The 10 Best How to Draw Books

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This wiki has been updated 22 times since it was first published in February of 2018. Some people are lucky enough to be born with an innate artistic ability, but for the rest of us, fortunately there's a lot of instructional material out there. These books will teach you how to draw, even if you're a complete beginner, using formats that are engaging, easy to follow, and take you through the process step by step. We've included volumes suitable for all ages and skill levels. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Successful Drawing

2. You Can Draw in 30 Days

3. The Realism Challenge

Editor's Notes

October 29, 2019:

It's easy to be intimidated by drawing if it doesn't come naturally to you, but thankfully — and many artists agree — you don't need innate artistic talent to learn how to sketch. The books on this list provide top-grade instruction on the many aspects of drawing, and many require nothing more than a pencil and a decent sketch pad or a few blank sheets of paper. You'll find books for children and budding artists (Draw 50 Animals, Disney-Pixar Characters, The Marvel Way), beginners (The Drawing Lesson, Keys to Drawing, You Can Draw in 30 Days), and advanced students (The Realism Challenge, Realistic Faces, Successful Drawing).

We let go of Drawing for the Absolute Beginner due to complaints that it was overly complicated if you're just starting, which isn't very helpful for its intended demographic. We still think it's a great choice for newbies with some artistic inclinations, but if you're a true beginner, there's the recently added Keys to Drawing. This volume serves as an excellent starting point for anyone who's never picked up a pencil.

We also said goodbye to Modern Florals, a lovely and instructive selection that, nevertheless, felt incomplete. It was scrapped to make way for Successful Drawing, one of many beloved instructional books by Andrew Loomis. While the illustrations in the book are beautiful and inspiring, be aware that some are on the retro side (think 1940s pin-ups). That being said, the information in it is just as relevant today as when it was first written.

4. Your Artist's Brain

5. The Drawing Lesson

6. The Marvel Way

7. Keys to Drawing

8. Disney-Pixar Characters

9. Realistic Faces

10. Draw 50 Animals

Gia Vescovi-Chiordi
Last updated by Gia Vescovi-Chiordi

Born in Arizona, Gia is a writer and autodidact who fled the heat of the desert for California, where she enjoys drinking beer, overanalyzing the minutiae of life, and channeling Rick Steves. After arriving in Los Angeles a decade ago, she quickly nabbed a copywriting job at a major clothing company and derived years of editing and proofreading experience from her tenure there, all while sharpening her skills further with myriad freelance projects. In her spare time, she teaches herself French and Italian, has earned an ESL teaching certificate, traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States, and unashamedly devours television shows and books. The result of these pursuits is expertise in fashion, travel, beauty, literature, textbooks, and pop culture, in addition to whatever obsession consumes her next.

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