story further down about an art school where the teacher mocks this book. Too bad. I studied at that school. And I'm glad I did: I learned a lot. But that school ultimately is not enough. Their students draw well rendered work, but it's also flat, uninspired, and repitative. "That Natural Way to Draw" gives you the tool YOU need to draw the way YOU want to draw.

Look: there's no easy path to drawing and painting really well. And this book guides you to drawing and painting really well. So, yes, it takes time; it takes effort. But at least all your effort is focused and fruitful. This book gives you the fundementals in a series of exercise. It's like doing exercises at the paino before you can play a concerto. And there's nothing wrong with that.

If you want to apply yourself and become great, check this book out. ... Read more


17. The Art of Responsive Drawing (5th Edition)
by Nathan Goldstein
list price: $71.33
our price: $71.33
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0135979315
Catlog: Book (1998-07-21)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 194509
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This meaningful book provides a thorough understanding of the basic visual and expressive aspects of drawing, and centers around the belief that drawing well embraces the ability to feel as well as the ability to see, resulting in works whose expressive force is amplified by a sensitivity to visual dynamics and humanistic urgings.Offers an intensive examination of vital drawing processes and concepts, an in-depth analysis of exceptional drawings by old and contemporary artists, and suggested exercises to enhance users' grasp of important measurable and dynamic phenomena. Focuses on important drawing fundamentals, and covers topics not usually found together in a text of its kind, such as color, media and materials, and 'finding your way'. Includes a unique survey of common errors or 'pathologies' in drawing. Presents over 400 visuals, 25 new drawings, and nearly 30 quotes throughout to highlight important points and pique reader interest.For graphic designers and illustrators. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars How to see drawings
I have used this book for years as source material for the college level drawing courses I teach. Its greatest value is the high calibre of master drawing examples by everyone from Michelangelo to Rembrandt and Watteau, as well as appropriate and sensitive student examples. Mr. Goldstein breaks down the approach to drawing into contour line, structural line, shape, gesture, volume, combination drawing. The book is dense with writing as this is largely a verbal analysis of visual issues in which each drawing example is discussed in a very detailed manner. Some may find the approach too verbose, and indeed this is not a "how-to-draw" book in the "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" category, but more of a guide to conoisseurship and the philosophy of drawing. In fact, there are precious few exercises described for the student. I think that for the drawing student who does not have the benefit of a teacher, this book paired with a more practical "how-to" guide would be a terrific resource. This is the kind of book you will find yourself dipping into over the years. I always have it on an easy-to-reach shelf.

4-0 out of 5 stars Goldstein is Gold
I bought this book for a college drawing class. And later on, because of scheduling reasons, I was unable to take the class. However, I kept the book and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. The pictures are great...although I thought the spectrum of drawings could have been a little broader. Most pictures are black and white. Commentary is good--a nice balance between words and pictures. Goldstein has done well with this book. ... Read more


18. Beautiful Botanicals: Painting and Drawing Flowers and Plants
by Bente Starcke King
list price: $28.99
our price: $18.26
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1581804946
Catlog: Book (2004-09-01)
Publisher: North Light Books
Sales Rank: 77767
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Book Description

Acclaimed botanical artist Bente Starcke King shows artists of all levels how to create artful and soulful illustrations of tulips, irises, rose hips, echinacea and more. Taking readers step-by-step through proven techniques for capturing this popular subject matter, Beautiful Botanicals:

*Provides numerous tips and 19 demonstrations for all the most popular mediums, including watercolor, pencil, pen and ink, ink wash and mixed media (watercolor with colored pencil or ink).

*Draws even casual readers in with striking, colorful illustrations set against white backgrounds.

*Appeals to fine artists, decorative painters and even garden enthusiasts with clear instruction and plentiful demonstrations.

The book also covers such practical topics as cleaning, along with signing and framing one's artwork, and it includes interesting stories and facts about the flowers and plants presented. It's a must-have for any nature or art lover! ... Read more


19. Character Costume Figure Drawing : Step-by-Step Drawing Methods for Theatre Costume Designers
by Tan Huaixiang
list price: $39.95
our price: $39.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0240805348
Catlog: Book (2004-04-20)
Publisher: Focal Press
Sales Rank: 43827
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Book Description

This text presents drawing instruction with detailed break downs of various types of characters. Maternal? Elderly? Sassy? Sexy? It all starts with body proportion, bone structure, body masses, the facial expressions, the hands, and the feet. Hats, props, fabrics, and choice of medium are all thoroughly covered to ensure your ability to develop convincing life-like characters.

* Includes unique three-step drawing guides that develop the sketch from stick figure to full-blown character
* Detailed examples of how to draw faces, hands, and feet
* Learn to draw realistic fabrics in a multitude of colors and textures
... Read more


20. Pencil Drawing Techniques
by David Lewis
list price: $18.95
our price: $12.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0823039919
Catlog: Book (1984-04-01)
Publisher: Watson-Guptill Publications
Sales Rank: 12268
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book and a lot of text
Hi all. I draw as a hobby and have been drawing since I was a about 10. I took drawing classes before, but when I look at my previous artwork, they really don't have the "realism" that I wanted, i.e. they look too much like cartoons. I wandered around and tried looking for some books to teach me how to obtained that photo-realistic quality with a pencil.

Flipping through this book, my jaw dropped in amazement at the examples in this book. Near the end, the illustrations of zoo animals (tigers, horses, etc) were so life-like! The artist really know how to shade. I instantly brought the book.

Let me tell you, this book is very complex and loaded with information. There are lots of text for an art book. First, the book goes over the basics of shapes and different shades of pencil lead (from hard 6H to very soft 8B, the "#2 pencil" is near the middle). Then we go over shading. The book is primarily focusing on different shading and strokes techniques in order to get that "life-like" realism in your drawing. In my personal experience, trying to obtain that level takes many hours and many practice. If you are the type who gives up easily, then this book isn't for you. Nobody said drawing is easy. Or, if you are only interested in drawing nice line-arts (and letting a computer do the rest), then this book is NOT for you as well. However, if you want to draw to the highest realism with just a pencil, then this book is worth considering.

I should also mention that a small chapter is devoted to color pencils (whereas the rest, or 90% of the book, is on graphite pencil), but I haven't bother with color yet.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good book for beginners!
Any beginner to drawing with pencil should and eventually will come across this book. Save yourself the trouble and get this book now for you drawing library. You will learn something from it!

4-0 out of 5 stars Good starting fundamentals
I like this book as it covers most of the basic topics in pencil drawing. As compared to other books for beginners, this book gives sufficient guidelines and examples. The only concern I have is that the examples are not very "real", not "live" enough. After all, I would recommend this book to beginners in pencil drawing. ... Read more


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