10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A great study on the mental basics of figure drawing.,
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This review is from: Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters (Paperback)
Robert Beverly Hale's drawing books are some of the first one I go to on my shelf when looking for drawing advice. Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters is terrific book to get a handle on the mental aspects of drawing.
This book is a little more generic than his others, focusing more on a general approach to drawing and a very basic overview of anatomy.
The primary truth Hale mentions that many students fail to realize and some other drawing books skip over is that drawings aren't supposed to be a copy of real life. They're just symbolic depictions of life.
If a limb needs to be moved to make a better drawing, or if the entire lighting plan needs to be redone in your head, do it. The model is just the initial suggestion on which to base a drawing.
Where Hale's books shine is that he uses old master drawings for his examples. Basic art concepts such as conceiving body forms as basic geometric shapes to help control and simplify details are much easier to understand when you can see it in a Rubens or DaVinci drawing.
I will admit that some of his advice (like buying bones to study anatomy) may sound a tad odd. But you should remember that this book is 20 years old and draws on teaching experience for 30+ years before that. However, other than that the lessons in this book are just as important and relevant now and when they were first written.
I have a ton of drawing books, (almost literally) but this and Robert Beverly Hale's other books are some of my favorites.