THE TOP ART BOOKS for ALL ARTISTS
For beginner artists to expert, these are the books I keep in my studio.
I've been collecting "how to draw" books and art fundamental books since I was in elementary school. This list is organized and compiled based on what I own, and what I've read. Feel free to take a look through these, but the best books are the ones you have... In my opinion, these are the best!
(If you notice any books are missing from this list, it's because I don't own them so I can't say recommend them personally.)
How to Draw: drawing and sketching objects and environments from your imagination by Scott Robertson
Scott Robertson is a master designer, and former instructor at Art Center College of Design. How to Draw will set you up with the fundamentals of thinking, and problem solving like a master designer. You'll understand how to break things down from your imagination and translate them on a 2 dimensional surface (paper or screen). This is a useful book for all artists.
Figure Drawing: Design and Invention By Michael Hampton
This is an in depth instructional book that will give you everything you need to know when drawing the human figure. I first got ahold of this book for my first figure drawing class at Laguna College of Art and Design, that was 12 years ago, and I still look back at it today.
Figure Drawing for All It's Worth by Andrew Loomis
Andrew Loomis is an absolute master illustrator, this is the only book of his on my list, but I highly recommend checking out all his books in regards to drawing. This book is LARGE, but the pages are filled with beautiful illustrations of the figure and clear explanations for how to construct your own drawings. Less rigid, and more stylized, this is a great option.
You'll notice Bridgman is missing from this list, and although his construction of the human figure is beautiful and appealing, the books themselves will leave you with a vague understanding for how the human figure actually functions.
SPACE DRAWING PERSPECTIVE by Dongho Kim
The best book for learning perspective, and written by one of the drawing masters. This book makes learning perspective a ton of fun and simple to understand.. which is crazy to say because it was the most tedious class in art school. This is an amazing book.
Framed Ink: Drawing and Composition for Visual Storytellers by Marcos Mateu-Mestre
For all sequential artists, and illustrators (manga, western comics, webtoon etc.) this is a must have book, that will give you all the info you need to create dramatic and emotionally captivating panels using the fundamentals of composition. This will take your pages to the next level, this might be the only book I would say is essential.
James Gurney Books:
Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter by James Gurney
Color and Light is an essential book for any artist who wants to understand the concepts behind color theory, and how light actually works to make your illustrations feel more life like. James Gurney is a master illustrator and the creative genius behind Dinotopia. Great for both digital and traditional painters/ illustrators.
Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn't Exist by James Gurney
This book explores the mindset required to bring that realistic feel to the worlds and concepts that only exist in our heads. It's time you google Dinotopia and see a master at work! I'm guessing you have an exciting imagination that you are working to bring to life, this one is for you!
Well I've gone through my collection and that's it. These are the top art books I recommend to all artists.