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Can I learn drawing from books?

Can I learn drawing from books?

Can I learn drawing from books

Question from Mike, Drawing Academy student

 
Hi,

I recently discovered a Russian book called “Основы учебного академического рисунка” (Foundation of Academic Drawing). Although I don’t speak Russian, I really like studying from it.

Can you give any advice on how to study from a book? Is just copying the drawings enough?

Do you believe that it is better to start from the beginning of the book or to study the things you are interested in?
 

Feedback from Vladimir London, Drawing Academy tutor

 
Dear Mike,
 
Thank you very much for your question.
 
Yes, the book you mentioned is very good. I wish it would be translated to other languages.
 
To explain the challenge of studying drawing from books by copying images you see there, I have to give you the following example.
 
Let’s say you want to become a master of Chinese calligraphy. You are fascinated by how beautiful Chinese characters are and the wisdom they convey. That it is why you decided to learn the art of calligraphy by copying old scripts of Chinese masters published in a book.
 
Now, you are asking whether it is better to start from the beginning of the book or to study the things you are interested in.
 
Here’s the pitfall – no matter how hard you work on copying Chinese scripts, you will never become a master without learning the language and rules. Without understanding the words and the reasons why they were originally written, you won’t be able to produce a good copy because every character’s weight and style holds a meaning. Not knowing this meaning, you cannot reproduce it. Even if you produce a very good copy, you won’t become an author. It will be just a copy of someone else’s script. 
 
It’s the same in drawing.
 
No matter how well you copy someone else’s drawing, you won’t become a proficient original fine artist; the most you can hope for is becoming a good reproducer.
 
So, the answer is – get the idea that this book is about and what steps it suggests. Guess which drawing principles and rules this book advises. Use this knowledge to draw from life, progressing from simple tasks to more advanced.

Illustrations from the book:

Can I learn drawing from books

Can I learn drawing from books

Can I learn drawing from books

Can I learn drawing from books

Can I learn drawing from books

Can I learn drawing from books

Can I learn drawing from books

Can I learn drawing from books

Can I learn drawing from books

Can I learn drawing from books

Can I learn drawing from books

Can I learn drawing from books

Can I learn drawing from books

Can I learn drawing from books

 
You are a Drawing Academy and Anatomy Master Class student and, therefore, you have a lifetime membership and personal support from art tutors at no extra cost. Use this opportunity to learn the craft.
 
Why do you need a book you can’t even read if you already have professional art teachers who are ready to guide you all the way and give you the one-on-one tutoring you need?
 
Here’s what you can do. Send us your current artworks for critique and we will advise you on what skill gaps you have and how to fix them.
 
You will receive tailored step-by-step guidance on what to do to improve your drawing skills.

To learn human anatomy fast, visit the Anatomy Master Class »

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