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50 Best Drawing Books for Beginners | Reviews + Guide

Drawing is much more than just putting pencil to paper and sketching what's in front of you. 

Best Drawing Books for Beginners

Professional artists will tell you that it's a medium for exploring human emotions and evoking real-life feelings in a 2D medium. So, you can understand the challenge that artists face and realize now why famous paintings sell for millions.

If you're a budding artist looking to make a name in the world of art, it would be best to read a few books about drawing concepts and techniques. To help you, we have narrowed down the 50 best drawing books for beginners that explore various ways of bringing art forms to life.

Best Drawing Books for Beginners

Here's the list of the 50 best drawing books for beginners, a comprehensive collection that will inspire and guide you on your artistic journey.

1. Keys To Drawing - Best for Beginners

To become proficient in different drawing techniques, it's important to practice, and that's where Bert Dodson's book comes in handy. It focuses on simple techniques so that you can create your own style.

All the techniques are easy to follow and suitable for new artists to help them apply clean strokes by controlling the movement of their hands and elbows. You'll find that the realistic drawing exercises have been divided into several lessons for quick understanding.

Number of Pages: 224 pages | Dimensions: 8.47 x 0.45 x 11 inches | Weight: 1.6 lbs | Publisher: North Light Books | Publication Date: August 15, 1990 | Book Format: Paperback

2. Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain - Best for Realistic Drawing

This book acts as a portal to the world of professional artists, especially for budding painters who need to practice realistic drawing exercises. Published in 1979, it’s a bestseller in the USA and has been translated into several languages.

The author, Betty Edwards, taught at California State University and has provided essential tips and tricks to be a successful painter. There's even a section about using the left and right sides of the brain to good effect.

Number of Pages: 291 pages | Dimensions: 8 x 0.75 x 9.5 inches | Weight: 1.45 lbs | Publisher: Tarcher | Publication Date: August 30, 1999 | Book Format: Paperback

3. Drawing For The Absolute Beginner - Best for Easy Learning

Every famous artist was once a beginner, but you will have a slight advantage because they didn't have the luxury of reading this book. Written by Mary and Mark Willenbrik, it will help improve your drawing skills in short, effective strokes.

All the methods in this book are pretty straightforward, while the narrative tone is simple. We came across several useful tips that will help you grasp basic art forms and styles with ease.

Number of Pages: 128 pages | Dimensions: 8.51 x 0.37 x 10.86 inches | Weight: 0.22 lbs | Publisher: North Light Books | Publication Date: November 2, 2006 | Book Format: Paperback

4. Drawing For The Absolute And Utter Beginner - Best for Nature & Portrait Drawing

Novice artists who one day aspire to bring various art forms to life will love this book by Claire Watson Garcia. You can learn to draw nature, people, still life, objects, textures, and basic shapes. The best part is that it has a separate section on charcoal shading and graphite pencil sketches for drawing realistic portraits.

Number of Pages: 160 pages | Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 11.1 inches | Weight: 1.31 lbs | Publisher: Watson-Guptill | Publication Date: October 1, 2003 | Book Format: Paperback

5. Light For Visual Artists - Best for Understanding Light & Shadow

To make your drawings stand out, it's essential to understand the interplay between light and shadow. We recommend studying the techniques in this book by Richard Yot but don't worry because it's not difficult to understand. The book isn't filled with complicated terminology despite talking about technical concepts.

It's perfect for creating detailed illustrations in visual art and proves to be a valuable resource for animators, photographers, novice artists, and professional painters.

Number of Pages: 176 pages | Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.75 x 11.2 inches | Weight: 1.59 lbs | Publisher: Laurence King Publishing | Publication Date: July 16, 2019 | Book Format: Paperback

6. Perspective Made Easy

At times, the best way to leave your mark as a painter is to look at things from a different perspective. To explore new drawing techniques, you can read this book about perspective drawing, which contains more than 250 line drawings related to the vanishing point and horizon.

Ernest R. Norlingod discusses the importance of seeing things at eye level to create shadows, shapes, objects, and figures to build your foundation as a painter.

Number of Pages: 224 pages | Dimensions: 5.39 x 0.47 x 8.46 inches | Weight: 0.58 lbs | Publisher: Dover Publications | Publication Date: January 19, 1999 | Book Format: Paperback

7. The Natural Way To Draw

Another bestseller for art study is this book about drawing objects and figures by taking inspiration from real life. If you're committed to gathering practical knowledge, then follow the exercises carefully crafted by the author, Kimon Nicolaides, from his experiences.

Having learned from stalwarts like Sloan, Bridgman, and Miller, he explores his passion for teaching art in this detailed book. We found that it's ideal for beginners and slightly advanced painters.

Number of Pages: 240 pages | Dimensions: 6.88 x 0.69 x 9.25 inches | Weight: 1.13 lbs | Publisher: Mariner Books | Publication Date: February 1, 1990 | Book Format: Paperback

8. Vilppu Drawing Manual

As far as figure drawing books go, the Vilppu Drawing Manual is one of the best and helps beginners make life drawings with ease. The author was employed at Disney for 15 years and passed on his knowledge by writing this comprehensive art course.

We found that the three main topics in this book are: gesture drawing, form construction, and hand action.

Number of Pages: 177 pages | Dimensions: N/A | Weight: 1.3 lbs | Publisher: Vilppu Studio | Publication Date: January 1, 1997 | Book Format: Spiral-bound

9. Figure Drawing For All It's Worth

As professional painters will tell you, there's no need to look far for inspiration because humans are some of the most interesting subjects. If you want to draw a life-like human figure, we recommend Andrew Loomis' book to make this seemingly difficult task easy.

He details the intermediary steps involved in the process so that you can draw figures by maintaining the correct proportions of different body parts. Even though the methods described might appear outdated, they are extremely useful.

Number of Pages: 208 pages | Dimensions: 9.2 x 1.02 x 12.3 inches | Weight: 2.8 lbs | Publisher: Titan Books | Publication Date: May 31, 2011 | Book Format: Hardcover

10. Traveling With Your Sketchbook

Serious art teachers will always encourage you to travel because there's so much to see and paint. But don't forget to carry this sketchbook to capture the emotions of different places and their people. Instead of taking photos, this old-school technique of recording memories will help you develop human connections.

Thanks to its unique combination of lessons, the book discusses the techniques for painting nature, the environment, and urban scenes.

Number of Pages: 200 pages | Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.5 x 11 inches | Weight: 1.01 lbs | Publisher: Butterfly Books | Publication Date: April 1, 1991 | Book Format: Paperback

11. How To Draw What You See

Suppose you chance upon an interesting scene while on a beach and want to paint it, but don't know how. It so happens that artists often fail to replicate the objects in front of them, so this book helps make that easier. We believe it's ideal for sketching objects in still life and explains how to add detail with each stroke.

Number of Pages: 303 pages | Dimensions: N/A | Weight: N/A | Publisher: Watson-Guptill | Publication Date: September 7, 2011 | Book Format: Kindle

12. A Foundation Course In Drawing

This book written by Terry Rosenberg and Peter Stanyer will be great reference material for serious art students. It extensively discusses drawing skills involving space, shape, light, and texture. 

Several fun exercises keep you engaged and prove most suitable for artists who have some proficiency. You'll especially love topics covering landscape, movement of figures, abstract subjects, and still life.

Number of Pages: 240 pages | Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.75 x 12 inches | Weight: 1.7 lbs | Publisher: Watson-Guptill | Publication Date: January 1, 2003 | Book Format: Paperback

13. Framed Ink

If you're a budding storyteller, this book will hold great value for your career. It's one of the rare books for graphic novelists who wish to engage with the audience through their illustrations. And, thanks to Marcos Mateu-Mestre, a comic artist himself, you'll get to know about composing engaging shots through single images.

Apart from art techniques, readers will have clarity about choosing a relevant topic and using light to depict day/night scenes.

Number of Pages: 128 pages | Dimensions: 8.56 x 0.55 x 10.95 inches | Weight: 1.45 lbs | Publisher: Design Studio Press | Publication Date: August 31, 2010 | Book Format: Paperback

14. Learn To Draw And Paint

The absolute beginner should know that drawing and painting are two different mediums, even though they share many similarities. To learn about them both, order your copy of this book today since it highlights how drawing and sketching can improve your painting skills.

You'll find hands-on lessons discussing charcoal and pencil sketches by drawing lines, scales, patterns, depths, contours, and perspective exercises. Best of all are the multiple color illustrations to describe art-making.

Number of Pages: 320 pages | Dimensions: 8 x 1 x 10.25 inches | Weight: 2.2 lbs | Publisher: Watson-Guptill | Publication Date: October 1, 2003 | Book Format: Paperback

15. How To Draw

Drawing doesn't simply mean sketching nature or still life; in fact, model building is one of the most interesting concepts covered in drawing fundamentals. You can read this book which focuses primarily on design and the various model processes of rotations, volumes, and ellipses.

We loved the images and video tutorials that made the different techniques easier to understand. 

Number of Pages: 208 pages | Dimensions: 9.1 x 0.8 x 11.03 inches | Weight: 2.5 lbs | Publisher: Design Studio Press | Publication Date: December 15, 2013 | Book Format: Paperback

16. Drawing The Head And Hands

This is another book by Andrew Loomis that discusses the artistic techniques of drawing different body parts. To be more precise, he talks about the skills needed for drawing heads and hands by developing your perspective through the topics covered in the book.

All the methods are pretty simple, and you'll get a clear idea of how to sketch a proportionate human being with heads and arms that don't seem out of place.

Number of Pages: 160 pages | Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.8 x 12.3 inches | Weight: 2.19 lbs | Publisher: Titan Books | Publication Date: October 25, 2011 | Book Format: Hardcover

17. Figure Drawing

Although there are several books on figure drawing, very few tackle the subject from an anatomical standpoint. Michael Hampton understood this and believed that knowing about human anatomy would help people sketch life-like figures. The book discusses the mechanical techniques of sketching a human figure, and you can also transfer these techniques to other mediums.

It is divided into several sections for easy understanding and explores various skill sets for the benefit of budding artists.

Number of Pages: 235 pages | Dimensions: 10 x 7.5 x 1.2 inches | Weight: 1.89 lbs | Publisher: M. Hampton | Publication Date: December 27, 2009 | Book Format: Paperback

18. Figure Drawing For Artists

No, we aren't reviewing the same book twice - this is a different book by Steve Huston that explores figure drawing. You'll learn how to add detail to artwork, thanks to the author's instructions and advice to focus on the tiny things.

It's a comprehensive guide for intermediate and advanced artists discussing the importance of gesture, light, perspective, and structure. Most importantly, you'll find artworks by famous artists for inspiration.

Number of Pages: 192 pages | Dimensions: 8.63 x 0.75 x 10 inches | Weight: 1.5 lbs | Publisher: Rockport Publishers | Publication Date: June 1, 2016 | Book Format: Flexibound

19. Anatomy For The Artist

As we have discussed earlier, it's crucial to know the human anatomy for figure drawing, and this is another book that believes in that school of thought. There are diagrams and photos, including translucent overlays, to help you understand the skeletal structure.

Sara Simbet explores the various muscle groups and encourages artists to capture the balance, poise, and grace of the human form. And all the illustrations are pretty detailed to help you draw a model accurately.

Number of Pages: 255 pages | Dimensions: 10.25 x 1.25 x 12 inches | Weight: 3.65 lbs | Publisher: DK Publishing | Publication Date: October 1, 2001 | Book Format: Hardcover

20. Successful Drawing

Beginners can read Andrew Loomis' book - Successful Drawing, which explores a realistic and clean style so that you can master 3D drawing. He discusses some pretty advanced skills related to proportion, planes, perspective placement, and patterns in the book. 

We especially liked the emphasis on light and scale, the major components of three-dimensional drawings. After reading it, you should have a better idea about construction, character, contour, consistency, and conception.

Number of Pages: 160 pages | Dimensions: 9.3 x 0.9 x 12.2 inches | Weight: 2.3 lbs | Publisher: Titan Books | Publication Date: May 8, 2012 | Book Format: Hardcover

21. Drawing People

Whenever we think of people, we think about adults, but Barbara Bradley teaches us that even babies and teenagers can be intriguing and fun subjects. The professional artist was a Director of Illustration in San Francisco for the Academy of Art College. So, you can trust her when she discusses how to realistically draw people and their clothing in this book.

Particularly interesting is the attention to detail, with regards to the folds on clothing and how they respond to the environment.

Number of Pages: 176 pages | Dimensions: 8.7 x 0.7 x 11.1 inches | Weight: 2.15 lbs | Publisher: F+W Media | Publication Date: October 27, 2003 | Book Format: Hardcover

22. Drawing The Living Figure

Circling round to anatomy again, this book talks about surface anatomy and how it's influenced by anatomical infrastructure. In short, Joseph Sheppard's book discusses figure drawing from the point of view of muscles and bones related to their position and movement.

It's pretty interesting, and artists get to examine the surface structure of live models. You can view a finished figure in two forms - its muscles and skeletons.

Number of Pages: 144 pages | Dimensions: 8.33 x 0.46 x 11.17 inches | Weight: 0.91 lbs | Publisher: Dover Publications | Publication Date: May 1, 1991 | Book Format: Paperback

23. Human Anatomy For Artists

Master artists need to be aware of their surroundings and how it holds their drawing together, believes Eliot Goldfinger in the book Human Anatomy For Artists. It's considered by many artists to be the definitive guide for drawing a human figure.

The author is a well-known sculptor and has experience drawing bones, muscles, and skeletons. This book analyzes the human form in detail and discusses all the essentials for drawing realistic figures. 

Number of Pages: 368 pages | Dimensions: 12.32 x 9.32 x 1.11 inches | Weight: 3.79 lbs | Publisher: Oxford University Press | Publication Date: November 7, 1991 | Book Format: Hardcover

24. A Handbook Of Anatomy For Art Students

Even though the title may sound complicated, this is not a scientific or medical-themed book. It's pretty easy to read, thanks to the life-like illustrations of models in different poses, coupled with the position of their muscles.

Like the previous book, you also get to understand the surface anatomy of the human figure through photos and illustrations. Arthur Thomson has years of art experience and knows how to convey a thought easily.

Number of Pages: 624 pages | Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.25 x 8.5 inches | Weight: 1.36 lbs | Publisher: Dover Publications | Publication Date: November 24, 2011 | Book Format: Paperback

25. Pen And Ink Drawing

An often unexplored technique is drawing with pens, as it delivers a vibrant appearance unmatched by most pencils. But a valid concern among artists is that they won't be able to erase the lines, which is where this book proves useful.

It provides an in-depth view of using pens and has several beautiful drawings to awaken the artist in you. We read the book and found it thoroughly entertaining due to the lucid language.

Number of Pages: 166 pages | Dimensions: 8 x 0.38 x 11 inches | Weight: 0.9 lbs | Publisher: Three Minds Press | Publication Date: December 11, 2015 | Book Format: Paperback

26. Draw Great Characters

To draw great characters, you need proper knowledge about body language, shape, facial expressions, and interactions between various elements. Beverly Johnson's book talks about all this by looking at a subject from different angles based on the setting. And there are plenty of practical exercises for much-needed practice.

Number of Pages: 144 pages | Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.5 x 11 inches | Weight: 1.42 lbs | Publisher: IMPACT Books | Publication Date: December 3, 2019 | Book Format: Paperback

27. Art Fundamentals

Understanding the fundamentals of art involves having a working knowledge of the various theories, concepts, and conventions. But don't worry, you can refer to this book to become a successful artist, owing to its diverse topics, such as the rule of thirds and divine proportions.

You'll also find discussions on subtle nuances for depicting human emotions.

Number of Pages: 288 pages | Dimensions: 8.19 x 0.94 x 11.57 inches | Weight: 2.8 lbs | Publisher: 3DTotal Publishing | Publication Date: May 12, 2020 | Book Format: Paperback

28. Beginners Guide To Life Drawing

Life drawing involves accurate representations of the human body on paper, for which this 100-page book comes in handy. There are detailed instructions about tone, texture, position, line, and shade. Beginners will love the step-by-step depictions, especially since it doesn't have complicated terminology to overwhelm them.

Number of Pages: 96 pages | Dimensions: 8.56 x 0.27 x 11.06 inches | Weight: 0.94 lbs | Publisher: Search Press | Publication Date: June 4, 2019 | Book Format: Paperback

29. Sketching From The Imagination: Creatures And Monsters

We often get caught up with drawing a perfect landscape or a human face, but even drawing from imagination has its challenges. This book talks about sketching creatures and monsters and displays the work of 50 artists from across the world. You'll find the mechanical structures of dragons, fairies, etc., represented in black and white.

Number of Pages: 320 pages | Dimensions: 8 x 0.75 x 9 inches | Weight: 2.1 lbs | Publisher: 3DTotal Publishing | Publication Date: June 25, 2019 | Book Format: Paperback

30. Pocket Art

Alongside figure drawings, one of the important techniques to learn for a serious artist is how to draw portraits. This book focuses on the essential steps of portrait drawing to make it easier for beginners by exploring different techniques and analyzing the subtleties of structure and facial expression. 

Number of Pages: 112 pages | Dimensions: 5.25 x 0.75 x 8.2 inches | Weight: 0.55 lbs | Publisher: Rockport Publishers | Publication Date: April 24, 2018 | Book Format: Flexibound

31. The Sketch Encyclopedia

Sometimes you need ideas for drawing practice, so this book has over 1,000 art projects to tingle the little gray cells in your brain. The primary concepts covered include sketching, line drawing, building up, and completing the finished figure. It also has topics discussing famous landmarks, buildings, vehicles, and nature.

Number of Pages: 504 pages | Dimensions: 9 x 1.5 x 11 inches | Weight: 4.14 lbs | Publisher: 3DTotal Publishing | Publication Date: October 30, 2018 | Book Format: Hardcover

32. Drawn To Life

Once beginners have grasped the concept of still-life drawings, they can focus on the gesture drawing process to bring human emotions to life. You should note that the entire book is a compilation of lectures by Walt Stanchfield, the famous Disney animator. Rest assured, it will help you capture the moment through sketches.

Number of Pages: 403 pages | Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.4 x 1 inches | Weight: 2.99 lbs | Publisher: Routledge | Publication Date: March 23, 2009 | Book Format: Paperback

33. How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way

If you aren't interested in drawing, you will be now, thanks to this book that teaches artists to draw their favorite Marvel characters. To sketch the superheroes that Stan Lee conceptualized, you'll learn about shot selection, composition, character dynamics, and perspective. All of these useful traits are depicted through vibrant color illustrations.

Number of Pages: 192 pages | Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 11 inches | Weight: 0.85 lbs | Publisher: Atria Books | Publication Date: September 14, 1984 | Book Format: Paperback

34. Drawing The Head And Figure

Figure drawing isn't as easy as it seems, and you can refer to this book to learn about drawing the head and body in perfect proportion. There are tons of illustrations and a step-by-step guide, which many artists believe is easier to follow than Andrew Loomis' methods. You won't face any shortage of helpful tips.

Number of Pages: 128 pages | Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.3 x 10.8 inches | Weight: 0.65 lbs | Publisher: TarcherPerigee | Publication Date: January 15, 1982 | Book Format: Paperback

35. The Silver Way

Developing character traits is important to be well-known as an artist, and what better person to learn from than Stephen Silver, the designer of shows like Kim Impossible. This book details simple steps and explains the best drawing techniques for encouraging, guiding, and inspiring you to sketch a character.

Number of Pages: 248 pages | Dimensions: 12 x 1 x 9 inches | Weight: 3.1 lbs | Publisher: Design Studio Press | Publication Date: April 7, 2017 | Book Format: Paperback

36. Modern Cartooning

Cartooning as concept art is an intricate form, and Christopher Hart will help you tap into your real potential through his brilliant book. You'll find simple methods to design cartoons but especially pleasing is the attention to bodies, faces, and backdrops. All these bring any cartoon to life.

Number of Pages: 160 pages | Dimensions: 8.51 x 0.44 x 10.87 inches | Weight: 1.42 lbs | Publisher: Watson-Guptill | Publication Date: March 26, 2013 | Book Format: Paperback

37. The Illusion Of Life: Disney Animation

For concept artists, one of the keys to drawing animations is to take inspiration from photos, storyboards, sketches, and paintings. This book by two well-known Disney animators, Frank Thomas, and Ollie Jonhston, talks about the 12 principles of animation while providing helpful tips to design your own characters.

Number of Pages: 576 pages | Dimensions: 10.66 x 1.4 x 11.39 inches | Weight: 6.28 lbs | Publisher: Disney Editions | Publication Date: October 19, 1995 | Book Format: Hardcover

38. Designing Creatures And Characters

To learn all the fundamentals of designing a graphic novel, you can read this book about sketching creatures and characters from your imagination. We found many projects and exercises that you can practice for drawing any creature to bring the novel to life.

You'll also like the beautiful illustrations and tips that the author offers from his own experience as an artist.

Number of Pages: 192 pages | Dimensions: 8 x 0.55 x 10.01 inches | Weight: 1.45 lbs | Publisher: IMPACT Books | Publication Date: October 12, 2016 | Book Format: Paperback

39. The Artist's Complete Guide To Figure Drawing

The best drawing books often talk about how to draw, but Anthony Ryder takes a different approach and discusses what you should draw. He builds on the idea of capturing what an artist sees rather than what they expect to see. You'll especially like the topics covering life, form, shape, and lines to create realistic drawings.

Number of Pages: 160 pages | Dimensions: 8.25 x 0.39 x 10.79 inches | Weight: 0.95 lbs | Publisher: Watson-Guptill | Publication Date: June 1, 1999 | Book Format: Paperback

40. Force: Dynamic Life Drawing For Animators

To apply the fundamentals of figure drawing in real life, Mike Mattesi talks about sketching the human body in its purest form. But he also discusses how attention to clothes can elevate the artwork to another level. This book is the perfect guide for people to convey emotions through art.

Number of Pages: 211 pages | Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.6 x 10.9 inches | Weight: 1.84 lbs | Publisher: CRC Press | Publication Date: March 29, 2017 | Book Format: Paperback

41. A Foundation Course In Drawing

An important book for art study is A Foundation Course In Drawing, with university lecturers Terry Rosenberg and Peter Stanyer co-writing it. The book contains many realistic exercises to help students grasp the concept of different art forms and apply them to their projects. It's ideal for beginners to learn real-life applications of various drawing techniques.

Number of Pages: 408 pages | Dimensions: 7 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches | Weight: 2.15 lbs | Publisher: Watson-Guptill | Publication Date: October 1, 1999 | Book Format: Hardcover

42. The Skillful Huntsman

Any concept artist will find this book to their liking as it discusses visual development through various sketching techniques. It mostly deals with creating fantasy worlds comprising castles, forests, huntsmen, and monsters by encouraging artists to explore their creativity. However, some of the concepts about perspective might be a little complex.

Number of Pages: N/A | Dimensions: N/A | Weight: N/A | Publisher: N/A | Publication Date: January 1, 2008 | Book Format: Hardcover

43. The Art Of Perspective

This is a fairly new book published in 2007 and focuses on atmospheric perspective to explain how values and colors can add depth to any artwork. There are topics covering one, two, and three-point perspectives, while the author also deals with unique perspective-related problems like wheels, reflections, and stairs.

Number of Pages: 208 pages | Dimensions: 8.53 x 0.55 x 11 inches | Weight: 1.81 lbs | Publisher: North Light Books | Publication Date: June 12, 2007 | Book Format: Paperback

44. The Master Guide To Drawing Anime

If you want to draw popular anime characters, you can't go wrong with this book. It's most suitable for beginners and will help you draw school girls and boys, villains, and fantasy characters. Most of all, it offers detailed insight into developing emotions and sketching accessories.

Number of Pages: 144 pages | Dimensions: 9 x 0.5 x 10 inches | Weight: 1.2 lbs | Publisher: Drawing with Christopher Hart | Publication Date: July 7, 2015 | Book Format: Paperback

45. Drawing Manga Animals, Chibis, And Other Adorable Creatures

This is another popular book for drawing Manga and other fictional creatures like Pokemon to help you capture figure poses quickly. The primary discussion revolves around accurately depicting their facial expressions, shapes, sizes, and unique character traits to leave a mark on the audience.

Number of Pages: 160 pages | Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.48 x 9.99 inches | Weight: 1.35 lbs | Publisher: Watson-Guptill | Publication Date: November 17, 2009 | Book Format: Paperback

46. Mastering Manga

Both beginners and advanced Manga artists will enjoy the topics covered in this book, including character development and setting a scene. After reading it, you can expand your skill set and draw exquisite Manga characters, thanks to the detailed illustrations. 

Number of Pages: 128 pages | Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.43 x 0.3 inches | Weight: 1.1 lbs | Publisher: IMPACT Books | Publication Date: March 8, 2012 | Book Format: Paperback

47. Classic Human Anatomy

This is a classic drawing book for developing anatomical sense, thanks to the 800 illustrations depicting the movement of muscles and bones in the body. We found that it's divided into three sections - muscles and their actions, skeleton, and movement.

It's ideal for an intermediate artist, and the easy instructions make it convenient for you to quickly grasp the subject.

Number of Pages: 304 pages | Dimensions: 9.33 x 0.91 x 11.23 inches | Weight: 3.21 lbs | Publisher: Watson-Guptill | Publication Date: December 23, 2008 | Book Format: Hardcover

48. The Big Book Of Realistic Drawing Secrets

You can buy this comprehensive book when you aspire to draw realistic figures of animals, humans, inanimate objects, and the environment. Co-written by Rick and Carrie Stuart Parks, this book takes a deep dive into the basics of drawing.

You'll find topics on anatomy, form, and structure with several helpful tips to improve your drawing skills. And both advanced and novice artists will like the friendly narration.

Number of Pages: 224 pages | Dimensions: 8.51 x 0.5 x 10.84 inches | Weight: 1.99 lbs | Publisher: North Light Books | Publication Date: June 13, 2009 | Book Format: Paperback

49. An Illustrated Life

Out of all the books we have reviewed, this is one of the rare ones that only contains pictures of artistic inspiration. Various artists have shared their creations from their library, which makes An Illustrated Life unique.

As you can understand, it's not a tutorial on how to draw, even though there are certain helpful tips. This is down to the author's interviews with the artists, where they talk about their creative process.

Number of Pages: 272 pages | Dimensions: 10 x 0.6 x 8 inches | Weight: 2.2 lbs | Publisher: HOW Books | Publication Date: December 1, 2008 | Book Format: Paperback

50. The Artist's Complete Guide To Drawing The Head

Who knew that drawing the head could be so challenging? That's because William Maughan discusses Leonardo Da Vinci's chiaroscuro technique, which is the interplay between light and dark.

Artists will learn about using toned paper, and dark and white pencils to create shadow, light, and other interesting forms. There's even a detailed guide on drawing accurate facial features through soft pastels for visual awareness.

Number of Pages: 160 pages | Dimensions: 8.31 x 0.4 x 10.99 inches | Weight: 1.26 lbs | Publisher: Watson-Guptill | Publication Date: January 1, 2004 | Book Format: Paperback

Best Drawing Books for Beginners Comparison Table

ProductNumber of PagesDimensionsWeightPublisherPublication DateBook Format
Keys To Drawing224 pages8.47 x 0.45 x 11 inches1.6 lbsNorth Light BooksAugust 15, 1990Paperback
Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain291 pages8 x 0.75 x 9.5 inches1.45 lbsTarcherAugust 30, 1999Paperback
Drawing For The Absolute Beginner128 pages8.51 x 0.37 x 10.86 inches0.22 lbsNorth Light BooksNovember 2, 2006Paperback
Drawing For The Absolute And Utter Beginner160 pages8.5 x 0.4 x 11.1 inches1.31 lbsWatson-GuptillOctober 1, 2003Paperback
Light For Visual Artists176 pages8.8 x 0.75 x 11.2 inches1.59 lbsLaurence King PublishingJuly 16, 2019Paperback
Perspective Made Easy224 pages5.39 x 0.47 x 8.46 inches0.58 lbsDover PublicationsJanuary 19, 1999Paperback
The Natural Way To Draw240 pages6.88 x 0.69 x 9.25 inches1.13 lbsMariner BooksFebruary 1, 1990Paperback
Vilppu Drawing Manual177 pagesN/A1.3 lbsVilppu StudioJanuary 1, 1997Spiral-bound
Figure Drawing For All It's Worth208 pages9.2 x 1.02 x 12.3 inches2.8 lbsTitan BooksMay 31, 2011Hardcover
Traveling With Your Sketchbook200 pages8.5 x 0.5 x 11 inches1.01 lbsButterfly BooksApril 1, 1991Paperback
How To Draw What You See303 pagesN/AN/AN/AWatson-GuptillSeptember 7, 2011
A Foundation Course In Drawing240 pages8.5 x 0.75 x 12 inches1.7 lbsWatson-GuptillJanuary 1, 2003Paperback
Framed Ink128 pages8.56 x 0.55 x 10.95 inches1.45 lbsDesign Studio PressAugust 31, 2010Paperback
Learn To Draw And Paint320 pages8 x 1 x 10.25 inches2.2 lbsWatson-GuptillOctober 1, 2003Paperback
How To Draw208 pages9.1 x 0.8 x 11.03 inches2.5 lbsDesign Studio PressDecember 15, 2013Paperback
Drawing The Head And Hands160 pages9.2 x 0.8 x 12.3 inches2.19 lbsTitan BooksOctober 25, 2011Hardcover
Figure Drawing235 pages10 x 7.5 x 1.2 inches1.89 lbsM. HamptonDecember 27, 2009Paperback
Figure Drawing For Artists192 pages8.63 x 0.75 x 10 inches1.5 lbsRockport PublishersJune 1, 2016Flexibound
Anatomy For The Artist255 pages10.25 x 1.25 x 12 inches3.65 lbsDK PublishingOctober 1, 2001Hardcover
Successful Drawing160 pages9.3 x 0.9 x 12.2 inches2.3 lbsTitan BooksMay 8, 2012Hardcover
Drawing People176 pages8.7 x 0.7 x 11.1 inches2.15 lbsF+W MediaOctober 27, 2003Hardcover
Drawing The Living Figure144 pages8.33 x 0.46 x 11.17 inches0.91 lbsDover PublicationsMay 1, 1991Paperback
Human Anatomy For Artists368 pages12.32 x 9.32 x 1.11 inches3.79 lbsOxford University PressNovember 7, 1991Hardcover
A Handbook Of Anatomy For Art Students624 pages5.5 x 1.25 x 8.5 inches1.36 lbsDover PublicationsNovember 24, 2011Paperback
Pen And Ink Drawing166 pages8 x 0.38 x 11 inches0.9 lbsThree Minds PressDecember 11, 2015Paperback
Draw Great Characters144 pages8.5 x 0.5 x 11 inches1.42 lbsIMPACT BooksDecember 3, 2019Paperback
Art Fundamentals288 pages8.19 x 0.94 x 11.57 inches2.8lbs3DTotal PublishingMay 12, 2020Paperback
Beginners Guide To Life Drawing96 pages8.56 x 0.27 x 11.06 inches0.94 lbsSearch PressJune 4, 2019Paperback
Sketching From The Imagination: Creatures And Monsters320 pages8 x 0.75 x 9 inches2.1 lbs3DTotal PublishingJune 25, 2019Paperback
Pocket Art112 pages5.25 x 0.75 x 8.2 inches0.55 lbsRockport PublishersApril 24, 2018Flexibound
The Sketch Encyclopedia504 pages9 x 1.5 x 11 inches4.14 lbs3DTotal PublishingOctober 30, 2018Hardcover
Drawn To Life403 pages10.8 x 8.4 x 1 inches2.99 lbsRoutledgeMarch 23, 2009Paperback
How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way192 pages8.5 x 0.4 x 11 inches0.85 lbsAtria BooksSeptember 14, 1984Paperback
Drawing The Head And Figure128 pages8.2 x 0.3 x 10.8 inches0.65 lbsTarcherPerigeeJanuary 15, 1982Paperback
The Silver Way248 pages12 x 1 x 9 inches3.1 lbsDesign Studio PressApril 7, 2017Paperback
Modern Cartooning160 pages8.51 x 0.44 x 10.87 inches1.42 lbsWatson-GuptillMarch 26, 2013Paperback
The Illusion Of Life: Disney Animation576 pages10.66 x 1.4 x 11.39 inches6.28 lbsDisney EditionsOctober 19, 1995Hardcover
Designing Creatures And Characters192 pages8 x 0.55 x 10.01 inches1.45 lbsIMPACT BooksOctober 12, 2016Paperback
The Artist's Complete Guide To Figure Drawing160 pages8.25 x 0.39 x 10.79 inches0.95 lbsWatson-GuptillJune 1, 1999Paperback
Force: Dynamic Life Drawing For Animators211 pages8.4 x 0.6 x 10.9 inches1.84 lbsCRC PressMarch 29, 2017Paperback
A Foundation Course In Drawing408 pages7 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches2.15 lbsWatson-GuptillOctober 1, 1999Hardcover
The Skillful HuntsmanN/AN/AN/AN/AJanuary 1, 2008Hardcover
The Art Of Perspective208 pages8.53 x 0.55 x 11 inches1.81 lbsNorth Light BooksJune 12, 2007Paperback
The Master Guide To Drawing Anime144 pages9 x 0.5 x 10 inches1.2 lbsDrawing with Christopher HartJuly 7, 2015Paperback
Drawing Manga Animals, Chibis, And Other Adorable Creatures160 pages8.5 x 0.48 x 9.99 inches1.35 lbsWatson-GuptillNovember 17, 2009Paperback
Mastering Manga128 pages8.5 x 5.43 x 0.3 inches1.1 lbsIMPACT BooksMarch 8, 2012Paperback
Classic Human Anatomy304 pages9.33 x 0.91 x 11.23 inches3.21 lbsWatson-GuptillDecember 23, 2008Hardcover
The Big Book Of Realistic Drawing Secrets224 pages8.51 x 0.5 x 10.84 inches1.99 lbsNorth Light BooksJune 13, 2009Paperback
An Illustrated Life272 pages10 x 0.6 x 8 inches2.2 lbsHOW BooksDecember 1, 2008Paperback
The Artist's Complete Guide To Drawing The Head160 pages8.31 x 0.4 x 10.99 inches1.26 lbsWatson-GuptillJanuary 1, 2004Paperback

Buying Guide for the Best Drawing Book for Beginners

Now let’s look at the factors that will help you choose the best drawing books for novice artists. But before that, here are the answers to a few common questions that budding artists usually have.

A. Easy to Understand

The best drawing books are easy to understand despite the complex concepts and structures of shape, light, and form. This will help beginners grasp the concepts quickly and apply them to their painting projects. 

It will help if you look for books that explain how to use different painting mediums to evoke subtle expressions. For instance, a slight tilt of the eyebrow can draw your attention to a person's face, which enhances their facial expressions.

B. Wide Range of Topics

To hold value for beginners, drawing books should cover a wide range of topics even when the book's primary focus is on a singular feature. You have seen in our reviews that many books deal with drawing the head or arms, but even then, they are pretty detailed.

They cover concepts of proportions, reflections, perspectives, etc., to bring your sketches to life. Moreover, search for books that discuss brush strokes, color gradients, and adding depth to the drawings.

C. Price

Although you would want to buy the best drawing books, we are not recommending that you spend a fortune on them. We understand that buying art accessories is pretty expensive, so you want to look for an affordable book.

Most of the books in our guide are reasonably priced, and books for the slightly advanced artist are priced higher. So, depending on your proficiency, you may have to spend a little extra to purchase a relevant book. 

What should a beginner first learn in drawing?

As a beginner, you must first learn about perspective to skillfully portray 3D objects on 2D paper. There are different perspective techniques that visual artists use for life drawing to make their work stand out.

What are the five basics of drawing?

The five basics of drawing that complete beginners should know about are:

  • Perspective
  • Color schemes
  • Proportions
  • Edges
  • Putting thought into action

What are some important drawing methods?

The four most crucial drawing methods are:

  • Hatching and cross-hatching
  • Rendering light
  • Shading and blending
  • Adding highlights


That's all the drawing books we had to cover for beginners; hopefully, now, you can choose one based on the skills you want to develop.

It's essential to keep innovating and pushing yourself to learn about the latest techniques and trends in the world of art, so reading the best drawing books will be worthwhile. You can take inspiration from the pictures and illustrations in many of them to incorporate them with your unique sketching style.

Also, don't forget to try out pencil, pen, and brush strokes, as each medium adds something new to a drawing. With that, we will leave you to brainstorm for your upcoming project, so take care and read this guide before purchasing drawing books.

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