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14 Reviews
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A necessary book for advancement, May 22 2004
By 
Bruce Bain "Romans 9:33/Remember Jackie Robinson" (Englewood, CO United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters: 45th Anniversary Edition (Paperback)
This may not be the very best "first" book of drawing instruction, but it ranks among the books that any figure-drawing student must eventually study. When some satisfactory skill is achieved, read Hale. Hale is definitely not for the "drawing on the right side of my ambition" crowd.
Hale's credentials speak for themselves, and his work places him far beyond the herd of drawing authors that rely upon gimmicks such as catch-phrases such as YOGA, or ZEN, RIGHT-BRAIN, or INNER THIS or INNER THAT, in the title to push bland intruction to increase sales. Rather, Hale's work is striking because it reflects the singular focus of an artist who can teach figure drawing without mis-directing the student with irrelevancies.
Hale is also humble, in that he directs the student to genuine Masters of drawing: Durer, Rembrandt, Cambiaso, Rubens, Bruegel, da Vinci, Degas, and Carracci, rather than filling a book with his own drawings. He writes, on page 33:
"BY SIMPLY DRAWING A CUBE, you can understand some of the significance of line in creating the illusion of reality."
That is so refreshing because it stands in diametrical opposition to the DRAW-WHAT-YOU-FEEL genre of instruction which has become the fashion of the day. FIVE STARS is deserved.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing on many levels; plausible for the serious artist, Dec 17 2003
By 
"billychuck2" (Bakersfield, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters: 45th Anniversary Edition (Paperback)
This is an extroardinary study of the anatomical knowledge and ideas implemented by the greatest (anatomically informed)figure drawers artists of all time. It is quite inticing and the author is obviously intelligent enough to handle the analyzations of the pictures supplied, but the tips and exercises involved would be fit for somebody who views drawing as more than a hobby (for in that case one might be discouraged by the incredible extent of the anatomical knowledge of the "Great Masters").
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Know your anatomy, Jan. 21 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters: 45th Anniversary Edition (Paperback)
This book is very funny. The authors message is that you must know anatomy to draw figures and the old masters knew more than we do today. Interesting viewpoint but he fails to fully convince this reader that anatomy is the most important thing to drawing well.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hale is a Master teacher, May 12 2004
By 
Gerald Sequeira "geraldlawyer" (Las Vegas, NV) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters: 45th Anniversary Edition (Paperback)
As an artist that did not go to art school, I have constantly searched for instructional books only to be disappointed in finding stupid books written for people who are not serious about art and have no discipline. All of Hale's books, especially this one, are supremely intelligent and extremely insightful. after reading his book you'll gain insight to judge good drawing from a bad ones, a skill every serious artist should strive to have. Hale will help you see drawing in a new light and send you on your way to growth. Since he uses drawings by artists such as Raphael, Tintoreto, Rembrandt and Rubens, you'll be learning from the masters themselves, not from some mediocre artist. The only negative about the book, if it can be called a negative, is that after 100 drawings you want more. I learned more from this one book than through all the art books I have read before, and more than almost all the art classes I have taken, put together.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and inspiring, Oct. 9 2009
By 
Parka (Singapore) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
This review is from: Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters: 45th Anniversary Edition (Paperback)
Length:: 0:20 Mins

Drawing Lessons From the Great Masters is an art book that teaches by looking at the art fundamentals used by great art masters themselves -- Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Rodin, Goya, Rembrandt, among others.

There are 100 master drawings analysed by Robert Beverly Hale on the fundamentals such as line, light and planes, mass, position and thrust, and anatomy. These are all figure drawings. Each illustration is printed full on one page with a certain section selected for analyzing on the next. The commentary is simple and concise, providing great insight to what these artists were thinking. Many of these pieces are really sketches but when you realised the thought put behind every stroke and what the artist was trying to show, you'll instantly be enlightened.

At the end of this book, even if you can't draw yet, you'll be able to identify the difference between a good and bad drawing. And when you draw, you'll remember the principles.

This is a really useful and inspirational reference book, great for beginner to advanced artists.

Robert Beverly Hale has also authored Anatomy Lessons From The Great Masters, which uses the same teaching style here but focusing on anatomy drawings.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lessons from the Masters, Dec 16 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters: 45th Anniversary Edition (Paperback)
Very generic, some nice figure drawing but on the whole not worth the expense.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not a "how to"; but a reference book, April 27 2004
By 
Bruce Bain "Romans 9:33/Remember Jackie Robinson" (Englewood, CO United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters: 45th Anniversary Edition (Paperback)
Robert Beverly Hale's "Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters" certainly deserves 5 stars. It even comes at a 5-Star price; but I must point out that it is essentially a reference book of master drawings rather than a "how-to" book for those learning to draw. It is not, per se, an "instruction" book on "how-to-draw". With that proviso, I would not be without this reference, if I wanted to be informed of the great masters.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best drawing book available., Sept. 28 2003
By 
John J. Healey (Texas) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters: 45th Anniversary Edition (Paperback)
I can't say enough good things about this book. Robert Beverly Hale was considered one of the past century's greatest instructors of drawing and artistic anatomy. This book shows why he is held in such high regard. It provides numerous examples of old master drawings with Hale's penetrating insights regarding why the drawings are great. A master teacher discussing master drawings - it doesn't get any better than that!
Remember, the old masters themselves used to copy master drawings when they were students learning how to draw. Follow their example. This book also has a wonderful section on artistic anatomy. Anatomy is very important, and can't be stressed enough. It provides the foundation of all good figurative art, whether it be drawing, painting, or sculpture. This book, besides discussing and analyzing master drawings and what makes them great, also provides the best introduction to artistic anatomy that I've seen.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best There Is., Feb. 11 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters: 45th Anniversary Edition (Paperback)
This is the best book for the art student that has ever been written, or ever will be written.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Introduction to Drawing the Figure, Nov. 2 2000
By 
L. D. Boman "Studmuffin" (Santa Barbara, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters: 45th Anniversary Edition (Paperback)
Mr. Hale's book has been invaluble in understanding figure drawing. He uses wonderful examples from the great masters. At times his commentary seems snobbish but if you can get past that then you will learn a great deal. I would highly recommend this book to anyone (novice to intermediate) interested in drawing the figure.
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Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters: 45th Anniversary Edition
Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters: 45th Anniversary Edition by Robert Beverly Hale (Paperback - Aug. 1 1989)
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