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Drawing for the Absolute Beginner: A Clear & Easy Guide to Successful Drawing Paperback – Bargain Price, November 2, 2006

4.3 out of 5 stars 316 customer reviews

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Paperback, Bargain Price, November 2, 2006
$15.46 $9.63

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About the Author

Mark and Mary Willenbrink are also the authors of North Light's Watercolor for the Absolute Beginner. Mark teaches watercolor classes and is a contributing editor for Watercolor Magic magazine. Mary is a writer, with a Masters Degree in Counseling.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: North Light Books (November 2, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581807899
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (316 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,465,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. P. Jones on October 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
I discovered this unassuming volume after buying four other drawing books and looking through about fifty more. While finding a lot of good things in the other books, none of them had what I was looking for in a beginner's guide - a solid step-by-step foundation course starting from square one. Too many drawing books, I learned, either turned into art displays - filled with beautifully rendered drawings and too little instruction, focused too much on certain aspects of drawing at the exclusion of others, or were poorly organized with a vague sense of direction. What I wanted was a solid stone on which to build my drawing and (eventually) painting skills...and I found it!

Where Mr. and Mrs. Willenbrink have succeeded so magnificently is in both the completeness and organization of their material. They assume nothing while providing valuable insight on every page. Their goal is to get you drawing - quickly and correctly. Not a word is wasted on lofty theories and no drawings are displayed without full and easy-to-follow instructions on how they were created. This is a book that will teach you how to walk before trying to teach you how to run.

The book's six chapters are laid out clearly and logically, starting with how to hold the pencil and a great overview of sketch types. From there the chapters cover basic shapes, measurement and perspective, value, and composition, with over 25 step-by-step practice drawings to apply what has been discussed.

I could not find a better presentation of this material in any other drawing book. If you dream of being an artist and don't know where to begin...start here!
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Format: Paperback
I like this book quite a lot. I got it as a review of basic drawing principles I learned in college, and for this it is really useful. It reviews much of what I learned in the first four art classes I had, explaining tools, going over basic skills like how to hold a pencil for different effects, creating value cards, and starting out with the basic shapes of an item and working towards the details. I'd forgotten many pointers my profs had shared that are repeated here, like how to use a sighting stick and what the basic proportions are for the human face and body. The demos/how-to's also cover a good range, including human and animal portraits, buildings, cars, a fruit still life, and a couple landscapes.

While I have never been a "natural" in terms of drawing, I have had 7 college drawing courses and three adult-ed classes at an art center in the last few years. This is to say, while this book is actually perfect for me, providing meaningful instruction and review at my present (still beginner) level, I think I would have been very upset and overwhelmed with it had I gotten it a few years ago, before taking any of the aforementioned classes. Likewise, you will notice that many of the other reviewers who got the most out of the book actually have some drawing background. The discussion of perspective is a great review, for example, but had this been my first introdution to perspective, I would have been competely lost, as the disussion is more an overview of the concept than the step-by-step tutorial that a real "absolute beginner" needs to follow.
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Format: Paperback
This book is one of four instructional drawing books which I bought to try to get myself back into sketching and drawing, an activity which I enjoyed in my youth. Besides the "Absolute Beginner" book, I got the "Absolute and Utter Beginner", "Drawing with Children" (Mona Brookes) plus one about drawing faces. As you can see, I decided to go "all the way back" and get a good foundation to the craft. I draw nearly every day now, doing up to seven sketches or studies. My fat little sketchbook is half full now with studies from the "Face Book", still life pictures I've done of stuff in my room, and many drawings from the Willenbrink book. I dove right into this book and have been mostly pleased with it.

The book starts begins with a list of basic tools and supplies. It fits the bill for those who are looking for a guide to strictly pencil drawings (not colored ones, charcoal or ink or pastels: I'll do that later), and requires few supplies. Hobby Lobby had some small kits with most of the stuff in them: various pencils---from soft to hard, a little sharpener, plus a sandpaper pad to put a fine point on your pencil, and two kinds of erasers. Besides that you need sketchbook(s), a nice drawing board, and some drafting-type tools---an "eraser shield", folding ruler, triangle, t-square, and "dividers". Be sure to pick up a spray-can of fixative so that your drawings don't get all smudged onto the pages of your book, and pick up a hem-gauge from a fabric store.

Chapter One which introduces Sketching and Drawing was very helpful to get me thinking about art and "seeing" with artist eyes. In fact, I would like to have spent more time on these exercises and others ones like that.
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