I’ve been working on a little (or maybe not so little) project for nearly a year now and I’m excited to share that North Light Books (an F+W Media company) has contracted me to write a drawing book for beginners based on my “Drawing Secrets Revealed” course! It’s very exciting and has been a LOT of work, and now the book is nearly ready to be published! You can order Drawing Secrets Revealed: Basics here as a print hard copy book or here as an ebook.
I’ll keep you posted when I have more concrete details, but till then here’s a couple of peeks at the kind of content I’ll be covering in the book.
An excerpt of the introduction to my book explains what I’m actually covering. (“Drawing” is WAY too broad a topic, but what exactly are the “Basics” I mention in the title?)
It’s a common misconception that you have to be born with an “artistic” talent or that only “creative” people can draw or paint. But in fact, drawing is a discipline just like any other, requiring leaning skills and practicing techniques. And your keen desire to draw gives you the aptitude you need to study those skills and diligently practice the techniques I’m going to teach you. When you’ve practiced them consistently, you’ll really start to feel pride in your ability to draw. Suddenly people will say, “I didn’t know you were so talented!”
Many drawing books that claim to be aimed at beginners incorporate way too much information with lots of bells and whistles and a plethora of advanced techniques and materials. The developing artists are left overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. I’m not going to inundate you with every technique, material, color media and approach because let’s face it – art is a vast continent and you can exhaust yourself trying to cover all the terrain. What I’ve tried to do with this book is to hone that artistic topography into an exciting but manageable vista that will allow you to master the foundational concepts you need to embark on just about any artistic genre or medium that snares your interest.
This book is more than just teaching you how to draw any one particular thing. The purpose of this book is to teach you how to draw anything you see. ANYTHING. That requires a systematic, methodical approach to lay a solid foundation with each concept building on the previous. If you take the time to learn and practice the concepts in this book diligently, you’ll find yourself able to draw pretty much anything you see around you, no matter how complicated, because you will know how to strip a composition down to its basics and then build on that.
I’ve condensed my “Drawing Secrets Revealed” course into 8 chapters that focus on basic techniques and drawing secrets that will get you started off right, followed by concepts that will help you achieve the right placement and scale before getting into shading, as well as figure-drawing, drawing portraits, and drawing still lifes that incorporate proper proportions, perspective, and good elements of composition.
Crammed with detailed step-by-step demonstrations, this book will take you from knowing nothing to being able to draw whatever you see (with lots of practice, of course!). An essential resource for your art library, the book will provide invaluable instruction you can revisit over and over! The exercises and step-by-step demonstrations inside include.
- Learn my top drawing secrets and my favorite drawing materials (including ones you may not have encountered before) as well as some basic drawing and shading techniques to get you started off right.
- Drawing basic shapes to help you identify the main Elements of Lighting to give your drawings a realistic three-dimensionality.
- Learning how to block-in your drawing to make sure it’s placed correctly, doesn’t run off the page in any direction, and has accurate size and proportions so you have a solid drawing to build your shading and details on.
- Develop realistic values with proven drawing and shading techniques. Learn some shortcuts and drawing secrets that will make it easier for you to render sophisticated lights and darks.
- Accurately gauge the proportions, or relative distances, in your drawings and paintings so they don’t look “lopsided” or “off.” Learn how to apply these proportions in both simple and complex drawings and use neighboring objects to help you gauge accurate distances so everything is placed and sized correctly.
- Draw the human face and form with realistic detail and see how to break down these incredibly complex and unique subjects into manageable steps.
- Learn the laws of perspective to make sure all your drawings have the right perspective. There are quite a few types and principles of perspective, but I explain them simply and clearly with lots of diagrams to make it easy to see how to do it.
- To cap off this thorough, easy to follow book, I finish with a chapter on elements of composition. Something I’ve noticed about a lot of instruction available and with my own students is that it’s one thing to learn all these drawing techniques, but it’s quite another to figure out how to put them all together to make a really interesting composition. Part of seeing like an artist is not only gauging proportions and rendering accurate values, but also understanding what will make a good drawing and what won’t. I show you a number of different elements to give you a toolbox to pull from when you’re arranging or figuring out your own compositions.
I guarantee you that if you diligently practice the concepts I teach in my book, you will be able to draw ANYTHING you see because I won’t be teaching you only how to draw a specific thing so that’s all you know how to draw. I will be teaching to you actually SEE like an artist, to be able to apply these techniques to any subject you choose to draw.
Because this is a book aimed at beginners, I have thrown every possible drawing concept or technique into the book. I drew on my experience teaching art to choose just the techniques that would both give you a good foundation and still enable you to explore the realm of graphite and charcoal drawing, so it’s a good balance of information both for the absolute beginner and for a developing artist who has some experience in drawing and painting and just feels they’re missing some important understand and skills.
Not only that, but if you are interested in progressing to color mediums like oil paint, acrylic, water color, colored pencils, or pastels, you will find these drawing skills will make all the difference between a painting that has a good foundation and one that is lopsided or disproportionate. The thing so many students I’ve observed and taught have had to deal with – without ever realizing it – is that they are often trying to master two disciplines (drawing and painting) in the same workshop or class, which leads them to get overwhelmed and frequently end up concluding they “just don’t have talent.” It’s really just putting the cart before the horse. Get your drawing skills mastered and your painting will be correctly proportioned, well-placed and sized, and have proper perspective. You’ll then be able to concentrate on learning and improving your painting skills without worry about the foundation of your painting.