Genuinely good instructional art books for an aspiring artist?

Does anyone know any good instructional drawing books? Or reference books? I currently have "Classic Human Anatomy: The Artist’s Guide to Form, Function, and Movement" and would love to get more books like this. Perhaps one on perspective? Or one on practicing pencil strokes?

Or other art books that have just a BUNCH of art for me to copy/trace for reference. I’m thinking of getting an art book from the artists of Capcom/Marvel to copy/trace to learn styles. Or maybe some anime.

I really want to get some "How to Draw" books but there’s so many of them out there I’m sure most of them are CRAP. I’d like to know if anyone knows of any legit good ones.

My goal is to develop a style that’s somewhere in between comic book and anime, much like the art from Street Fighter. I want to develop a style that’s, I guess, exaggerated? Like how when drawing a cube in 3 point perspective it like swooshes out all crazy.

I also want to be able to draw women’s bodies decently, to make some tasteful ecchi pieces that are more creative than perverted. I’m thinking of making a series of canvasses where my theme is hot girls with evil/dark tone. But that’s in the far future.

I know it’s a tall order, and it’s gonna take a lot of patience and work. I’m sure there are lots of you out there who have the experience and skill to be able to give me solid advice. So, any suggestions? Thanks!

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One comment

  • To be honest, I do not like the majority of art books. I’m an artist (recreationally), so I am literally drawing ALL THE TIME—and "How to Draw" books always seem like they’re too childish or have stupid advice, and they never seem to fit my style of drawing anyway (I go for a realistic look that is SLIGHTLY cartoon-y, so it’s somewhere in between manga style and realistic, and I work with pencils).

    Personally, I find that the best drawing examples I can follow…are by other artists themselves! You may find this idea distasteful but it has helped me a ton. For instance: If you want to learn to draw hot, evil girls that are not perverted (wow, thank God—finally someone doesn’t want to exploit womens’ bodies with their art!), then find a character similar to what you want—let’s just pick Black Widow for now (despite the fact that she’s not really evil) and go on the website Deviantart and type in her name. Sift through the search results and find a piece of art that has a style you really like, and then click on the artist’s profile and go through their art and try mimic-ing it. Or go on tumblr and do the same thing (even though it’s easier to find art on Deviantart).

    This way you can precisely pick an art style you look and if you practice enough, you can master it. I’ve done this a thousand times. Just a note—and I’m sure you know this, but it’s worth mentioning—if you trace/copy an artist’s drawings, make sure to credit their name, username, and the website/blog they are from. People who steal art or don’t credit artists are the worst.

    Good luck! Just keep practicing. I started drawing when I was 9 and my work was monstrous back then (although still better than the average kid) but I’m proud to say that 10 years later, I am actually quite a good artist (though one can always improve!).

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