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Drawing -- Nature -- Techniques

The following sources are recommended by a professor whose research specialty is the techniques of drawing nature.


Six Superlative Sources

· Bio-Art: The Art of Nature

· Franck, Frederick. The Zen of Seeing: Seeing/Drawing as Meditation. Vintage Books. 1973.

· Edwards, Betty. Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. V.P. Tarcher. 1979. 1989 revised and expanded.

· Franck, Frederick. Zen Seeing, Zen Drawing. Meditation in Action. Bantam Books. 1993.

· Guptill, Arthur L. Drawing with Pen and Ink. Coles. 1979.

· Bethke, Emil G. Basic Drawing for Biology Students. Thomas. 1969.

Other Excellent Sources

· Franck, Frederick. Zen Seeing, Zen Drawing: Meditation in Action. Bantam Books. 1993.

· Franck, Frederick. The Awakened Eye: A Companion Volume to The Zen of Seeing: Seeing, Drawing as Meditation. Bantam Books. 1979.

· Franck, Frederick. Art as a Way: A Return to the Spiritual Roots. Crossroad. 1961. Although he covers the same ground (more or less) with each title, the books are worth a look, especially useful in overcoming inhibition of starting and emphasizing values of daily practice (in the Zen sense!).

· Guptill, Arthur L. Rendering in Pencil (edited by S.E. Meyer). Watson Guptill Publications. 1977. Reprint of classic -- comparison volume to Pen and Ink. Again, dated and an emphasis on architecture but a fine review of basics of medium.

· Hodges, Elaine R.S. The Guild Handbook of Scientific Illustration. Van Nostrand Reinhold. 1989. The big fat bible of techniques and materials with many nice examples of published illustrations. While slightly outside the scope of this course, "scientific illustration" remains a field where the value of good interpretive drawing remains front and center.

· Johnson, Cathy. The Sierra Club Guide to Sketching in Nature. Sierra Club Books. 1991.

· Johnson, Cathy. Drawing and Painting from Nature. Design Press. 1989.

· Johnson, Cathy. Painting Nature's Details in Watercolor. North Light Books. 1987.

· Knight, Charles R. Animal Drawing: Anatomy and Action for Artists. Dover Publications. 1947. Book by the artist who produced many of North America's great museum dioramas.

· Nicolaides, Kimon. The Natural Way to Draw: A Working Plan for Art Study. Houghton Mifflin. 1941. Yes, a book on drawing that does pretty much focus on human anatomy, but it is still the standard in the field. Especially useful for its emphasis on observation and basic exercises to build skills of seeing. Widely available.

· Martin, Bill. The Joy of Drawing. Watson-Guptill Publications. 1993.

· Pitz, Henry C. Ink Drawing Techniques. Watson Guptill. 1957. Although the materials and supplies section is inevitably a bit dated, it's a well-written how-to "classic." Lots of illustrations by masters in the medium, including the author. Pen and ink was, during the early part of the century, THE illustration technique and the collection of work here shows just how much we've lost. Also see Joseph Pennell for another collection of classics and Smith 1992 for an update. Another standard text again in many, if not most, libraries.

· Pitz, Henry C. How to Draw Trees. Watson Guptill Publications. 1972. Nice account of the basics of studying and drawing trees.

· Rawls, Walton. Treasures of Disney Animation Art. Abbeville Press. 1982.

· Smith, Jos. A. The Pen and Ink Book. Watson Guptill. 1992. A good update when used in combination with Pitz's book. The materials section is exhaustive and there are complete descriptions of newer techniques. There are lots of examples of Smith's own work (he's a prolific book illustrator and political cartoonist) and he uses a wide range of styles. But the book doesn't show you the range of basic pen and ink as well as Pitz's or Pennell's do. In these two classics you'll find examples form hundreds of different artists, each drawing in their own style.

· Walker Leslie, Clare. The Art of Field Sketching. Prentice Hall. 1984.

· Walker Leslie, Clare. Nature Drawing: A Tool for Learning. Prentice Hall. 1980. All the Johnson and Leslie titles can tend to repetition especially when viewed as a group. Pretty much the same contents packaged in different ways. Clare Walker Leslie's books do have the added advantage of a wonderful collection of drawings done by a wide range of natural historians and artists from amateur to professional. Johnson's books are illustrated with her own work. Both authors eventually cover the basics reasonably well. Unfortunately, Walker Leslie's books are out of print. Johnson's Sierra Club Book is still available.

· West. Keith. How to Draw Plants. Herbert Press (British Museum of Natural History). 1983. A fine straight-forward handbook on the technical aspects of drawing plants -- unfortunately not easy to find.

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"The Infography about Techniques of Nature Drawing"
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