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17 best drawing books to buy in 2021

Looking to develop your art skills? Explore our pick of the best drawing books to help you improve and create beautiful pictures

Best drawing books

When you’re learning to draw, it can be helpful to have a book to refer to with expert tips and guidance. You can explore the various drawing techniques at your own pace and develop your skills along the way.

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Drawing and sketching is one of the most accessible art forms – most people can get their hands on a pen or pencil and some paper and create amazing pictures. It’s also one of the first mediums that we try as children.

There are tonnes of great drawing books for aspiring artists out there, all designed to guide you through your first steps. In this guide, we’ll help you to choose the right drawing book for your needs, so that you can draw whatever you want! We’ll be covering how to draw books suitable for beginners and more experienced artists to help you discover the best drawing book for you.

We’ve included how to draw books that are comprehensive and include lots of tips and advice to help you develop as an artist. This guide includes books showing various techniques from portraiture to pen and ink drawing.

If you don’t want to wait for your book to be delivered and are keen to start drawing right away, explore our pencil drawing for beginners guide to learn some basic techniques. Read on to discover the best drawing books to buy in 2021…

17 how to draw books 2021

1

You Will Be Able to Draw by the End of this Book by Jake Spicer

This book lives up to its bold claim that you will be able to draw by the time you finish reading it. You Will Be Able to Draw by the End of this Book is an ideal choice for absolute beginners: it guides you through basic pencil drawing techniques and includes blank pages so you can practice as you go. The book starts with the basic skills and it gradually increases in difficulty as you work your way through. There’s a great mixture of projects in this book and each exercise has an estimated completion time allowing you to fit them into your day.

This is one of the best drawing books for beginners or people who want to refresh their pencil drawing skills.

Best drawing books: You Will Be Able to Draw by the End of this Book by Jake Spicer

2

Sketch Every Day: 100+ simple drawing exercises from Simone Grünewald

Make sketching part of your daily routine with this great book written by artist and illustrator Simone Grünewald. Simone has included over 100 exercises to spark your creativity and teach you a variety of drawing techniques along the way. She also explores common pitfalls and explains how to avoid them.  This book is great for artists of all levels, particularly if you’re feeling stuck in a creative rut and need some motivation to draw.

Best drawing books: Sketch Every Day by SImone Grunewald

 

3

365 Days of Drawing by Lorna Scobie

This fun book is a great way to make drawing a regular habit and would make a brilliant gift for a creative friend or family member. The daily prompts have been designed to help you practice a wide range of drawing skills and to spark your imagination. This is an accessible book that aims to demystify art and explain some easy drawing techniques and theory along the way.

Best drawing books: 365 Days of Drawing

4

How to Draw: 53 Step-by-Step Drawing Projects by Alisa Calder

This book by Alisa Calder is a great introduction to drawing for beginners. You’ll learn to draw a selection of projects from geometric shapes to animals with clear step-by-step instructions and pictures. Your confidence and skills will grow with every exercise! This is an excellent guide for anyone who wants to learn how to draw and is suitable for older children.

Best drawing books: How to Draw by Alisa Calder

5

Basics of Drawing: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners by Leonardo Pereznieto

This book will help you to learn fundamental drawing skills such as composition, depth of field and how to draw a cityscape. It’s clearly illustrated with lots of step-by-step tutorials to explain the various techniques. Leonardo is a Mexican artist whose work has been exhibited around the world, but he also shares his expertise on his popular Fine Art Tips YouTube channel which has over a million followers.

Best drawing books: Basics of Drawing by Leonardo Pereznieto

6

Drawing: A Complete Guide by Giovanni Civardi

This book is an ideal choice if you’re looking for a comprehensive drawing guide that’s packed with tips and expert advice. As well as covering basic drawing techniques, this guide includes advice to help you draw clothed figures, landscapes and a whole section on the importance of light and shade (a vital skill for any artist to master!).

Best drawing books: Drawing: A Complete Guide

7

You Will be Able to Draw Faces by the End of This Book by Jake Spicer

Drawing faces is a real skill and even experienced artists sometimes find portraiture challenging! Jake Spicer’s book is an extremely detailed guide which will guide you through the basic techniques, covering shading, composition, lighting, how to capture a person’s likeness and much more. The book includes space for you to practice your new skills, but you may find it useful to get a sketchbook to use alongside this guide.

Best drawing books: You Will Be Able to Draw Faces by the End of This Book by Jake Spicer

8

Creative Drawing Techniques: From First Mark to Full Expression by David Brammeld

Artist David Brammeld has drawn on years of teaching experience to create this brilliant guide for artists of all abilities. This book will help you to build confidence in your skills, show you how to express your creative ideas and provides lots of great advice about the best materials to use. Creative Drawing Techniques is a good choice if you want to develop as artist and improve your technical knowledge.

Best drawing books: Creative Drawing Techniques by David Brammeld

9

The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling by John Muir Laws

If you’re inspired by nature and want to learn how to capture the natural world in detail, then this is the book for you. John Muir Laws shows how to draw plants, animals, landscapes, skies and more with step-by-step illustration. This book will help you to improve your drawing skills and covers both basic and advanced techniques.

Best drawing books: The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling

10

The Complete Book of Drawing: Essential Skills for Every Artist by Barrington Barber

Due to the challenging nature of some of this exercises, this book isn’t recommended for complete beginners, but if you’d like to build up your drawing skills and take your sketches to the next level, this book is a great choice. It covers a wide range of topics and techniques to teach you the rudiments of style and composition. Barrington Barber draws on his years of experience as an illustrator and graphic designer to create an expert guide to the art of drawing.

Best drawing books: The Complete Book of Drawing by Barrington Barber

11

Pen and Ink Drawing: A Simple Guide by Alphonso Dunn

If you’ve mastered the basics of sketching with pencils, then you might enjoy having a go at pen and ink drawing. Alphonso Dunn explains the materials you need and talks your through pen and ink drawing techniques. You’ll learn how to create shading and texture, plus how to use the secret line of balance. Alphonso is an artist, author and teacher who also shares art and drawing tutorials over on his YouTube channel. If you enjoy using this guide, you might also want to purchase his pen and ink drawing workbook to keep developing your pen and ink drawing skills.

Best drawing books: Pen and Ink Drawing by Alphonso Dunn

12

Start Drawing Landscapes: Basic Principles, Composition and Exercises by Markus S Agerer

Add landscapes to your repertoire with this handy guide! This book covers the basics of drawing, perspective and composition to show you how to create stunning scenes. It also breaks down different elements of a landscape such as trees, buildings and water. There are step-by-step guides explaining how to draw different scenes to allow you to practice your drawing skills.

Best drawing book: Start Drawing Landscapes by Markus S Agerer

13

Keys to Drawing by Bert Dodson

Get to grips with drawing with Bert Dodson’s 55 “keys”, which will allow you to sketch any subject matter with confidence. This guide demonstrates how to focus, how to improve your control, how to show light, depth and texture, and how to boost your imagination through creative play. This book will show you how to draw and master key skills, even if you don’t feel as though you’re good at art.

Best drawing books: Keys to Drawing by Bert Dodson

14

In Bloom: A Step-by-Step Guide to Drawing Lush Florals by Rachel Reinert

Learn how to draw your own beautiful blooms with Rachel Reinert’s easy tutorials. The ability to draw flowers is immensely satisfying and you’re bound to find this a very relaxing pastime. This book shows you how to produce your own flower drawings with simple, easy-to-follow tutorials and you’ll learn how to draw over 30 different flowers.

Best drawing books: In Bloom by Rachel Reinert

15

The Joy of Botanical Drawing: A Step-by-Step Guide to Drawing and Painting Flowers, Leaves, Fruit, and More by Wendy Hollender

Create realistic drawings of flowers, leaves and fruit with this brilliant drawing and painting guide written by Wendy Hollender. You’ll learn how to create vividly detailed botanical drawings and develop your artistic skills with Wendy’s expert tutorials. This book is interesting, informative and great value for money.

Best drawing books: The Joy of Botanical Drawing by Wendy Hollender

16

Look Closer, Draw Better: Expert Techniques for Realistic Drawing by Kateri Ewing

Take your drawings to the next level by learning how to add incredibly realistic details. In this book, Kateri Ewing explains how to train your eye to observe contrast, lines and shadows. This book focuses on the natural world, but you’ll still acquire drawing skills that you’ll be able to use elsewhere. It will refine your drawing and make you pay attention to the small details and imperfections that you’ll observe in the world around you.

Best drawing books: Look Closer Draw Better by Kateri Ewing

17

Tate: Sketch Club: Life Drawing by Hester Berry

Want to try life drawing but don’t know where to start? This book by Hester Berry includes 20 step-by-step tutorials explaining the basic skills you’ll need to create fantastic life drawings. It also reveals common mistakes and how to fix them – very useful! This book isn’t suitable for absolute beginners, but it’s a good pick for intermediate artists who are still learning and developing their skills.

Best drawing books: Tate Sketch Club Life Drawing by Hester Berry
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Looking for more art supplies? Check out our guides to the best watercolour paints, best acrylic paints and best drawing tablets for beginners. If you’re looking for gifts for an artistic friend or family member, take a look at our pick of the best gifts for artists and the best art sets for kids.