Some Selections from my Art Book Shelf


You might know that I’m a bookaholic. So is my husband, Greg. We love books. We have many bookshelves scattered throughout the house. We have closets stuffed with books we haven’t read yet. We’ve given away hundreds of books. We have books we can’t bear to give away because we have reread them multiple times and plan to reread them again.

My art book shelf

These are the books currently on the art book shelf in my writing/quilting room. I have more art books in the bookcase in our foyer.  

I’ve pulled out five books that I especially like.

I’ve posted about first book, Samantha Dion Baker’s Draw Your Day: An inspiring guide to keeping a sketch journal, before, and you may want to check out my review.

My son Andrew gave me The Complete Book of Drawing Peopleby Barrington Barber (and two others) for Christmas one year. I especially like it because Barber breaks down the parts of the body and draws them at different angles. Barber also breaks drawings into steps so you can see how to plan and construct them. A few years ago I worked from this book for the Index-Card-a-Day challenge.

The Complete Book of Drawing People

A couple of years ago I saw the sketchbook 300 Drawing Prompts by at Target and grabbed it. It has pages with prompts and ample room to draw. I have not yet used it but I intend to start this year—it’s one of my unofficial artistic goals.

300 Drawing Prompts

I love watercolor, and I want to get serious about it. I bought 15-Minute Watercolor Masterpieces by Anna Koliadych because I’ve seen some of her tutorials on YouTube. I’ve used some of her designs for World Watercolor Month, and I think I’ll use this book again this year. She has a section on mixing colors and watercolor techniques, and she breaks her masterpieces down to doable steps.

15-Minute Watercolor Masterpieces

The final book I have read many, many times: A Walk Through the Cloisters by Bonnie Young, about the medieval branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, located in Fort Tryon Park in Manhattan. If you’ve followed ARHtistic License for any length of time, you know I’m obsessed with the Cloisters, and especially with the unicorn tapestries that are housed there. Unfortunately, this wonderful book filled with history and gorgeous photographs is out of print, but you might be lucky enough to find it in a library or used book store.

A Walk Through the Cloisters

Now it’s your turn. What are some of your favorite art books? Share in the comments below.

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