4 Good Books That Will Help You Make Faster Smarter Drawings

Want to up your drawing game? Want to just get some game – fast? Check out these books. These books are first and foremost about making drawings to find, refine, and record ideas; they’re about making useful drawings, not drawings that are meant to look good.

Rapid Viz – Kurt Hands

This book shows you how to draw quickly and effectively, as well as many different uses for drawing.

Drawing Ideas – Mark Baskinger + Willam Bardel

This book is much more than you need, but it’s still useful because it offers a number of reasons why to draw and how to draw based on those reasons.

Setting Up Your Shots – Jose Cruz

This isn’t officially a drawing book (and the drawings in them are … eh) but it offers a great clear survey of the different camera moves filmmakers use to tell stories. This knowledge will help you vary the way you compose your drawings for effect and with purpose. Think storyboards.

Visual Grammar – Christian Leborg

This composition book uses nothing more than simple shapes and lines to demonstrate the fundamentals of composition, which you can use to understand the dynamics of any image, generate new ideas, and make many variations on them.

Enjoy drawing!

Read Learn How To Draw And Why In 5 Minutes

Learn more in my photography and creativity workshops.

 

5 Books That Will Change Your Understanding Of Our World

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Peter Wohlleben’s The Hidden Life Of Trees
What’s it about? The forest is a social network. Groundbreaking scientific discoveries describe how trees are like human families: tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them, support them as they grow, share nutrients with those who are sick or struggling, and even warn each other of impending dangers.
The author is Peter Wohlleben who spent over twenty years working for the forestry commission in Germany before leaving to put his ideas of ecology into practice. He now runs an environmentally friendly woodland in Germany, where he is working for the return of primeval forests.
The big take away? Plants are more like us than you ever would have dreamed.
Find the book here.
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Rob Knight’s Follow Your Gut
What’s it about? It’s a detailed tour of the ‘micro-biome’ in our guts and it’s influences on our mind, plus an exploration of the known effects of antibiotics, probiotics, diet choices, birth method, and access to livestock on our children’s lifelong health.
The authors are computational biochemist Dr. Rob Knight and award winning science writer Brendan Buhler.
The big take away? Our bodies are hosts to vast webs of life that influence our health and consciousness.
Find the book here.
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Lyall Watson’s Heaven’s Breath
What’s it about? Heaven’s Breath looks at the ways in which the winds profoundly affect the earth’s surface and influence plant and animal behavior. First, the author shows how the winds bring the world to life, providing the circulatory and nervous systems of the planet, disseminating energy and information, distributing warmth and bringing rain, making soil and air-conditioning the globe. Then he discusses the way the wind disperses plants and animals, shapes natural communities and gives rise to an aerial ecology of creatures and aero-plankton, which rise and fall over every square mile of land. There are chapters on wind sensitivity, including the creation of a new Beaufort Scale of wind forces, and a look at how the mistral, sirocco, Santa Ana and other winds alter human physiology and psychology to a degree that can lead to disease, suicide and even murder. In the historical section the author describes how the trade winds have influenced human migrations and in war have determined the outcome of battles and shaped empires. In the chapters on wind myth and folklore he shows how experience of the mystery of wind has been directly responsible for the origins of consciousness and the growth and development of religious belief, and he discusses its manifestations in art, music and literature.
The author is Lyall Watson who holds doctorates in anthropology and ethology (animal behavior) and additional degrees in botany, chemistry, geology, geography, marine biology, and ecology. Watson logically investigates illogical events.
The big take away? Our atmosphere is complex, dynamic, mysterious, and filled with life.
Find the book here.
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James Lovelock’s Gaia : A New Look At Life On Earth
What’s it about? The Earth functions as a single organism and living matter influences air, ocean, and rock to form a complex, self-regulating system that has the capacity to keep the Earth a fit place for life.
The author is James Lovelock is the multi-award winning chromatographer and originator of the Gaia Theory.
The big take away? The earth is alive.
Find the book here.
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Ervin Lazlo’s Science And Akashic Field Theory
What’s it about? Mystics and sages have long maintained that there exists an interconnecting cosmic field at the roots of reality that conserves and conveys information, a field known as the Akashic record. Recent discoveries in vacuum physics show that this Akashic Field is real and has its equivalent in science’s zero-point field that underlies space itself. This field consists of a subtle sea of fluctuating energies from which all things arise: atoms and galaxies, stars and planets, living beings, and even consciousness. This zero-point Akashic Field is the constant and enduring memory of the universe. It holds the record of all that has happened on Earth and in the cosmos and relates it to all that is yet to happen. From the world of science he confirms our deepest intuitions of the oneness of creation in the Integral Theory of Everything.
The author is Ervin Laszlo, twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, author of 83 books translated into 21 languages, and the founder and president of the international think tanks the Club of Budapest and the General Evolution Research Group.
The big take away? Everything is connected. As time passes the universe becomes more information rich.
Find the book here.
Find more Recommended Reading here.

The Best Books On Color Theory

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What is color theory? It’s a language and set of concepts that’s useful for describing and creating color relationships.

Color management helps you get consistent colors. Color adjustment helps you change colors. Color theory helps you choose colors.

I’ve studied color all of my life – and it’s always rewarding.

Here’s a roundup of the best books I’ve found on color theory.

Reid

Lori Reid’s The Color Box is a great place to start with color theory. It’s neither definitive nor deep but it does a great job of surveying many approaches to understanding color.

Albers

Josef Albers’s Theory and Interaction of Color is the definitive work for creating a hands-on understanding of essential optical effects.

Itten

Johannes Itten’s Art Of Color (an expansion of his The Elements Of Color) is clearer and wider-ranging than Albers’ similar book.

Birren

Faber Birren’s Creative Color discusses ways of creating effects (like iridescence and pearlescence) that few other resources touch on.

Wong

Wucius Wong’s Principles Of Color Design shows the links between color and other compositional devices.

Livingstone

Margaret Livingstone’s Vision And Art details the biology behind the effects artists create.

Find more recommended Color Reading here.

Learn more with these Color Theory here.

Learn more in my digital printing and digital photography workshops.

9 Great Books On Haiku Poetry

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Looking for books on great haiku poetry?
Here’s a list of books on haiku that I recommend.
Six on writing and enjoying haiku.
1   Writing and Enjoying Haiku: A Hands-on Guide by Jane Reichhold
2   Haiku: A Poet’s Guide by Lee Gurga
3   The Haiku Handbook: How to Write, Share, and Teach Haiku by William J. Higginson
4   The Haiku Seasons by William J. Higginson
5   How to Haiku: A Writer’s Guide to Haiku and Related Forms by Bruce Ross
6   The Heart of Haiku by Jane Hirshfield
Three outstanding collections of haiku; two historic and one contemporary.
7   The Sound of Water: Haiku by Basho, Buson, Issa, and Other Poets translated by Sam Hamill
8   The Classic Tradition of Haiku: An Anthology by Faubion Bowers
9   The Haiku Anthology edited by Cor van den Heuvel
Find the books I recommend on haiku here.

Keep Your Current Projects Visible

These are two book covers for projects I’m currently developing.

I create visual reminders for projects I’m currently working on. Then I place them in my working environment. They constantly prompt me to consider the work I’m developing at many times and in many moods. I sleep on it. I collect sketches and notes. I plan trips to make new exposures and list what I kind of material I’m looking for. I assemble relevant finished images in the series. I look for connections between images currently being made and images made in the past. I list many ways to develop the work.
What projects are you developing?
What kinds of visual reminders would be helpful to you?
What other things can you do to develop the work you want to do right now?
Learn more about creative planning and goal setting here.
Learn more in my creativity and digital photography workshops.

Book – Wynn Bullock Revelations

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“Wynn Bullock was one of the most significant photographers of the mid-twentieth century. A close friend of influential West Coast artists Ansel Adams and Edward Weston and a contemporary of Minor White and Frederick Sommer, Bullock created work marked by a distinct interest in experimentation, abstraction, and philosophical exploration. Bullock’s photography received early recognition in 1941, when the Los Angeles County Museum of Art staged his first solo exhibition. His mature work appeared in one-man shows at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris; the Royal Photographic Society, London; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the Art Institute of Chicago, among other prestigious venues. Bullock’s pictures Let There Be Light and Child in Forest have become icons in the history of photography, following their prominent inclusion in The Family of Man, Edward Steichen’s landmark 1955 exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art.
Despite early acclaim, however, the true breadth and depth of Bullock’s career have remained largely in the shadows. Wynn Bullock: Revelations shines new light on this major photographer and offers the most comprehensive assessment of his career in nearly forty years. Produced by the High Museum of Art in partnership with the Center for Creative Photography this retrospective traces Bullock’s evolution, from his early experimental work of the 1940s through the mysterious black-and-white imagery of the 1950s and the color/light abstractions of the 1960s, and to his late metaphysical photographs of the 1970s. The book presents 110 images, including some from the Bullock Estate that have before never been published. An essay by the High’s curator of photography Brett Abbott explores the nuances of Bullock’s approach to photography and its fascinating relationship to the history of science and philosophy. The volume also includes an illustrated chronology, a bibliography, selected collections, an exhibitions history, a list of plates, and notes.”
Get the book here.
Find out about the exhibit here.
Read a collection of quotes by Wynn Bullock here.
Find out more about Wynn Bullock here.