The Complete Guide to Drawing for Beginners -- Crafty Sundays Review


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Do you have a budding artist in the family or perhaps are you one? In our house Hazel is our budding artist and one of her favorite forms of art is drawing. Over the summer she went to a weeklong art camp at her school. Her art teacher is truly amazing and he ran it. I wanted to review this book for her or actually I wanted her to review the book. She did try some of the projects for me to write the review. The book is The Complete Guide to Drawing for Beginners by Yoshiko Ogura. 

From the Publisher:

An easy-to-follow, yet comprehensive beginner's guide to drawing.

In The Complete Guide to Drawing for Beginners, experienced art instructor Yoshiko Ogura explains the basics of pencil drawing through a series of lessons that provide insights on artistic composition, simulating highlights and shadows, depicting realistic forms, rendering texture and creating a sense of depth in your artwork. At the beginning of the book, she provides you with all the information you need to get started—what materials to buy, how to prepare your work surface, pencils and erasers—even how to sit correctly when drawing.

Once you know these, Ogura provides a series of easy and clear step-by-step lessons showing you how to draw simple objects while gaining an understanding of the essential concepts of perspective, how to convey hard and soft surfaces and textures, composition and balance. From here, you progress to more complex shapes and objects including landscapes and portraits of people and animals, as she explains all the additional concepts needed to draw these realistically.

This book teaches you how to draw the following interesting subjects:
  • Simple forms (an apple, a milk carton, an egg, a mug)
  • Hard & soft surfaces (fabric, a loaf of bread, a stone, a book)
  • Transparent objects (water droplets, a glass)
  • Complex objects (a piece of squash with seeds and pulp, a sunflower)
  • Human anatomical features (hands, faces)
  • Landscape elements (trees, buildings)
  • Animals (a cat, a parakeet)
  • Still life (fruit, flowers)
  • Plus, many other inspirational examples and ideas!

By the end, all your drawings will begin to look impressively polished and realistic! As you work through the lessons, you'll master all the skills and knowledge that seasoned artists demonstrate in their work.

From Me:

The book is divided into three different sections. The first section is more of an introduction. It includes a quick lookup index with pictures, how to use the book, and more. Next comes Part 1. Part 1 is all about the basics with things like how to hold the pencil, expressing color with pencil and also understanding the five basic techniques: position, lighting, shape, texture, and spacing. Part 2 is the largest section. It is the drawing lessons. There are 21 lessons that begin with simple shapes. The first lesson is drawing an apple. Hazel tried this first lesson.

The lesson itself is over four pages. It has 18 steps and each step has a photo to show what to do. 

Hazel started with this lesson since it was the first one. She got a bit bored with the simple shapes, but here is her apple.

Each drawing lesson section has two to four lessons as well as Drawing Inspiration (see first sample page shared above) and Sidebar. After Simple Shapes is hard and soft surfaces, transparent objects, complex shapes, human anatomical features, landscape elements, animals and then combining objects and after the lessons are inspirational works. 

I love how each lesson shares which of the basic five techniques play a part in the drawing. After trying the first lesson Hazel decided to look for a lesson that interested her. She decided on a human picture and did a self-portrait.

Here is the start of the lesson on drawing a face which is where she started. 

This book is perfect for a teen or adult who is looking to try drawing and learn some real skills. Each lesson teaches something different and it is so well explained, and there are so many photos to help as well. I think this book would make a great gift for the holidays as well. I hope you will check it out!