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The Most Successful Book About Learning How to Draw

Updated on January 18, 2018
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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!)

Cover of Drawing of the Right Side of the Brain (4th edition)
Cover of Drawing of the Right Side of the Brain (4th edition) | Source

"Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain®" is the most successful book about learning how to draw - ever!

I'm often asked to recommend a book on learning to draw. This is one of two books I recommend time and time again.

It has had an amazing history to date:

  • it stayed on the New York Times Best Seller list for over a year when it was first published in 1979. I don't think there's another drawing book which has ever achieved that to my knowledge.
  • four editions have been published to date and every single one has been a best seller
  • it's sold well all over the world and has been translated into 17 different languages
  • it's sold more than 3 million books to date
  • 4th edition: Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars (943 customer reviews in USA)
  • I know of few other art books which generate so many positive endorsements.

However the story behind the numbers is that it works.

The fact is that this book teaches people how to see - which means they can then draw more accurately. This means they are able to stop drawing in symbols based on what they think they know (using the analytical left brain) and instead start drawing what they can actually see (using the more visual right brain).

What the book does is teach you how to shift your thinking into right brain mode so you can perceive what you want to draw more accurately. For example, when learning how to draw a chair, it teaches you how to look for the shape of the space in-between the chair legs as a way of gauging more accurately how the chair is constructed and how each leg relates to the chair as a whole.

The "before" and "after" drawings in this book are probably its most persuasive and accessible argument for those who prefer to look rather than read.

It's very much designed as a book for beginners:

  • It assumes you know nothing about drawing.
  • It's written in a very accessible way which means it isn't in the least off-putting.

In addition, it's also a very useful book for people who have developed some skills already and are looking to improve their drawing. I know I discovered a number of useful tips about drawing when I bought my first copy.

I've personally bought three out of the four editions. I'm very happy to continue to recommend this book as one which helps those wanting to learn how to draw to get good results.

READ my other other recommendations in The Best Books about Drawing and Sketching


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