SHOW + TELL: My Favorite Art and Drawing Books

SHOW + TELL: My Favorite Art and Drawing Books #reading #art

I love turning to my art book collection whenever I’m in need of a good dose of inspiration. Studying other artist’s work and learning new techniques is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. Today I thought I’d share some of my favorites.

1. Picture This by Lynda Barry

Lynda Barry is a creative genius. I saw her give a talk at Portland State University some years ago and was so inspired by her work and words. She’s most known for illustrating her comics chronicling the adventures of Marlys and the Near-Sighted Monkey. Picture This is an activity book of the most unusual sort. Marlys and the Near-Sighted Monkey present questions like, “What is making a picture all about? What makes kids draw? What makes adults scared to draw?”

2. Hand Job: A Catalog of Type by Michael Perry

This book is a must-have for anyone interested in hand-lettering. Michael Perry showcases the work of tons of talented artists and designers. Some of my favorites are Kate Bingaman-Burt, Deanne Cheuk, and Human Empire.

3. The Diary of Frida Kahlo

For those of you unfamiliar with Frida Kahlo, she was an amazing Mexican artist known for her captivating surrealist paintings. She suffered from lifelong health problems, many caused by a bus accident she survived as a teenager. It was through the isolation of recovery from her injuries that she began to paint. Her diary is filled with fascinating sketches, painting, and writings of her life.

4. Daring Adventures In Paint, by Mati Rose McDonough

I’ve been a fan of Mati Rose for some time now. Her paintings are rich, colorful and playful. In her book, Daring Adventures In Paint, she takes you through her process of finding inspiration, trusting your artistic path, and finding your voice. The book is filled with gorgeous photos and step by step instructions on a variety of techniques she uses in her work.

SHOW + TELL: My Favorite Art and Drawing Books

5. Spilling Open by Sabrina Ward Harrison

I first discovered this book in high school and it was a life changing experience. If you are a fan of art journaling, this book is for you! Spilling Open is the first of many books by Sabrina, but this one is my favorite. Written at age 23, Sabrina explores “the art of becoming yourself” through messy paintings, collage, ink spills, drawings, photos and more.

6. The Creative License by Danny Gregory

I love the honesty and creative style of Danny Gregory. He discusses the fears and insecurities we all face when confronting our creative side and how we can all muster up the courage to go for it. In The Creative License, he gives us “permission to be intensely, brilliantly, wonderfully creative” and shows us how to get started on fulfilling our artistic dreams.

7. Drawing Nature: A Journal by Jill Bliss

When I first moved home to Portland in 2009, I took a drawing class from the talented Jill Bliss. It was a delightful experience. We sat outside in a park and practiced drawing leaves, flowers, and anything else we found in nature. Those classes inspired her to write this book! In the first part of the book discusses her drawing philosophy and walks you through a variety of different techniques. The second half is like a typical journal for you to practice in with fun tips and tricks from Jill!

All of these titles are available at the Adventures In Making Amazon Store. Purchasing through our store earns us a small percentage of the sale. Thanks for supporting us!