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.

 

How Drawing Helps You Think | Ralph Ammer | TEDxTUM

 

“You don’t have to be an artist to draw! In this beautifully illustrated talk, Ralph Ammer shows how drawing your thoughts can be a powerful tool for improving your thinking, creativity, and communication. He wants you to believe in your drawing abilities and provides numerous exercises to help you get started.

Ralph Ammer is a professor at the Munich University of Applied Sciences and teaches biophilic design, which aims to create life-friendly objects, images, and services based on nature. Ralph believes in the diversity of 21st-century craftsmen, regardless of whether they produce well-written programming code, carefully crafted prints, or the occasional ceramic vessel.”

Heather Hansen – Dancing To Draw



Having studied Theatre Design in Washington and Butoh dance in Japan, Heather Hansen’s passion knows no bounds. Inspired by Gutai action painters during her time in Japan—artists that famously threw mediums like paint or clay at canvases in post-war Japan—Heather creates life-size, symmetrical drawings capturing dance permanently on canvas. “I work to refine my kinetic drawing to something graphically and intentionally essential,” Hansen explains as we lounge in the backyard of her New Orleans home in the Marigny. “Charcoal allows me to record each gesture as it’s happening. You can see the story.”
“Dance has been a little overlooked in the arts, in part because it’s a little bit ephemeral,” she points out. “Music is too but it’s different, you can keep a tune in your head. With dance, people usually say, ‘Oh that was beautiful or that really made me feel something.’ They don’t remember the movements. They don’t have anchors for it. I’m primarily interested in finding ways to anchor dance.”
Find out more about Heather Hansen here.
View more performing arts inspiration here.

11 Recent Landscape Drawings

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(Drawn on the iPad with Adobe Ideas.)
Here’s a collection of recent landscape sketches.
Drawing does many things for me. Drawing helps me find, refine, and expand ideas. Because of drawing I’m never at a loss for visual ideas – and consequently I become more discriminating about the ones I devote significant time to. Drawing helps me identify essential structures in existing images. After I draw them, (no longer hung up on the details) I understand them better and can better apply what I’ve learned to other images. Drawing helps sensitize me to fundamental compositional patterns. After I draw them, I recognize them more quickly.
For so many reasons drawing is an immense pleasure – and that’s why I keep doing it.
View more sketches from this series here.
See more drawings here.

Two Talks On The Creative Process At TEDx & Google

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My TED and Google talks have a lot in common. Both discuss creativity as a dynamic process that we all engage in with our own unique orientations to. While there are classic operations we all perform, how we combine them and the uses we put them to. Experimentation and becoming more versatile is the key to turbo-charging your creative life. You’ll find dozens of tips and lots of inspiration in both of these talks.

Preview my eBook Process here.

Read more in my free creativity resources.

Learn more in my creativity workshops.

New eBook – Process


How artists get there is just as important as where they arrive. My new ebook Process examines many aspects of my creative process – writing, drawing, painting, photography, Photoshop, iphoneography and more. Thirty-three chapters are organized into five sections – Color, Composition, Draw, iPhone, Write – showing how each discipline contributes to the completion of finished works of art.
This ebook reveals that an artist’s creations are produced by not one but many activities in many media and that the creative process is a never-ending journey of discovery that offers surprising insights along the way.
192 pages fully illustrated
$12.99
$9.99 for Insights enews members
(Email info@johnpaulcaponigro.com for discount code.)
Buy the PDF here
Download a free preview here.




Why Drawing Is So Important To Me




I love to draw. I began drawing before I could speak. I’ve never stopped. It took me decades to learn to draw the way I wanted to. I spend less time drawing than I used to, now I rarely draw to produce finished results, but hardly a day goes by when I don’t draw, to record or refine ideas.

Drawing is a way to understanding. There’s a difference between knowing things mechanically (with a camera) in 1/125th of a second and knowing it manually (with a pencil, pen, or brush) over the space of hours or even days. Both ways can inform one another.

People often ask me, “Do you draw before, during, or after I photograph?” I respond, “Yes.” There are different benefits to drawing at every stage in the process of creation.

I sometimes draw before arriving at a location to structure my visual explorations. I sometimes draw while on-site, to record ideas that cannot be photographed. I sometimes draw after visiting a location, from unfinished photographs made there, to identify the many ways they can be combined with other photographs. I sometimes draw on finished photographs to identify patterns of thinking and ways to develop them further.

There are many reasons to draw and many ways of drawing.

I take the definition of photo-graph literally – light-drawing. For me, photography is one more way to draw.