This is an excellent book for those just starting out with drawing and also intermediate level students. There is good basic information on how to use pencils, as well as creating value and textures. There are exercises design to help you incorporate perspective in your drawings, including drawing cubes, cylinders and conical objects.
Pencil Drawing Techniques puts a definite emphasis on drawing from life. Working with photo references and using a grid is only briefly mentioned. There is also minimal information on different drawing media and how to use them.
The author dedicates a substantial portion of the book to drawing landscapes. He has especially helpful information on simplifying a busy or cluttered scene, creating a center of interest and developing darks. His chapter on drawing portraits shows several steps from the beginning to the end of the drawing. He shows numerous types of animals in different poses with a few step by step examples.
The last part of the book is on using colored pencils. He includes information of the different types of colored pencils and their attributes. There is also a good section on mixing colors, including changing value and intensity. There are several examples of different types of techniques associated with colored pencils such as burnishing, and using solvents and blenders.
CONS: Most of the drawings shown are sketchy, without a finished quality to them. The section on drawing portraits was a little short.
PROS: This book is a good overview of basic drawings techniques as well as compositional tips. If you like to improve your sketching abilities this would be a great book to have. Several different artists have work included in this book so you can see different styles of working. I have found this book especially helpful when trying to teach about value studies and their importance in planning a finished work.
“This book is about drawing; about the experience of drawing and seeing drawings; and about the possibilities of extending our traditional concepts concerning the parameters of drawing”, R. Kaupelis
Experimental Drawing by Robert Kaupelis is a very good text on the infinite varieties of drawing. Written by a college art professor, it is intended for beginning to advanced students and is an excellent text for teachers to use in the art classroom. The author covers a vast amount of information including contour, gesture and modeled drawing, basic composition and using value. He goes on to cover using photographs, and working in a series. He ends his book with a series of exercises that will get you working in a more expressionistic manner.
This is a great book if you are interested in the process of drawing versus the product. Your drawing skills will improve and expand and your concept of what drawing is will surely change.
CONS: This book may be overwhelming for beginners working on their own. Many of the exercises are designed to teach you about drawing, rather than showing you how to draw something specific. The author’s writing style, while clear, tends to be a little wordy and the type face is small.
PROS: As a teacher, I have found this book to be invaluable. The huge number of exercises can be used to expand student skills and their definition of what drawing is. There are many images of unusual and contemporary drawing styles.
If you just want to learn to draw a still life or a portrait, there are other books that will better suit your needs. However, if you really want to know what drawing is all about, this is a book that will push you to explore and create drawings like you have never done before.