I decided to compile a list of the books that have made me into the artist I am today… which, you will say, is not much 😀 Still, I feel like recommending these resources to anyone serious about studying art, because they can make the difference in your understanding of the core principles.
Please notice the links are affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you buy the book (that helps paying for the site’s hosting).
This is perhaps my all time favorite technical book. Not only does it offer a solid ground for ink based draftsmanship, but it contains TONS of stunning inks by the best artist from the golden age.
Rendering in Pen and Ink is a must for anyone even just remotely interested in inking. Actually, you should get it even if you don’t ink. And start inking 😀 Why? Because it skyrockets your dexterity beyond belief. You’ll be amazed by how much control you gain after a month of these exercises.
If you are afraid of permanent media like ink (and by the way, you can practice the same exercises in pencil an ballpoint too, if so you fancy), then this DEFINITELY for you. No more excuses.
This one has been a staple in my painting journey. I’ve been following James Gurney’s blog, GurneyJourney, since 2012 or so, and always found him extremely inspiring, not only as an artist, but as a person. In this book you will find condensed all his knowledge on Color and Light, and it’s really ALL you need to know in order to get good at painting. He even came up with a system (Gamut Mapping/Masking) which is currently being used by teachers not only online, but in brick-and-mortar classic Ateliers. I would consider the book worth having even just for that. Oh, and for the incredible paintings, too.
Do not be fooled by its name! While the presentation is focused around inking, this is a storytelling and composition book. Low angles, bird’s eye view… everything is covered here. It’s relatively thin, but contains all of the information you would expect to find.
How to Draw: Drawing and Sketching Objects and Environments from Your Imagination – by Scott Robertson
This book is not for everyone. It’s highly technical and covers every single thing you should know about perspective, and how to actually figure out the behavior of shapes from various angles. It is debatable whether you consider this a beginner book or not, mostly depending on your attitude towards technicalities. Still, even if you think perspective should first and foremost be intuitive (as spacial awareness), it’s nice to learn how to precisely indicate circles when seen in perspective in the form of car tires. It is of course a must if you like hard surface and vehicles.