Reference books

The following are books I read.

David Webb (2008). Drawing Index – materials . techniques. theory. UK: David and Charles.  This is a very useful book covering materials, techniques and theories.  It is compact and concise with lovely illustrations.  It is a very friendly book for total beginner with little exposure to many tools and media.   I read it cover-to-cover twice and drip into individual sections from time-to-time.

Giovanni Civardi (2013). Drawing – a complete guide. UK: Search Press.  This is also a very compact and concise book, no nonsense.  It is quite classic and academic.  The author is a very accomplished practise artist and art teacher.  The book is divided into sections.  Each covers step-by-step illustration and the author’s own works and advice on practical consideration.

Simon Jennings (2003). Artist’s Colour Manual – The complete guide to working with color. USA: Chronicle Books LLC.  I come across this book in a short Introduction to Oil painting course in summer 2014.  It is not a book to be read cover-to-cover but a good reference to all things related to colour.

Andrew Marr (2013), A short book about drawing. UK: Quadrille Publishing Limited.  It is a book signed by Andrew Marr.  My husband went to the bookshop for buying Christmas presents by chance Andrew Marr was there signing book.  My husband could not resist but buying the book for me.  It is indeed a very joyful book. I like the personal touch and unpretentious narrative.  It is more a philosophical rather than a technical drawing book.

The Art of Drawing & Painting Portraits with Timothy Chambers, Ken Goldman, Peggi Habets. and Lance Richlin. USA: Walter Foster Publishing Inc.  The book is a collection of articles by a group of artists specialise with different media.  It is an excellent book for beginner.  It contains step-by-step instruction and handling of different media.  More importantly, it tells what is a good composition and how to fix a bad one.

Colta Ives, Susan Alyson Stein and co VINCENT VAN GOGH The Drawings.  USA and UK: Yale University Press.  It is an ebook I downloaded from  It is a very informative book tracking Van Gogh’s journey to be a great draftsman; the tools he used such as the perspectives frame and reed pen; the techniques he developed where and when; his correspondents with his brother and artist friends.  I came across this book in searching more material on van Gogh’s drawing on Internet after watching a documentary from BBC archive on drawings of Vincent Van Gogh.  It was fascinating.  I love the book with all the images.  Unfortunately, the images are only thumbnails.  But they can been seen online at  The physical book is still available from Amazon but expensive.

Betty Edwards (2008), The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brian.  London: Harper Collins Publishers.  This book was recommended by my tutor.  Some of the reviews on Amazon were very unfavourable.  Nevertheless, I bought it.  I believe the basic skills listed in the book will work without that right brain theory.  The techniques it advocated were not new.  For example, many artists in the pass used perspective frame including Van Gogh and Durer.  Drawing up-side-down was not new either.  A many artists including Turner and Cezanne emphasised the importance of painting / drawing what you see, not what you know.

Peter Probyn (1970) The Complete Drawing Book. London: Studio Vista.  A very comprehensive book as suggested by the title covering a wide range of techniques and topics.

Stephanie Buck and Stephanie Porras (2013) The Young Durer Drawing the Figure. London : The Courtauld Gallery.  A catalogue accompany to the exhibition of the same title.

Stephanie Buck (2010) Michelangelo’s Dream. London: The Courtauld Gallery.  A catalogue accompany to the exhibition of the same title.


below are those to be read

The Elements of Drawing, in Three Letters to Beginners by John Ruskin

downloaded from





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