As an art teacher, I often hear people say that they can’t draw or aren’t good at art but wish that they were. There is an assumption that one must be good at drawing to be a good artist but that is not always true. I am always on the look out for good books to help students as well as my friends improve their drawing skills and grow as an artist. One book that I have found that has helped me to come up with ideas for sketchbook assignments (my students will remember the Picasso dogs!) and lesson plans is Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists by Carla Sonheim.
This book includes 52 drawing exercises that the cover states will “make drawing fun!” I must say, I agree with this statement. This books includes a variety of ideas for drawing exercises that are fun and whimsical. Artists and aspiring artists of all ages are sure to enjoy working through this book. The drawing exercises are divided into seven units including:
- Inspired by Animals
- Inspired by People
- Inspired by Famous Artists
- Inspired by Children and Childhood
- Inspired by Imagination
- Inspired by Nature
- Inspired by Books and Culture
As you can see the book offers a wide variety in exercises and subjects. I love that the books includes a little bit of everything including portraits, nature and even art history. The exercises are fun and teach you important lessons in drawing. Some of the exercises are somewhat traditional but are presented with a creative twist. One of my favorite parts about the book is that it does not focus on drawing realistically. Not everyone (myself included!) is exceptional at drawing realistically and this books allows artists to explore other ways of drawing and applauds drawing creatively. I am also a fan of the colored examples for every exercise as well as the well written directions. If you are a person who would love to spend more time drawing (or you have a child who would like to draw more) but you are often intimidated by looking at a blank page or can’t seem to find ideas for your drawings, I would encourage you to check out this book. It is sure to make drawing more fun for you and will provide you with many great ideas.