It’s been a while since I last did a book review, so when I was given the opportunity to review You Will be Able to Draw by the End of This Book by Jake Spicer, I thought it would be interesting to take a look. I should make it clear here that this book is not aimed at children, but with guidance could be used with older children.
Drawing is one of the fundamental foundation skills of art – this is partly I think because the very act of drawing teaches us to observe, and to analyse what we see. However many people who want to draw and paint lack confidence in drawing – it can be difficult to know how to start, and it is easy to get discouraged when our efforts don’t live up to our expectations.
For this reason, I particularly like this piece of advice from the book:
‘Make many drawings – You’ll need to make many bad drawings in order to make ones you are happy with’
I think this is true of any artist – we often forget that even the greatest artists produced bad work – and that we just tend to see only the best!
This ‘guided sketchbook’ has a fun and practical approach to learning to draw. Beginning with the fundamentals, it leads you through on a guided exploration of drawing, starting with observing and interpreting what you see, and then introducing useful tools, techniques and materials to render it on the page. Each section includes exercises along the way to demonstrate and practice the concepts, and there are lots of blank pages within the book providing the space in which to do so.
The book itself is constructed from good quality, smooth, strong paper – necessary when you are using it to draw on with a variety of media. And it also has a chunky elastic band to hold the book closed – always a useful addition for a working sketchbook.
The author advises that to get the best out of the book, you should start at the beginning and work your way through – I have no doubt that would be the best way to use it, but I have never had any self-discipline in that respect, and always like to dive right in. Although I am personally confident with drawing – (our art homework at school was to draw a set detailed still life every week for 2 years and I am convinced this is why I am still more confident with drawing than painting) I think it would be a really helpful discipline to try out some of the exercises myself, as there is always more to learn, and I do feel pretty rusty these days! Indeed the author suggests that the completed sketchbook can also be used as a personal reference tool to come back to again and again, repeating and varying the exercises according to need.
And finally a further piece of advice from the book which I personally will try to remember to adopt:
Make drawing a part of your life. Find ways to draw as part of your day…
Please note that I have not been paid anything for this review – I received a free copy of the book, and the post includes an affiliate link