Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Keys to Drawing Paperback – August 15, 1990
Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
"This long-popular guide uses simple black-and-white pencil drawing illustrations to help beginners to develop their skills and dexterity through a series of short exercises." --Library Journal
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.
Top Customer Reviews
Then I happened across Dodson's book and everything changed. He doesn't spend the whole first chapter describing the tools you need. He doesn't launch into a zen discussion of the "is-ness" of art or play amateur psychologist. He just tells you to sit down, cross your legs, and draw your feet -- and he explains, in very simple terms, just how to go through the process. Look, hold, draw. Look, hold, draw. And it works, it really does. I'm sure all this is old hat to you artists out there, but Dodson is exactly the sort of teacher I've been looking for all these years! There are about fifty exercises on methods and techniques throughout the book and I'm taking my time with them. After three months, I'm about a quarter of way through the book, and my sketch book is looking pretty good. I've learned to restate rather than erase, and I'm getting along just fine with two pencils (HB and 4B) and a Micron pen. I cannot recommend Dodson's methods too highly to anyone who, like me, just wants to learn to draw!
Fast forward 20 years where I see Bert Dodson's book "Keys to Drawing". I remembered how I used to love to draw and bought it on impulse. I started at page 1 and progressed through the book. The day my sister (the artist) walked into my house and seeing the drawing I was working on said, "nice drawing of Louis Armstrong" was one of the best moments of my life. By the way that was a drawing of Satchmo I was working on.
What I learned from Bert Dodson was that drawing is mostly about technique which anyone can learn. Although my masterpieces will never hang in a museum, they do hang in my home and my husband is very proud to have them there.
If you've always wanted to draw but thought you had no talent - buy this book. You will surprise yourself.
Dodson teaches the basics with an emphasis on relaxation and creativity. You really learn how to think about drawing. His exercises are designed to help you master skills (composition, proportion, shading) rather than the perfection of the end result. Oddly enough, the end result of all of these lessons are more perfect drawings!
Now that I'm finished with the book, I still go back mentally to each of Dobson's lessons to help me through the challenges of creating drawings, and I still work on the exercises. To me, this more than earns a 5 star review.
My edition is a North Light Books paperback published in 1990. Amazon indicates the current edition was updated in 2001 and, although I've not seen that I think it unlikely that it departs much from the sound advice provided in earlier editions.
I see the synopsis on Amazon says that it "Describes the drawing process, discusses proportions, light, depth, texture, pattern, design, and imagination, and tells how to evaluate one's work." And it does do all of those things - but it also does a lot more. He has 55 keys to drawing which are introduced as he goes through each of the topics in turn - and he provides lots of practical exercises to see how they can be applied.
It needs to be pointed out that this book is NOT a manual for how to draw in a hyper/photo realism manner - there are other books that do that.
What I like most about this book is it starts by encouraging people who want to develop their drawing to develop their own 'handwriting' for their drawing. Dodson explains:
* how we draw is as individual to us all as how we write.
* all artists combine freedom (intuitive, looser, sketchy drawing) and control (analytical, precise, careful drawing) in their work - they just do it differently
I just loved the idea that this author wanted me to be me - and not like him or somebody else.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Again - bought for my niece (12 years old) who has a passion for drawing but no one to teach her. She's naturally gifted in this area, but this book has taught her A LOT about how... Read morePublished 19 days ago by Kyle
Have been using this book for years to teach drawing, a good refresher for artists too. Wonderful book.Published 19 days ago by Lange Kimball
Excellent book. An example of clear writing and effectively sequenced instruction. Explains how two different levels of drawing, free motion and concentrated, complement each... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Before I got this book, I was embarrassed to draw a stick figure. I followed the lessons and was amazed at the life like drawings I can do now. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Karla Sookie
It's a great foundational book that covers most drawing skills in an easy user friendly approachPublished 2 months ago by Samiah Khashoggi
I have taught drawing and painting to many levels from elementary to high school to senior citizens, and this is by far my favorite book on the subject. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Andris Rutins