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Keys to Drawing with Imagination: Strategies and Exercises for Gaining Confidence and Enhancing Your Creativity Spiral-bound – November 27, 2006


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Keys to Drawing with Imagination: Strategies and Exercises for Gaining Confidence and Enhancing Your Creativity + Keys to Drawing + Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: The Definitive, 4th Edition
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Product Details

  • Spiral-bound: 192 pages
  • Publisher: North Light Books (November 27, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581807570
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581807578
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #254,499 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A painter, teacher and illustrator, Bert Dodson is the author of the best-selling North Light book Keys to Drawing. He's illustrated more than 70 children's books and worked as an animation designer for the PBS series Intimate Strangers.


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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The book is fabulous for creative spark and developing drawing skills both.
Sherry
So if you dread learning to draw but want to do it in a fun, easy going fashion--try this book and see how relaxing and yet practical it is.
Jacalyn
If there is anyone in your life aspiring to be an artist but who is experiencing roadblocks, I HIGHLY recommend this book.
Starry Eyes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

126 of 130 people found the following review helpful By StingeHead on April 15, 2007
Format: Spiral-bound
This is a great how-to-draw book, because it has a very smart strategy: finesse the negative self-criticism that keeps most of us from even beginning to do anything smacking of `art.'

When a six year old once asked her father, a college art instructor, what he did for a living, he said, "I teach people how to draw." Incredulous, she replied: "You mean they forget!?"

We all know why that is-- a censorious voice inside our heads keeps up a murderous barrage of intimidation: "You suck! You can't draw!" And we knuckle under.

Most books on how to draw just reinforce this anxiety. They aim to teach you how to draw realistically, which for most of us means there is just one way to get it right, and a thousand to screw it up. How to solve this problem? Cookie-cutter schematic diagrams are given for drawing everything from portraits to horses, but every time you draw one of those almond shapes for a head, then put in a cross on which to put facial features, you've become a robot and art, an assembly-line production. That's a far cry from the utter fearlessness we all had when armed only with crayons.

This book blows by all this tomfoolery because it cares little for cheap realism but much for real creativity. By not focusing on the "what" but the "how" this book lets you not only think like an artist, but become one. In its pages learning is doing as rules are jettisoned in favor of principles, suggestions and exercises that gently immerse you in the experience of drawing, so that before you know it, you're scribbling away as intently as any six-year old... or Van Gogh. Getting the terminally self-conscious to believe in themselves as artists is no mean achievement--it's damn hard to do as a matter of fact--but Bert Dodson does this beautifully.
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56 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Christie Hoagland on March 29, 2007
Format: Spiral-bound
Thank you, Bert Dodson, for Drawing With Imagination. It is a much needed elixir for both my creative and professional life. I've been an Art teacher for thirty years and I know from experience that you can teach almost anyone how to draw and paint well. Learning to use the tools is the easy part. What's hard is stimulating the imagination and the confidence to be creative.

Dodson's new book is a brimming reservoir of inspirational projects and ideas for the artist or teacher. Some of these exercises are so freeing, blocks to creativity seem to melt away leaving a fresh landscape of fertile ground. Using Bert's book as a basis for lessons my high school beginning students are stumbling onto originality and my advanced "Portfolio" students are discovering new directions for their work.

Every teacher and artist needs a copy of this book at their fingertips if only for an infusion of energy for your classroom and studio. I didn't realize till I got my copy, I've been waiting for this book for a long time.
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59 of 62 people found the following review helpful By A Jones on October 28, 2007
Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
While I am not a beginner, I thought this book might offer creative drawing exercises and ideas, something to feed my imagination. I was right. The chapters are brief and to the point with exercises that stretch beyond the usual. The illustrations of finished work as well as those of the actual exercise steps are excellent. A worthwhile book, not just a showcase of an artist's work... but not one for a beginner. Some of the chapters show nearly finished drawings as illustrations of the concept presented; there's no useful step-by-step instruction. But overall, most of the chapters are very good. Not a must-have, but still worth the money.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Parka TOP 50 REVIEWER on February 2, 2010
Format: Spiral-bound
Length: 0:25 Mins
Keys to Drawing with Imagination is a book that focuses on the thinking, more specifically on thinking differently and conjuring ideas. The many short concise exercises provided comes with practical tips that you can mix and match on your own. He makes drawing fun with the interesting and stimulating exercises.

For beginners, well, this is not a technical drawing technique book with step-by-step tutorials, so you won't learn any technical drawing skills.

This book can be picked up at any time to any page for some inspiration, no matter how many times you've read it before.

It's recommended to artists who want to have more fun and freedom with their art, or who have constant drawing blocks.

(More pictures are available on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Judith H. Hauck on March 29, 2007
Format: Spiral-bound
As a sculptor by avocation I find Bert Dodson's book delightful in its exuberant enthronement of imagination. As a biologist by vocation I'm equally pleased at how much this book evokes the experience of the scientist. The scientist keeps a sharp eye out for mystery in nature, imagines plausible explanations, devises experiments to test his ideas, and emerges with insights. The artist, similarly, observes, experiments interprets and brings forth something new. For both, imagination is a powerful key to success in discovery.

I am particularly impressed by Dodson's use of metaphor as a potent artistic explanatory device. In many different situations he discusses and illustrates ways in which "metaphoric seeing" " - looking at something and seeing something else - "awakens our ability to bring our own interpretation to reality."
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