Life Drawing in Charcoal Paperback – Nov 4 1994
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From the Back Cover
"The guidance to be found within these covers reflects the author's inspired ability as a teacher and artist of the highest magnitude. It is probably the finest book on the subject of drawing the human form that I have ever seen."—Irving Shapiro, A.W.S., Director, American Academy of Art
This unique guide offers a bold, innovative approach to drawing from life. Instead of teaching the traditional method of building up a drawing from lines, leaving mass and tone till later, noted art instructor Douglas R. Graves takes precisely the opposite tack. The student is encouraged to begin seeing and thinking in terms of tonal masses immediately. This approach enables students to draw quickly and accurately without the need for a line drawing first. The author compares it to learning to "paint" with charcoal.
Step-by-step demonstrations and over 200 of the author's own drawings offer inspiration and practical guidance in the technique. You'll learn how to "see" tonal quality, how to key a drawing, how to translate color into black and white, and valuable techniques for keeping the figure from looking "stiff." Other topics include the role of alignment in achieving proper proportions, foreshortening, male and female figure distinctions, the use of modeling to achieve added dimension, drawing the face, positioning the figure, and many other aspects of life drawing.
For students of drawing—beginner to expert—this book is an invaluable guide not just to drawing from life but to the essential principles of observation, composition, and draftsmanship that underlie all successful drawing and painting. It belongs in the library of every artist. For this edition, the author has revised previous chapters and added a new one on "Different Modes of Charcoal."
Revised and enlarged Dover (1994) republication of the work published by Watson-Guptill Publications, New York, 1971.
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Top Customer Reviews
The step by step approach with over 200 illustrations makes it easy to follow along. Not only is this the most efficient approach, it's the most exciting, achieving immediate progress with the greatest chance for accuracy.
The traditional practice of teaching the beginner to draw, using lines, only encourages bad habits which single them out as an amateur, while providing no special advantage over the approach in this book.
I recommend this book for all levels. For the beginner it is essential to first learn these principals of working with masses instead of lines, so telltale of the amateur. For the more advanced artist, there are many techniques useful to refining their skill.
Picture this: You graduated from high school, went to college, left your high school's sweetheart behind, found a new girl, then another one, then yet another... (I could go on and on), graduated from college, got a job, and (with any luck) married one of the girls you dated in college. Twenty years had gone by, you suddenly found yourself at the high school reunion party. A glance at your old-time highschool sweetheart all of sudden brought back a world of love and hope. Whew! What gives?! You suddenly found how attractive and desirable your highschool sweetheart was! (And if fate played tricks on you, beside her was a 300-pound hairy-chested, bald-headed husband of hers...)
So what does all that have anything to do with this book, you ask?
Well, it has EVERYTHING to do with this book. As you WILL agree with me, to become an artist in any "respectable" medium (oil, watercolor, pastel, and the likes), one has to start with drawing. The most highly-disciplined practice is figure drawing. Usually, one would start with drawing the likeness, USING LINES. Then comes positive, negative spaces, mass, tone, then colors, etc.
In this book, however, the author presents an approach of drawing figures using charcoal as medium and using mass (rather than LINES) to achieve the effects.
The book is well-written and very readable. I finished the book from cover to cover at one sitting of several hours.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
You can learn a lot abt the human anatomy and charcoal techiques. Good buy!Published on Feb. 22 2003 by RG Seattle
I recently reviewed a book on life drawing where the author used a painstaking process to make gorgeous pencil drawings. Read morePublished on Jan. 29 2002 by Peter Mackay
I suddenly feel like beating around the bush a little here. So please bear with me.
Picture this: You graduated from high school, went to college, left your high school's... Read more