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20 NEW Books about Drawing in 2013

Updated on August 21, 2014
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Katherine regularly reviews art books and has a very extensive art library (4 bookcases and lots of stacks waiting for the next one!)

A list of 20 recommended NEW books about drawing and sketching published in 2013

Are you learning how to draw or trying to improve your drawing?

Want to know about some of the best NEW books about drawing which have been published - or are about to be published?

This site lists my recommendations for 20 NEW books about drawing in 2013. I've identified these by sorting, sifting and screening those being published every month in 2013. Plus I've revised the list to identify what I think are the 20 best books as the year has proceeded.

This site will interest YOU if

* you want to learn about how to draw at home

* you want to improve your drawing skills

* you want to find out more about artists who are highly skilled at drawing

This site focuses on fine art and art instruction books about drawing and sketching for adults. It highlights those likely to be of most interest to artists and serious students of drawing. Listings INCLUDE:

* books designed specifically for pencils artists and those keeping sketchbooks / journals.

* academic books about drawing

* catalogues for exhibitions about drawings

It doesn't include every book - and EXCLUDES any reference to specialist books about cartooning, manga and drawing books for children.

Who is this site for?


CONTENT: This site is for YOU if you want to:

* learn how to draw and/or

* improve your drawing and/or

* learn more about contemporary practice of drawing and/or

* learn more about the history of drawing

* want to know about good new books about drawing - published each month in 2013

It's also suitable for children who are very interested in drawing, although not every book is designed for the reading age of different children.

In terms of content, it leans very much towards the fine art end of drawing and sketching rather than the cartoon/manga end of drawing.


I created this site and its forerunners (2012: Best NEW Art Books - Drawing and 2011: Best NEW Art Books - Drawing) to help people screen out some of the less good / dumbed down / thin content books about drawing which tends to swamp online sites such as Amazon from time to time. It's partly a problem of publishers trying to cut costs and reprint content as if it's a new book and partly new online authors in need of a good editor.

I also use to monitor how well new books about drawing and sketching are received and then review and possibly revise the listings contained "The Best Books about Drawing and Sketching"

How my Screening Process works - Makingamark's Best New Drawing Books

Image: Just a small part of my collection of books about drawing - covering both art history and art instruction (Photo: author's own)

I operate a screening process to identify what I think are the best new drawing books. It's very much done from my personal perspective and experience of what's available and what the competition looks like for the best books.

I own very many books about drawing and I know many of the different publishers. Sometimes the books on offer have also been sent to me for review.

Essentially what I do is

* Identify the NEW BOOKS ABOUT DRAWING on offer in any given month.

* Sort, screen and review them - and then highlight those which I think are the best on offer. Sorting eliminates all books I'm not interested in e.g. regurgitated content from cheap publishers plus comic / manga / doodle / zentangle books;

* Base my opinions on what I know about the quality of the publisher (re. previous publications) and the reputation of the author and what I know of other similar books.

* Review and revise the advice I offer over the course of the year as books are published and as and when I get to see specific books or review copies.

NOTE: I also indicate which books are NOT recommended by me or any caveats I might have the publication

Basic Perspective Drawing: A Visual Approach (6th edition) - by John Montague

There are relatively few good books about perspective drawing around - however there's now a new revised (sixth) edition of a perennial professional textbook about perspective drawing.

This new edition is multi-media and provides access to supplementary videos - however it's unclear whether these are online or on a disc.

Rated an average of 4.4 out of 5 stars by 7 customer reviews. It also ranks #28 in textbooks about drawing.

Oddly enough I can't find any other reviews online but I guess that's what happens when you are publishing a 6th edition of a book which "everybody" knows is good

Basic Perspective Drawing: A Visual Approach
Basic Perspective Drawing: A Visual Approach
This is the SIXTH edition. Past editions have been HIGHLY RATEDPaperback / Multimedia (i.e. also provides access to videos) 288 pages (ebook also planned)Publication: January 29, 2013 | Wiley

Sketching on Location - by Matthew Brehm

Rated an average of 4.4 out of 5 stars by 9 customer reviews

This book is very specifically about the PROCESSES involved in sketching on location ie not copying photographs and not sketching in a studio. It's not about outcomes - it's about how you get to the outcomes. As such - and given the author is an architect - it places a lot of emphasis on the sketching of buildings and drawing of perspective.

Note the book is not cheap! I think the reason it's so expensive is because it's produced by an academic publisher - a sort of "publishing company for professors".

Matthew Brehm is currently Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Idaho and a Director of Urban Sketchers and I'm sure all the Urban Sketchers will be interested to read his new book about sketching on location

Sketching on Location
Sketching on Location
Paperback: 186 pagesPublisher: Kendall Hunt Publishing; 1 edition (January 31, 2013)

Sketching on Location - The Author

Matthew Brehm teaches architecture at the University of Idaho - design studios, architectural graphics courses, and a professional practice course.

Below are links to his blog and Flickr account where you can see his drawings and sketches

Sketching on Location - The Reviews

There are a number of very positive reviews for this book "Sketching on Location" and you can see some of them below. The links take you the review

Just Draw It! - The Dynamic Drawing Course for Anyone with a Pencil and Paper

RECOMMENDED: Rated an average of:

* 5 out of 5 stars in the USA (5 customer reviews)

* 4.3 out of 5 stars in the UK (13 customer reviews)

This is an exciting book which includes lots of creative exercises designed to stimulate both learning and drawing.

I very much recommend it for:

* the younger reader - who needs a more stimulating book.

* beginners - who need something which gets them thinking about drawing rather than just copying step by steps

* the more experienced person who can draw - but who has got stale and or stuck in a rut.

Oddly the book cover does it no favours and it seems to me whoever did it was very much out of synch with the contents inside.

An Illustrated Journey - Inspiration From the Private Art Journals of Traveling Artists, Illustrators and Designers by Danny Gregory

Rated an average of 4.6 out of 5 stars by 46 customer reviews

This book is a compendium which showcases the efforts of a variety of different people who sketch on their travels. People who journal their way round the world - drawing what they see as a record of their visits to different places. There again - some of the journeys are rather shorter - but the principle is still the same - it's about people who choose to draw what they see rather than photograph it.

It also demonstrates very well how people can develop unique signature styles in terms of their drawing - so much more interesting than drawings which copy photographs.

Freehand Drawing and Discovery: Urban Sketching and Concept Drawing for Designers - by James Richards

Rated an average of 4.9 out of 5 stars by 46 customer reviews

It seems as if there's something of a drive to get away from computer-aided software for design projects and back to freehand drawing among the architectural fraternity.

James Richards has written a book which is likely to interest those wanting to use freehand drawing to develop architectural and design concepts and/or real world projects

The target audiences are:

* students and professionals involved in urban planning, landscape architecture, and architecture

* those generally interested in urban sketching

The author is an Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Texas at Arlington and a correspondent for Urban Sketchers.

Freehand Drawing and Discovery: Urban Sketching and Concept Drawing for Designers
Freehand Drawing and Discovery: Urban Sketching and Concept Drawing for Designers
Cover / No of pages: Hardcover / 240 pagesPublication: February 12, 2013 | Wiley

The Luminous Trace: Drawing and Writing in Metalpoint - by Thea Burns

I'm a huge admirer of silverpoint drawings and I've been looking for ages for a book about drawing in silverpoint. It seems that finally a book is being published which traces the history of drawing in metal point and its special features and characteristics.

You can read the first 15 pages on lipsnack

The Luminous Trace: Drawing and Writing in Metalpoint
The Luminous Trace: Drawing and Writing in Metalpoint
Hardcover: 252 pagesPublisher: Archetype Books (February 16, 2013)

Albrecht Drer: Master Drawings, Watercolors, and Prints from the Albertina - by Andrew Robison (Author) , Klaus Albrecht Schroder (Author)

March saw the publication of a new book about the watercolours, drawings and prints of Albrecht Durer. He's an excellent draughtsman and one of my heroes. The world's most extensive collection of works by Albrecht Durer can be found in the Albertina Museum in Vienna - and two of their curators have produced a new book about his drawings.

Rated an average of 4.9 out of 5 stars by 8 customer reviews

The book includes:

* The Great Piece of Turf (see below)

* A Blue Roller, and Left Wing of a Blue Roller;

* his chiaroscuro drawings Praying Hands

* An Elderly Man of 93 Years; and

* Durer's Self-Portrait which he executed in silverpoint age 13

Albrecht Dürer: Master Drawings, Watercolors, and Prints from the Albertina
Albrecht Dürer: Master Drawings, Watercolors, and Prints from the Albertina
Hardcover: 368 pagesPublication: March 25, 2013 | Prestel USAAverage Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars based on 8 customer reviews
Das groe Rasenstck The Large Piece of Turf
Das groe Rasenstck The Large Piece of Turf

Das groe Rasenstck | The Large Piece of Turf (1503) by Albrecht Drer (1471–1528)

Watercolor and body color, heightened with white body color

Dimensions42.8 31.5 cm (16.9 12.4 in)

Vitamin D2: New Perspectives in Drawing

One of the heavyweight books about contemporary drawing gets a revision and a new author - Tony Godfrey - Director of Research, Sotheby's Institute of Art.

The second edition of Vitamin D2: New Perspectives in Drawing - a major heavyweight book about contemporary drawing practices - has now been published.

It's getting a range of reviews - from those who love it to those who hate it. The general consensus is that it's not as good as the first edition.

Vitamin D2: New Perspectives in Drawin
Vitamin D2: New Perspectives in Drawin
Hardcover / 352 pagesEdition: This is the second edition of the well regarded 2005 book "Vitamin D: New Perspectives in Drawing"Publication Date: May 22, 2013 | Phaidon Press

Good Old Drawing: G.O.D.

I've bought a copy of Good Old Drawing in bookshops. Essentially it's

* a commentary by different artists on how they interpret the phrase "Good Old Drawing" and what drawing has meant to them and/or how it currently features in their artistic practice

* an interesting, rather than riveting, read

It's a books which is of most interest to those who like the drawing of British Artists e.g. David Hockney, Ronald Searle, Quentin Blake, Peter Brookes, Gerald Scarfe, Roger Law, Peter Fluck and David Shrigley

Good Old Drawing: G.O.D.
Good Old Drawing: G.O.D.
Paperback: 144 pagesPublisher: Haus Publishing (May 14, 2013)

Saul Steinberg and the Urban Landscape

The first major book by and american artists in June is a major review of the graphic drawings of architecture and the urban landscape of America by Saul Steinberg who was best known for his covers and drawings for The New Yorker, most notably the View of the World from 9th Avenue

UPDATE - it looks as if this book's first printing may have sold out very fast. This book is currently not available

Saul Steinberg and the Urban Landscape
Saul Steinberg and the Urban Landscape
Cover / No of pages: 112 pagesPublisher: Prestel | June 1, 2013

Hopper Drawing - by Carter E. Foster

Rated an average of 4.8 out of 5 stars by 9 customer reviews

The second major book about drawing published in June is a major new book / exhibition catalogue about the drawings and works on paper of the famous American painter Edward Hopper.

This is a link to the Exhibition - Hopper Drawing at the Whitney Museum of American Art 23 May - 6 October 2013 - which shows some of the works by Hopper in the exhibition.

This book examines the collection 2,000 drawings bequeathed by Edward Hopper to the Whitney Museum of American Art and the processes used to translate drawings into paintings. You can also explore his studies for paintings on the exhibition website

Hopper Drawing
Hopper Drawing
Series: Whitney Museum of American ArtHardcover: 256 pagesPublisher: The Whitney Museum of American Art (June 11, 2013)

Pen Drawing and Pen Draughtsmen - A Classic Survey of the Medium and Its Masters (Dover series)

July 2013 saw a new book from Dover publications about the art of drawing in pen and ink. This is a very big book and includes drawings in pen and ink by artists such as Titian, Drer, Rembrandt, Rodin, Manet, Renoir, Beardsley, Pyle, Hiroshige, Van Gogh and Rackham.

You can view more books about drawing in pen and ink in Pen and Ink - Resources for Artists

Life Drawing (Drawing Masterclass) - by Eddie Armer

A new drawing masterclass book about life drawing

This book aims to interest both beginner and experienced artists - which only works if it's about introducing life drawing to people who've not done it before!

Likely to interest: Those wanting to learn about life drawing, suitable media and different approaches

You can see more books about in my website "The Best Books about How to Draw People"

For more about the drawings of Eddie Armer see

Drawing Masterclass: Life Drawing
Drawing Masterclass: Life Drawing
Cover / No of pages: Paperback / 96 pagesPublication Date: August 1, 2013| Publisher: Search Press

The Drawing's of Dore: Illustrations to the Great Classics - by George Davidson

19th century illustrator Gustave Dore gets a new publication of 500 of his drawings.

For more information about Gustave Dore see

The Drawings of Gustave Dore: Illustrations to the Great Classics
The Drawings of Gustave Dore: Illustrations to the Great Classics
Hardcover: 384 pagesPublisher: Arcturus Publishing Limited (September 15, 2013)

Walk the Line: The Art of Drawing

This book is likely to interest those concerned with the development of contemporary drawing and the role of technology versus freehand drawing - and I bought a copy of this book in 2013.

This is a review of of artists who have the ability to draw without using digital technology. it includes interviews with the artists about their relationships with technology and the conditions under which their works are shown and sold.

The interface between freehand and digital drawing is an interesting one. My use of a keyboard now means I write less well than I used to. Does the same thing happen to those who use digital resources to draw. Do they lose competence?

I'm sure "Walk the Line: The Art of Drawing" is tackling a very contemporary issue but I'm not sure how big its audience will be.

Walk the Line: The Art of Drawing
Walk the Line: The Art of Drawing
Hardcover: 320 pagesPublisher: Laurence King Publishers (September 24, 2013)

The Art of Drawing - by Susan Owens

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED I now own a copy of "The Art of Drawing: British Masters and Methods Since 1600" and it's excellent book about drawing in the UK.

It's based on the drawings in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The process of drawing used by a wide range of past and contemporary masters is also considered and explored in this V&A book. It looks at how they have used drawing to think on paper, build up ideas, and make finished exhibition pieces.

It tells the story of drawing in Britain in chronological order and highlights the role of the art institutions - such as the Royal Academy - and art schools - such as The Slade - in influencing the role of drawing in British art.

Most of the works in the book come from the very fine collection of drawings held at the V&A. The book includes drawings by the following artists: WIlliam Blake, Thomas Rowlandson, John Constable, Edwin Landseer, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, Wyndham Lewis, Paul Nash, Lucian Freud, David Hockney, John Piper and Grayson Perry.

The Art of Drawing: British Masters and Methods Since 1600
The Art of Drawing: British Masters and Methods Since 1600
Hardcover: 208 pagesPublisher: Victoria & Albert Museum (October 29, 2013)

A Short Book about Drawing - by Andrew Marr

Andrew Marr is the somewhat unlikely author of a book about the process of drawing and how drawing can contribute to making a difference - for example, in how one sees the world.

This is a book which has become very popular and sold very well in the UK where

* it currently ranks #5 in books about Painting and Drawing.

* this book is rated an average of 4.3 out of 5 stars by 53 customer reviews in the UK

I've bought a copy and it's a VERY refreshing read - by somebody talking who's an enthusiast about drawing - but not an artist. For me it really pointed up how "same old, same old" some books about drawing have become!

One of the delightful aspects of it is to see such a lot of drawings which have obviously been done on an ipad using an app. It made me want to get my stylus out!

Note it's a book "about drawing" NOT a book on "how to draw".

A Short Book about Drawing
A Short Book about Drawing
Hardcover: 144 pagesPublisher: Quadrille Publishing Ltd (October 10, 2013)

Strokes of Genius 5 - The Best of Drawing: Design and Composition

North Light books continues its popular series of books about the best in drawing.

The 5th edition emphasises the importance of design and composition.

I've found that this particular series typically tend to reflect realism and North American tastes in what makes a good drawing. Hence the title is not strictly accurate. The artists included are almost always born or living in North America and the subject matter is very often conventional - landscapes, still life, portraits, figures, and pets / wildlife.

In summary, the book is biased towards American artists whose practice is very definitely not representative of contemporary drawing across the world (as exemplified by the prestigious competitions about drawing). That's not to say in any way that their drawing is not good - just that it's one particular view of drawing. I've absolutely no problem with a book which suggests it might be 'the best in American Drawing' and reflects American tastes - but as it stands the title is more than a bit dismissive of drawing practice elsewhere in the world!

Strokes of Genius 5: Design and Composition (Strokes of Genius: The Best of Drawing)
Strokes of Genius 5: Design and Composition (Strokes of Genius: The Best of Drawing)
Hardcover / 144 pagesEdition: 1st (5th in series)Publisher: North Light Books | October 11, 2013 The front cover is a piece called "Fluctuat Nec Mergitur" by Tanja Gant

In the City: Drawings by Nigel Peake

November sees the publication of new books for people who want to find out more about contemporary ways of drawing and rendering buildings and townscapes

This is a book which renders drawings of a city in a rather different way. It's a set of watercolour drawings of aspect of the urban scene - such as pavements! He's preoccupied with shape, surface and line.

Try taking a look at his drawings which have been tagged "Nigel Peake" on Tumblr

This is his blog Nigel Peake

This is a companion to "In The Wilds: Drawings by Nigel Peake"

In the City: Drawings by Nigel Peake
In the City: Drawings by Nigel Peake
Publication Date: Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press | November 12, 2013

Playing with Sketches

I'm more than happy to recommend "Playing with Sketches" - as this book contains a double page spread and profile of me and my practice of drawing the interiors of, paintings in, and visitors to art galleries and museums.

However, quite apart from that, it also happens to be rather a good book in terms of a seemingly endless review of processes for creating drawings and stimulating creativity

Playing with Sketches: 50 Creative Exercises for Designers and Artists
Playing with Sketches: 50 Creative Exercises for Designers and Artists
Paperback: 192 pagesPublisher: Rockport Publishers (December 1, 2013)Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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