How to Books
Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards – Probably the most essential book for anyone learning to draw. This book helps you to learn how to draw what you are really seeing and not just what you think you are seeing.
The Art Spirit by Robert Henri – There are plenty of tips on drawing and painting throughout this book, but more than anything, this book will help motivate you to get up and draw or paint and to do so with passion. I have yet to find any book that can motivate an artist more than this one.
Fun With a Pencil by Andrew Loomis – Or anything written by Andrew Loomis for that matter. The books are hard to find but well worth the effort. One of the advantages of the Loomis books is that they include countless pages of exercises that will push you to draw even when you may feel a bit sluggish.
100 Creative Drawing Ideas compiled and edited by Anna Held Audette – This will help you to get up out of your rut and try something new. Full of interesting ideas that help keep your art fresh and keep you having fun while making art.
Drawn to Life Volumes 1 and 2 by Walt Stanchfield – Meant more for animators, but I find that many of the principles apply to good drawing as well. Walt’s book is as much about the life and the attitude of an artist as it is about making good art.
Illustrating Children’s Books by Martin Salisbury – A good overall introduction to the field of children’s illustration.
Just for Fun
Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud – A fascinating book on the why and how of comics. I also recommend Reinventing Comics and Making Comics both written by Scott.
Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson – Who doesn’t love Calvin and Hobbes?!
Smile by Raina Telgemeier – An autobiographical comic about the artist’s teenage years. I fell in love with this story as soon as I saw it!
Maus by Art Spiegelman – This is a powerful comic both about a man surviving the horrors of the holocaust and one man’s relationship with his father.
Copper by Kazu Kibuishi – What can I say… this comic makes me happy. Precious truths are hidden away in this fun comic about a boy and his dog.
The Flight Anthologies and the Flight Explorer both edited by Kazu Kibuishi – I have yet to find a higher concentration of talent, also a wide variety of styles. Buy it now!
Atomic Robo by Clevinger and Wegener – I’m not much into super hero comics but this is the most cleverly written one I’ve seen. I can’t stop laughing!
Owly by Andy Runton – Cute, adorable and amazing! If you like cuteness buy it, if you don’t like cute things… what are you doing reading my blog?!
Cheap Joe’s Art Supply – I’m amazed that places like this still exist. Yes they have cheap art supplies, yes they have a huge variety, but the real reason to shop at Cheap Joe’s is the people. They are some of the kindest, nicest, down to earth people on this planet. If you don’t believe me send me an email sometime and I’ll tell you story after story of how they have gone above and beyond to help me. I’ve never seen a company like this; they’ve made me into a lifelong customer.