Really good drawing instruction books for pre-teen kids

Learning perspective

From "Draw Squad" by Mark Kistler
From "Draw Squad" by Mark Kistler

"Draw Squad"

One day, a friend of mine was searching for a really good book to help his 10 year old son learn to draw. He wasn't necessarily looking to make him a future Rembrandt. He wanted to give his son the tools to be able to sketch an image from life and even pictures in his mind's eye in order to help enhance his creative expression. Knowing how to draw also makes it easier to excel in art class and school projects like posters and dioramas, and my friend wanted that for his kid, too. He asked around at the book store and more than one sales associate pointed him to "Draw Squad" by Mark Kistler (Simon & Schuster, 1988 - Paperback - 224 pages - ISBN 0671656945).

My friend had seen "Captain" Mark Kistler on PBS, showing easy shortcuts to drawing, sketching people, pets, airplanes, buildings, as well as quirky cartoons, telling stories with his creations, so he knew his son might be ... drawn, excuse the pun... to this paperback guide. One of the most important concepts that Kistler taught on TV and in this book is how to draw perspective - what gives a drawing a sense of depth and therefore, reality. Using terms like "foreshortening," it's simple to learn and practice shapes and apply them to depicting an image realistically.

Well, he took the book home, gave it to his son and didn't say anything about it. Actually, he kind of got very busy with work and forgot about the whole drawing thing. Then, one day, he got a call from his son's teacher who asked him to come in for a talk. When he did, the teacher inquired about her student's sudden drawing prowess. As if from one day to the next, he went from stick figures to rocking art class. The teacher wanted to know what in the world was going on. My friend made it his business to spread the word, making drawing available to all!

How To Draw with Mark Kistler: Multiple Cylinders in 3-D!

Cove of Art for Kids: Drawing: The Only Drawing Book You'll Ever Need to Be the Artist You've Always Wanted to Be
Cove of Art for Kids: Drawing: The Only Drawing Book You'll Ever Need to Be the Artist You've Always Wanted to Be
Cover of Manga Mania Magical Girls and Friends: How to Draw the Super-Popular Action Fantasy Characters of Manga
Cover of Manga Mania Magical Girls and Friends: How to Draw the Super-Popular Action Fantasy Characters of Manga

Art for Kids: Drawing: The Only Drawing Book You'll Ever Need to Be the Artist You've Always Wanted to Be

By Kathryn Temple, this well-reviewed book provides a comprehensive guide to drawing for kids, with the tools of drawing a wide array of images and themes. In addition to presenting the concepts and techniques in a logical and understandable manner, the book has a "you can do it" attitude that is encouraging for kids who are first trying their hand in drawing and older kids who want to build confidence. And parents, if you've always wanted to draw but felt like you didn't know how, you may want to make drawing with "Art for Kids: Drawing: The Only Drawing Book You'll Ever Need to Be the Artist You've Always Wanted to Be" a family activity.

Manga Mania Magical Girls and Friends: How to Draw the Super-Popular Action Fantasy Characters of Manga

You might not know about "Manga" but your kids sure do! This colorful book guides them through the techniques that will give them Manga credibility and into an imaginative frame of mind. For "Manga" maniacs, there is "Manga Mania Magical Girls and Friends: How to Draw the Super-Popular Action Fantasy Characters of Manga" by Christopher Hart [paperback]. I can't think of a better way to empower your kids to have a blast through drawing!

Drawing Book Free Download!

Much of the best stuff in life is free stuff! If you're just testing the waters, that may be the way to go. Here's the search page I found for Drawing Book Free Download. We all know, free is good!

Comments 4 comments

Dee aka Nonna profile image

Dee aka Nonna 4 years ago

This is wonderful. My grandchildren like drawing, painting, etc. My granddaughter really enjoy sitting with paper and pencil and creating pictures. My son has been trying to think of what to do to really encourage her. I am going to pass this on to him. Thank you for sharing. Voted up and useful.


Guru-C profile image

Guru-C 4 years ago Author

Thank you so much, Dee! I hope your grandchildren have a wonderful time with creativity! All the best to you.


Leds profile image

Leds 4 years ago from France

:-) thanks for sharing this.. Will pass it on to my friends for sure...I have voted up for this hub. Thanks and do post more.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

The pre-teen years are tough times for kids in so many ways, and one way is about confidence (as you allude to). Younger kids relish drawing projects, but when the pre-teen years set in, those same kids too often start to doubt themselves.

These are great resources that you discuss here, and the story about the parent being called in by the teacher is priceless. Up and useful. :)

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