10 books like David Hockney

By David Hockney,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like David Hockney. Shepherd is a community of 8,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported.
We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. This is how we fund the project for readers and authors along with our membership program.

Bento's Sketchbook

By John Berger,

Book cover of Bento's Sketchbook

Eduardo Côrte-Real Author Of The Smooth Guide to Travel Drawing

From the list on unassumingly sketching the world around us.

Who am I?

I've taught Drawing in universities since 1985. Currently, I work at IADE-Universidade Europeia in Lisbon, Portugal. Long before that, at the age of five, I drew a volcano. A mountain exploding on the top as a delirious shiny crown and lava running from its flanks making a pattern of vibrant reddish-yellow. Proudly, I showed it to my mother. She exclaimed: What a beautiful pineapple! I only retained the word ‘beautiful’ and never stopped drawing. Trained as an architect, I discovered the virtue of drawing what we see, while experiencing the act of being there. I also became a compulsive reader, perhaps to experience the act of being elsewhere. 

Eduardo's book list on unassumingly sketching the world around us

Discover why each book is one of Eduardo's favorite books.

Why did Eduardo love this book?

John Berger taught us to see art in a new way. His acclaimed BBC series changed the way art was shown on TV. Contemplating art included looking around and finding remarkable images being used in plain situations. In his book, Here is where we meet he placed a heart-touching short story in Lisboa, my adored city. I realised that we had often crossed the same roads and parks, enjoyed the same views. I was conquered. In Bento’s Sketchbook, Berger searches for the mind of Baruch (Bento) Spinoza, one of the most enigmatic philosophers of the 17th century. It is nice to follow this book by reading Antonio Damásio’s Looking for Spinoza, Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain. Berger also mentions Damásio, describing what goes on in his mind and body when drawing. The Dutch Philosopher, a member of the Portuguese Jewish community in Amsterdam, had a rich work…

Bento's Sketchbook

By John Berger,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bento's Sketchbook as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The seventeenth-century philosopher Baruch Spinoza-also known as Benedict or Bento de Spinoza-spent the most intense years of his short life writing. He also carried with him a sketchbook. After his sudden death, his friends rescued letters, manuscripts, notes-but no drawings.

For years, without knowing what its pages might hold, John Berger has imagined finding Bento's sketchbook, wanting to see the drawings alongside his surviving words. When one day a friend gave him a beautiful virgin sketchbook, Berger said, "This is Bento's!" and he began to draw, taking his inspiration from the philosopher's vision.

In this illustrated color book John Berger…


Book cover of Henry Moore's Sheep Sketchbook

Eduardo Côrte-Real Author Of The Smooth Guide to Travel Drawing

From the list on unassumingly sketching the world around us.

Who am I?

I've taught Drawing in universities since 1985. Currently, I work at IADE-Universidade Europeia in Lisbon, Portugal. Long before that, at the age of five, I drew a volcano. A mountain exploding on the top as a delirious shiny crown and lava running from its flanks making a pattern of vibrant reddish-yellow. Proudly, I showed it to my mother. She exclaimed: What a beautiful pineapple! I only retained the word ‘beautiful’ and never stopped drawing. Trained as an architect, I discovered the virtue of drawing what we see, while experiencing the act of being there. I also became a compulsive reader, perhaps to experience the act of being elsewhere. 

Eduardo's book list on unassumingly sketching the world around us

Discover why each book is one of Eduardo's favorite books.

Why did Eduardo love this book?

Where else can we find 159 sheep and 49 lambs sketched by a celebrated modern sculptor? This flock is a treatise of graphic easiness and uncompromising observation exercises. A must-see for anyone armed with a ballpoint pen and a rural disposition. There are also texts by Moore himself and Kenneth Clark, the art historian dethroned by Berger as the great British Broadcasting cultural oracle. Although Clark suggests that Moore’s drawings show some love for the sheep, the latter’s text is a love letter to drawing, simply.  

Henry Moore's Sheep Sketchbook

By Henry Moore,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Henry Moore's Sheep Sketchbook as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In February 1972 Henry Moore's sculpture studios in the English countryside at Much Hadham were filled with the preparations for his retrospective exhibition in Florence. He retreated to a small studio overlooking the fields where a local farmer grazed his sheep. The sheep came very close to the window, attracting his attention, and he began to draw them. Initially he saw them as four-legged balls of wool, but his vision changed as he explored what they were really like - the way they moved, the shape of their bodies under the fleece. They also developed strong human and biblical associations,…


Stoner

By John Williams,

Book cover of Stoner

Terence M. Green Author Of Shadow of Ashland

From the list on searching for answers in the past and present.

Who am I?

There are things expressed only in writing, never spoken aloud in our culture. We can find them in books, in the honesty and insights of those willing to take the time and make the effort to say what they feel and think. Another reason to read is for the sheer joy of a story well told, one that can open both the mind and the heart. I have published 7 novels and a collection of short stories, have just retired from teaching creative writing at the university level. My life has been spent among books. Simply, I am in awe of the ones recommended here.

Terence's book list on searching for answers in the past and present

Discover why each book is one of Terence's favorite books.

Why did Terence love this book?

This novel is the story of William Stoner, raised on a US midwestern farm, who becomes an English professor at the University of Missouri. It follows his life throughout, in simple prose, becoming both moving and profound. It was introduced to me by a knowledgeable NY city book dealer back in the 90s. I pick it up every few years for another reading experience. It’s become a bit of an obscure classic.

Stoner

By John Williams,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Stoner as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WATERSTONES BOOK OF THE YEAR 2013

'It's the most marvellous discovery for everyone who loves literature' Ian McEwan, BBC Radio 4

Colum McCann once called Stoner one of the great forgotten novels of the past century, but it seems it is forgotten no longer - in 2013 translations of Stoner began appearing on bestseller lists across Europe. Forty-eight years after its first, quiet publication in the US, Stoner is finally finding the wide and devoted readership it deserves. Have you read it yet?

William Stoner enters the University of Missouri at nineteen to study agriculture. A seminar on English literature…


Book cover of The Acme Novelty Date Book: Sketches and Diary Pages in Facsimile

Eduardo Côrte-Real Author Of The Smooth Guide to Travel Drawing

From the list on unassumingly sketching the world around us.

Who am I?

I've taught Drawing in universities since 1985. Currently, I work at IADE-Universidade Europeia in Lisbon, Portugal. Long before that, at the age of five, I drew a volcano. A mountain exploding on the top as a delirious shiny crown and lava running from its flanks making a pattern of vibrant reddish-yellow. Proudly, I showed it to my mother. She exclaimed: What a beautiful pineapple! I only retained the word ‘beautiful’ and never stopped drawing. Trained as an architect, I discovered the virtue of drawing what we see, while experiencing the act of being there. I also became a compulsive reader, perhaps to experience the act of being elsewhere. 

Eduardo's book list on unassumingly sketching the world around us

Discover why each book is one of Eduardo's favorite books.

Why did Eduardo love this book?

This is probably the book, in the entire history of publishing, in which the author repeatedly apologizes for having it published. Of course, this is entirely false modesty. Ware is one of the more acclaimed and creative graphic tellers of our time. This is a facsimile of his sketchbooks from 1986 to 1995. A second one would follow but this is the first and, consequently, closer to the source of his creative origins. But my main reason for suggesting this book in this context is the way he draws by observing what is around him as a sort of breathing exercise that keeps him alive and going.

The Acme Novelty Date Book

By Chris Ware,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Acme Novelty Date Book as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Outtakes Of An American Genius Acclaimed cartoonist Chris Ware reveals the outtakes of his genius in these intimate, imaginative, and whimsical sketches collected from the years during which he completed his award-winning graphic novel Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid On Earth (Pantheon). This book is as much a companion volume to Jimmy Corrigan - one of the great crossover success stories - as a tremendous art collection from of one of America's most interesting and popular graphic artists. Ware has a passion for drawing that is surprisingly wideranging in style and subject. This book surprises the reader on every page…


Spring Cannot Be Cancelled

By David Hockney, Martin Gayford,

Book cover of Spring Cannot Be Cancelled: David Hockney in Normandy

Cat Bennett Author Of The Confident Creative: Drawing to Free the Hand and Mind

From the list on art and creativity.

Who am I?

I’ve been an artist all my life. In childhood, I was always drawing and after graduating from university I became an illustrator doing hundreds of drawings for major newspapers and publishers in the United States for over 25 years. It was my mission, no matter what was going on in the world, to find some humor and lightness to share through my drawings. About 15 years ago, I also began to teach drawing to adults and was amazed to discover that everyone can draw. When I saw how people seemed to become happier and bolder making art I became passionate about sharing how we can grow our creativity by developing an art practice. It makes for a beautiful life and quite possibly a more beautiful world.

Cat's book list on art and creativity

Discover why each book is one of Cat's favorite books.

Why did Cat love this book?

I adore David Hockney. He draws so beautifully, and in so many different ways, and is always inventive in his art-making. He makes me see more through his art and was a major inspiration for me when I was starting out as an editorial illustrator years ago. This book is a 2020 pandemic conversation between Hockney, now living in Normandy, and his good friend, the art critic Martin Gayford in the UK. It really speaks to the devotion that artists have to observing life and creating something beautiful from it. I love the joy Hockney brings to his work and see that as a powerful energy to create from.

Spring Cannot Be Cancelled

By David Hockney, Martin Gayford,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Spring Cannot Be Cancelled as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

'We have lost touch with nature, rather foolishly as we are a part of it, not outside it. This will in time be over and then what? What have we learned?... The only real things in life are food and love, in that order, just like [for] our little dog Ruby... and the source of art is love. I love life.'

DAVID HOCKNEY

Praise for Spring Cannot be Cancelled:

'This book is not so much a celebration of spring as a springboard for ideas about art, space, time and light. It is scholarly, thoughtful and provoking'…


Book cover of The Artist's Complete Guide to Facial Expression

David Chelsea Author Of Perspective! for Comic Book Artists

From the list on making you a better artist.

Who am I?

Although I have been a professional artist for over forty years, I have never yet gotten to the point where I imagine I have it all figured out. There are always new techniques to learn, and new mediums to explore. The books on this list are ones I have found helpful in nudging me in new and productive directions. 

David's book list on making you a better artist

Discover why each book is one of David's favorite books.

Why did David love this book?

Gary Faigin is the guy I took my first and only perspective class from, back when he was teaching at the New York Academy of Arts. Eventually we became friends, and fortunately for me he never wrote a book on perspective. Instead, Gary channeled his considerable knowledge of anatomy and drawing into the indispensable book on facial expressions. In profusely illustrated chapters, Gary breaks down the daunting complexity of facial expressions into six basics: joy, anger, sadness, disgust, fear, and surprise. Like the primary colors, this basic palette yields the full spectrum of extreme to subtle, in-between, and mixed expressions. 

The Artist's Complete Guide to Facial Expression

By Gary Faigin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Artist's Complete Guide to Facial Expression as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Artists will love this book, the definitive guide to capturing facial expressions. In a carefully organised, easy-to-use format, author Gary Faigin shows readers the expressions created by individual facial muscles, then draws them together in a section devoted to the six basic human emotions: sadness, anger, joy, fear, disgust and surprise. Each emotion is shown in steadily increasing intensity and Faigin's detailed renderings are supplemented by clear explanatory text, additional sketches and finished work. An appendix includes yawning, wincing and other physical reactions. Want to create portraits that capture the real person? Want to draw convincing illustrations? Want to show…


The Process

By Judith Wilde, Richard Wilde,

Book cover of The Process: A New Foundation in Art and Design

David Airey Author Of Identity Designed: The Definitive Guide to Visual Branding

From the list on visual branding.

Who am I?

I am a graphic designer, writer, and brand consultant. I work with clients of all sizes, from multinationals to companies of one. Since opening my business in 2005 I’ve created logos and visual identities for brands in more than 30 countries. I run two design blogs Logo Design Love and Identity Designed. They resulted in publishing deals to write their accompanying books, and their pages now get millions of views each year.

David's book list on visual branding

Discover why each book is one of David's favorite books.

Why did David love this book?

If any book can explain why there’s always more than one way to solve a visual problem, this is it. The book shares a compendium of 13 experimental projects, each designed to teach conceptual thinking and problem solving to art and design students.

The Process

By Judith Wilde, Richard Wilde,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Process as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Process is a compendium of 17 experimental art and design projects geared toward teaching college art students what is needed to become an artist.

The projects, created by Judith Wilde and Richard Wilde, focus on developing formal excellence and a strong sense of aesthetics, along with the ability to generate new ideas.


Art Is Life

By Jerry Saltz,

Book cover of Art Is Life: Icons and Iconoclasts, Visionaries and Vigilantes, and Flashes of Hope in the Night

Miriam Schulman Author Of Artpreneur: The Step-by-Step Guide to Making a Sustainable Living from Your Creativity

From the list on artists monetizing their creativity.

Who am I?

With over 20 years of experience as a professional artist and a successful track record of earning six figures a year from my art, I know firsthand what it takes to build a thriving artistic career. As the host of the Inspiration Place podcast, and founder of the Artist Incubator program, I’ve dedicated my life’s work to helping artists everywhere achieve their full potential and reach their goals. When you overcome the common challenges and mindset blocks that hold so many artists back and learn the practical tools and strategies you need for selling your art, you too find the same success.

Miriam's book list on artists monetizing their creativity

Discover why each book is one of Miriam's favorite books.

Why did Miriam love this book?

This book is a great choice for anyone looking to dive deeper into the creative process and find inspiration for their own artistic journey. The book, written by the well-known art critic and historian Jerry Saltz, offers practical advice and thought-provoking insights into the nature of art and the role of the artist in society. One of the key themes in the book is the idea that every piece of art you create has the potential to make an impact, no matter how big or small, and that it is your responsibility as an artist to keep creating, even if your work may not always be perfect. Overall, this book is a must-read for anyone looking to deepen their understanding of the creative process and find the motivation to keep pursuing their passions.

Art Is Life

By Jerry Saltz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Art Is Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the Pulitzer Prize winner and bestselling author of How to Be an Artist: a deliciously readable survey of the art world in turbulent times

Jerry Saltz is one of our most-watched writers about art and artists, and a passionate champion of the importance of art in our shared cultural life. Since the 1990s he has been an indispensable cultural voice: witty and provocative, he has attracted contemporary readers to fine art as few critics have. An early champion of forgotten and overlooked women artists, he has also celebrated the pioneering work of African American, LGBTQ+, and other long-marginalized creators.…


Ways of Seeing

By John Berger,

Book cover of Ways of Seeing

Barry Sandywell Author Of Dictionary of Visual Discourse: A Dialectical Lexicon of Terms

From the list on beginning the study of visual culture.

Who am I?

I'm currently an Honorary Fellow in Social Theory at the University of York, U.K. For more than five decades I've been working to promote more reflexive perspectives in philosophy, sociology, social theory, and sociological research. I've written and edited many books in the field of social theory with particular emphasis upon questions of culture and critical research in the expanding field of visual culture. Recent projects include Interpreting Visual Culture (with Ian Heywood), The Handbook of Visual Culture, and an edited multi-volume textbook to be published by Bloomsbury, The Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Visual Culture. The passion to understand the thought and visual culture of both the ancient and modern world continues to inform my work. 

Barry's book list on beginning the study of visual culture

Discover why each book is one of Barry's favorite books.

Why did Barry love this book?

In one sense Berger’s work is a further exploration of many of Benjamin’s ideas on the social functions of art and visual imagery. Berger is even more emphatic in underlining the changing social (and economic) imperatives that have created particular genres of art. In this book the main emphasis is Eurocentric as Berger weaves his story of the social logics of images into an account of the class and gendered character of the art world and, more particularly, of the world of paintings.

As a Marxist reading of the tradition Ways of Seeing emphasizes social class and dominant class relations as a formative way in which the visual world has been constructed. But he is `culturalist’ enough to stress the relative autonomy of the visual and cultural formations and how the conventions governing artworks and aesthetic interpretation have changed historically. Unusual in the theory of visual culture during the 1960s…

Ways of Seeing

By John Berger,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Ways of Seeing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak.""But there is also another sense in which seeing comes before words. It is seeing which establishes our place in the surrounding world; we explain that world with words, but word can never undo the fact that we are surrounded by it. The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled."John Berger's "Ways of Seeing" is one of the most stimulating and the most influential books on art in any language. First published in 1972, it was based on the BBC television series about…


The Annotated Mona Lisa

By Carol Strickland,

Book cover of The Annotated Mona Lisa: A Crash Course in Art History from Prehistoric to the Present

Jennifer Dasal Author Of ArtCurious: Stories of the Unexpected, Slightly Odd, and Strangely Wonderful in Art History

From the list on art newbies.

Who am I?

I’m an art historian, author, and the former curator of modern and contemporary art at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, North Carolina—so art is my thing! I’m the host of the independent podcast ArtCurious, which I started in 2016 and which was named one of the best podcasts by O, The Oprah Magazine and PC Magazine, among other outlets. I’m also the author of a book called ArtCurious, which was lauded in Publisher’s Weekly, BookPage, and Booklist. I’ve got advanced degrees in art history and love to share all my enthusiasm for art whenever I can (also: travel!). 

Jennifer's book list on art newbies

Discover why each book is one of Jennifer's favorite books.

Why did Jennifer love this book?

This book is my top recommendation for any art newbie that comes to me asking for book ideas. Where should I start if I want to learn about art history? Start right here! The Annotated Mona Lisa is easy to read, and educational yet entertaining, and it'll help you discover everything from what cave paintings actually mean, to the difference between Expressionism and Abstract Expressionism (hint: it's right there in the name), and even how contemporary artists make work out of miscellaneous objects. Great for preteens on up.

The Annotated Mona Lisa

By Carol Strickland,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Annotated Mona Lisa as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An illustrated tutorial of prehistoric to contemporary world art, from cave paintings to video art installations to digital and Internet media in an easy-to-understand format.

This heavily illustrated crash course in art history is revised and updated from the second edition published in 2007, including a new chapter about recent artists and movements. Featuring succinct page-length essays, instructive sidebars, and more than 300 photographs, The Annotated Mona Lisa: A Crash Course in Art History from Prehistoric to the Present takes art education out of the realm of dreary textbooks, demystifies jargon and theory, and makes the history of art movements…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in art, police, and artists?

8,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about art, police, and artists.

Art Explore 135 books about art
Police Explore 177 books about police
Artists Explore 62 books about artists