Book / textbook recs for learning basic (art) painting techniques?
December 21, 2013 8:15 PM   Subscribe

Decided to take a break from photography. Would like to learn how to draw / paint. Can anyone recommend a good book / textbook for reference purposes?
posted by NYC-BB to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
What are you interested in drawing and painting? People, animals, still lifes? What tools are you interested in using? Watercolours, oils, pencils, charcoal? Are you interesting in realism, abstract, or illustrative?

Honestly, like running, drawing and painting are best improved by just doing lots of it.
posted by Dynex at 8:26 PM on December 21, 2013

Honestly, like running, drawing and painting are best improved by just doing lots of it.
Sure, but I wouldn't want to teach myself perspective from first principles.

The Loomis books are quite good. In places you'll want to supplement with Jack Hamm's books or something.

Each of them is solid, and has stuff you'll learn from. Neither one ever has a drawing in his book that just knocks you to your knees and makes you weep at the beauty of it. The way some older books do. From when students more reliably learned how to draw.

So if you are hardcore, I'd suggest learning to do classical drawing/painting of the figure from something like: Fundamentals of Drawing and learn constructive drawing or the Bargue Drawing Companion and Drawing the Figure with the
Charles Bargue book and learn measured drawing. I would suggest this even if you want to do impressionistic landscapes or pottery or so on eventually. This is how Picasso and Van Gogh learned to draw, and Van Gogh did Bargue drawings all his life.

These resources are a bit expensive, but cheaper than a nice camera.

The Concept Art community is quite good.

I would work through Stapleton Kearns and James Gurney's blogs.
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:45 PM on December 21, 2013 [7 favorites]

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is a classic too.
posted by jrobin276 at 1:00 AM on December 22, 2013

Sorry for the repeat post. I have a BFA in Photography and took several drawing classes; I learned just as much from Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain and practicing as in my introductory drawing classes at art school.

Also, it does depend what kind of drawing you want to do. I also really like Drawing Without Fear; it demonstrates a wide variety of styles and implements and I find many of the drawings charming. The focus is not on 'realism'; don't know if that's what you want to do or not (a little realistic drawing is worth learning, even if it's not what you end up doing).
posted by jrobin276 at 1:20 AM on December 22, 2013

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