Book review

Book report
I picked up a copy of James Richard's new book, Freehand Drawing and Discovery. And I have been testing out some of the principles in my drawings lately, when drawing crowds and how to incorporate people into a scene.

At first I was a bit leery, he gives some formulaic ways to draw people, trees, landscapes. But I see his reasoning now – a sort of "drawing training wheels" in order to you past the initial hurdles and out drawing. Once you are able to start producing your own work, then you can find you own style.

So for that, I did find this book interesting. He helps you find the structure in a complex scene and how you can render it quickly.


  1. Jennifer, I do some drawing for my own pleasure. I am kinda sorta alright. I am starting to draw some inspiration from your sketches. Can you recommend a book that is not too basic neither too hard? Something intermediate?

  2. Hi Ric,

    So nice to hear that you are getting some inspiration from my sketches!

    To be honest, I don't have very many drawing books, but here are my go-to books when I need some guidance:

    Danny Gregory's The Creative License and his book Everyday Matters - both of these books remind me to get back to the basics and simply draw. I remember why I started drawing in the first place.

    Veronica Lawlor's One Drawing a day - this one is a good rut buster. Following the exercises really pushes you to try new media and new approaches to drawing. It's surprising how much you can learn by leaving your comfort zone.

    Twyla Tharp's The Creative Habit - this one works on the mind. How to stay creative, how to push through plateaus and disappointments. If you want to stay drawing for the long run, this has some great advice.

    For specific nuts and bolts (perspective, colour palettes ...) I usually turn to the web. I follow a lot (probably too many) artists. If you go into my tag "Other Lovely People" you will find lots of great links. These are the people I consider my teachers.

    But ultimately, the single most useful book you already own: your own sketchbook (corny, I know). Regular sketching, followed by time to reflect on what worked, is strong or interesting and what you would like to try differently the next time and then taking that experience with you to the next page is really where it happens.

    And that is probably the hardest part to learn.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.