Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Few Art Books I Highly Recommend

There was a recent post about essential art books on Muddy Colors, A great Illustration Blog. I mention art books in every class I teach, but thought it was about time I posted a list of my favorites as well.....

Creative Illustration by Andrew Loomis is one of the most complete art educations you can get from a book. I have said it is as good as the first two years of art school. Loomis has other books which are excellent and I have read them all but this one covers almost everything anyone who wants to make pictures needs to read.

If Creative Illustration is as good as the first to years of art school I would say that The Illusion Of Life By Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston one does the same for animation. Anyone who wants to paint and draw should read it as well. Many of these tips can be applied to any type of art.

Just a great book. I love the paintings and there are some great ideas and tips. His advice on making charts of color is excellent.

This one is from my drawing teacher James McMullan. It can be hard to understand if you don't read it carefully, or know someone who was in the class and can explain it to you....but still one of the best figure drawing books ever written.

The title says it all.... The Big Book Of Oil Painting by Jose M. Parramon is not the greatest book on oil painting out there, but it is an excellent introduction to oil painting and covers many topics.

One of two books on this list by Harold Speed. A must read for any drawing student. I first read this when I was in art school. I couldn't believe how much information is in it.

Keep a dictionary by your side since Vanderpoel had an amazing vocabulary....Once you get through it, you will be impressed with how much you have learned. It's an excellent book.
I recommend reading as many books on anatomy as possible. I actually have over a dozen, at least.

Another Harold Speed book. Just as good as his book on drawing... great ideas about how to approach painting.

Probably the easiest to understand and best book on figure drawing I have read.
When I was at SVA someone bought a copy of this and because it was spiral bound they made copies. Then someone made copies of the copies and so on. By the time I got a copy you could barely see it.
I had a bar tending job in art school and made decent enough money so I ordered my own copy.
Glenn Vilppu has an entire website full of other books and drawing aids.

On Acting by Sanford Meisner

On Acting by Sanford Meisner is the best book on painting/drawing I have ever read. The book is really about being great at anything. As you read it, just substitute the word "Acting" for whatever it is you do, and the first half of the book is wonderful. The second half gets more specific about acting and doesn't work quite as well but if you are looking to get more character and personality into your work the book is invaluable.

I have had a few people read it and report back to me that they didn't get my fascination with it.
I would suggest reading at least the first few chapters. Anyone that gives it a chance, let me know, I'd love to hear what you think. The introduction by Sydney Pollack is also fun to read.

I have left out hundreds of books. In my drawing class I used to have a challenge, If you can bring in a book on drawing I haven't read, I'll give you a drawing of mine.
This list is of the books that were the most important for increasing my skills.
I could make ten more lists for other areas of interest.

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