Top positive review
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A necessary book for advancement
on May 22, 2004
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.