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Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Open this book as an absolute beginner, and come away as a proud portrait artist! Mark and Mary Willenbrink's Absolute Beginner books have helped thousands of novices tap into their inner artists.

Learn How to Draw With the Help of a Great Book

In this book, Mark and Mary help the beginning artist take on portraits, showing that absolutely anyone can draw faces. Their encouraging, easy-to-follow instruction style makes le Open this book as an absolute beginner, and come away as a proud portrait artist! Their encouraging, easy-to-follow instruction style makes learning fun--you'll be amazed by how quickly you achieve impressive results. You may be a beginner now, but not for long! Drawing Portraits for the Absolute Beginner covers everything from warming up with sketches, and capturing facial expressions, to framing your finished work.

Page by page, you'll build the skills and confidence you need to draw lifelike portraits of your friends and family. What's Inside: A simple two-stage approach to drawing portraits: sketch a likeness, then build up values to bring it to life Step-by-step instruction for drawing eyes, noses, mouths, hairstyles, hands, glasses and other tricky elements 13 complete demonstrations featuring a range of ages and ethnicities Tips for evoking more personality in your portraits by using props, costumes and accessories Get A Copy.

Paperback , pages. More Details Other Editions 2. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Drawing Portraits for the Absolute Beginner , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Drawing Portraits for the Absolute Beginner.

Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Jan 16, F. I think this book is better than the Drawing Nature one I reviewed: this one contains some photos, and if each of the stages of a drawing don't contain very specific instructions, humans probably both consciously and subconsciously know what humans look like--or can simply look in a mirror to determine where general values and shading should probably be added.

But the exercises in this book actually do tend to contain more detailed instructions. And the breakdown of each of the head parts is hel I think this book is better than the Drawing Nature one I reviewed: this one contains some photos, and if each of the stages of a drawing don't contain very specific instructions, humans probably both consciously and subconsciously know what humans look like--or can simply look in a mirror to determine where general values and shading should probably be added.

And the breakdown of each of the head parts is helpful and simplified. The instructions don't go into tons of anatomical detail, which I too often find to be overkill: you don't need to examine a leaf under a microscope in order to draw a convincing tree. Likewise, you don't need to know how a "muscle is shaped" to draw a convincing head. I can't speak for everyone else, but I've found that if you look at human faces and bodies in real life, they often don't follow anatomical rules: sometimes a muscle that's supposed to be there looks absent, depending on the individual person's features and the specific lighting.

There are a gazillion combinations of expressions and lightings and anatomical idiosyncrasies. I think drawing what a specific subject looks like in a certain position is more important than drawing what an anatomy book says "humans are and look like. Sandra rated it it was ok Dec 19, Art rated it really liked it Jan 14, J rated it it was ok Aug 14, Frank rated it it was amazing Aug 30, Monique Darlington rated it it was amazing Jul 29, K V Davis rated it it was amazing Jul 04, Ron rated it really liked it Jul 24, Rebecca rated it really liked it Sep 06, Forrest Dee Jeffcoat rated it really liked it Sep 29, Crystal rated it it was amazing Jan 17, Fletcher Thorne-thomsen, rated it it was ok Oct 25, Rose rated it it was amazing May 07, There are few books that you can say that about.

These three books represent a collection of I believe balanced and practical approaches to learning to draw that will benefit anyone. Is there a book you love that you think I should have included? One that holds a special place in your heart, and helped you make real progress that you can see in your work? Subscribe: Join over 10, other artists and get free updates. I'm a mostly self-taught artist. I paint realism in oils, mostly still life. I share my work, my evolving process and what knowledge I've gained on my own learning journey here, in the hope that it might help you along on yours.

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I laughed when I read your post because you just fished inside my brain to write it, clearly — as opposed to it being funny! I used to work in a book shop and got really good at looking at art instruction books, then putting them back on the shelf.. I deduced that they were printed to make money out of the unsuspecting novice, and not to actually instruct anyone, and promptly banned my students from buying anything.

I love all three books that you have listed and certainly learned to think and to see differently and begin-to-understand, differently, because of them.

They were all written a loooong time ago… My runner up would be Colour and Light by James Gurney — another interesting book, guiding and instructing on seeing as opposed to techniques. Julie xx. Later sections of the book contain really useful tips about perspective, composition and a little bit about value.

40+ Online Resources That Will Improve Your Drawing Skills (Even If You’re an Absolute Beginner)

There are hundreds of step-by-step exercises, all written in a positive and encouraging tone that makes you want to keep trying. I started using this book as a rank beginner, and after thirty years, I still return to it book and find new ideas and challenges.


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A classic book for those who want to learn to see and draw the natural world. Many thanks to you. I am very interesting to know the most important books and you now help very much. I am study draw at home and I follow it is possible this books! Best regards. It was the exercises from that book that really helped me to look closely at color and see how colors effect each other. You also get exercises to do from the book.

Great list, Paul. Thanks for doing this, and hopefully saving us all some time and money. I know that you have previously mentioned it somewhere on your website — or maybe in the recent webinar?? Both of those authors cite Nicolaides as the teacher who first introduced contour drawing.

This book was also the first where I encountered the concept of gesture drawing. I worked with the Nicolaides book for a long time when I was just getting started and it was really helpful. His directions for each exercise that he introduces are great and he has schedules in the book that tell you which exercises to practice and for how long. He has lots of good insights about the drawing process as well.

This book was really important for me as a beginner, and continues to be one that I return to frequently.

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All the books you advised are outstanding, esp. Drawing on the Right Side, so long as one takes the time to actually perform the exercises. I was absolutely amazed at my progress with that book. Astonishing results! Hello Paul, Good idea this post. About figure drawing, there is this great advanced and detailed book: Richard G. Thanks for all your work. Thanks to you I have both the Speed and the Dow but have failed you by not working continuously through them.

Must improve! I have found Bridgemans Complete guide to Drawing from Life useful as a source to copy from and to understand anatomy better. Thought provoking and timely as a reminder that I must return to the Speed and Dow this winter. Thanks Paul x. Thank you for the great explanations of what to expect from each book and for keeping the list narrow. This is an excellent resource.

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Great post as always. I can only suggest one book for the list. Its a great book for artistic motivation. Oh yes Paul, I have all of them and some. On my kindle I have all 3 books by Juliette Aristides.