I LOVE art books! I love browsing through them to see if the ability of the artist and the quality of the instruction are worth adding the book to my library and for use as a teaching aid. The only thing is, most brick and mortar bookstores are gone now. Those that are still open have greatly reduced their art book sections. Even the big stores offer only a small selection anymore. So… what do I do? I go online like everyone else and try to figure out the good ones from the poor ones. Some websites allow you to preview the book. But I’ve found that most previews just show the first chapter (which lists the supplies you need) and the index at the back. But this doesn’t show you what the book is about nor how how well it will help YOU! How can you know if it’s actually worth buying if you can’t have a look through it like you would at the bookstore?
I’ve been an art instructor for over 30 years. I have read countless art books; some bursting at the seams with value and others miserably lacking. My students are of all skill levels and often ask me which books would be most helpful for them. My goal in creating this page is to provide you with the best recommendations I can so that you can feel good about the art books you buy and get what you’re looking for from them. Below I have reviewed my top 10 drawing books listed with their recommended skill level. Each is overflowing with priceless knowledge and in this artist’s opinion, worth every penny.
Click on any of the books below to read more about them and why I recommend them.