Webpages about illustration

Quick sketch of a dancer

Recommended books

My bookshelf on GoodReads (I only review books I think are very good to excellent): Maren Child's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf) Here are some of my favourite books about illustration, drawing and painting.

  • The Artist's Sketchbook, by Lucy Watson A comprehensive book about effective sketching, with examples from several artists, including how to use your sketches as the basis for a finished work.
  • Keys to Drawing, by Bert Dodson Lots of great practical exercises.
  • The Watercolour Artist's Guide to Exceptional Colour, by Jan Hart. A beautiful book, covering colour mixing and theory, techniques and how they apply to different subjects, for example skies, trees and animals.
  • Drawing and Sketching in Pencil, by Arthur GuptillAn old book (1930s) but still very good. This Dover edition is an unabridged republication of Sketching and Rendering in Pencil.
  • Drawing with Pen and Ink, with a Word Concerning the Brush, by Arthur Guptill Also old and very good. It is available online as an ebook.
  • Painting Your Favorite Animals in Pen, Ink & Watercolor, by Claudia Nice. Published in 2006. Lots of detail about eyes, ears, noses, and fur, feathers and hair, for domestic animals, farm animals, deer and the 'small and furry creatures' such as birds, hamsters and rabbits. Very good instruction in technique.
  • Draw and Sketch Animals: Sketch with confidence in 6 steps or less, by David Boys. This book aims to help you learn to sketch animals quickly, in the field as well as from photographs.
  • Collage: A Complete Guide for Artists, by Anne Brigadier 1970 – an old book with a huge amount of information about materials and methods.
  • The Fundamentals of Drawing by Barrington Barber One of the best beginners' books I've seen. Includes motorbikes, tools and other unusual objects.
  • Illustrating Children's Picture Books, by Steven Withrow and Lesley Breen Withrow. This book was published in 2009 so it's up to date and has good sections on digital and markets.
  • Creative Connections: Writing Illustrating and Publishing Children's Books in Australia — Papers of the Canberra Children's Book Council Seminars 1987–1993, DW Thorpe 1994, ISBN 1-875589-60-0.
  • The Encyclopaedia of Writing and Illustrating Children's Books — Desdemona McCannon, Sue Thornton and Yadzia Williams, Allen and Unwin, 2008, ISBN 978-1-74175515-2
  • Illustrating Children's Books: Creating Pictures for Publication – Martin Salisbury, Allen and Unwin, 2004, ISBN 1-74114-315-2
  • Sketches from Beside the Line – Kenneth G. Bowen, Shepp Books, 1993, ISBN 0-949250-44-9
  • Light: How to See It, How to Paint It – Lucy Willis, Quarto Publishing, 1988, ISBN 0-289-80043-9. About painting light in watercolour.
  • Figure Drawing Workbook: A step-by-step guide to drawing the human figure – John Raynes (Artists' Choice Art instruction book of the year), Collins & Brown, 1997 – a very thorough coverage of the topic, including different media (e.g. charcoal and gouache, chalk, conte and pastel, ink, watercolour).

Some great books about cartooning

  • Need to know? Cartooning, by John Byrne, Harper & Collins, London, 2008
  • The Naked Cartoonist, by Robert Mankoff, Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc., NY, 2002
  • How to Draw Cartoon Animals by Christopher Hart, Watson-Guptill Publications, NY, 1995