100 books like Drawing Projects

By Mick Maslen, Jack Southern,

Here are 100 books that Drawing Projects fans have personally recommended if you like Drawing Projects. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Ways of Drawing: Artists' Perspectives and Practices

James Hobbs Author Of Sketch Your World: Drawing techniques for great results on the go

From my list on to inspire you to draw.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started drawing in my twenties when I was lucky to meet and be inspired by tutors who passed on their passion for it. I have drawn and kept sketchbooks ever since: they trace the everyday things, my travels and important life events, but they are also places for thoughts and experiments, notes, and phone numbers. I don’t dare leave home without a sketchbook and pen in case I miss some unmissable thing. I went to art college, trained as a journalist, worked at a variety of art publications, have written three books about drawing, and exhibit and sell my drawings and prints. 

James' book list on to inspire you to draw

James Hobbs Why did James love this book?

There’s nothing like looking at the work of other artists to inspire you to draw. In this book, contemporary artists and teachers from the Royal Drawing School in London reflect on drawing and the diversity of ways to go about it through a series of essays that are interspersed with hundreds of drawn images by alumni and leading artists through the ages. A series of practical propositions for you to try out can lead to change and inspiration in your own work, whether it is based in the studio, out in the open, or from your imagination. This book makes drawing seem vital, current, and rich with possibilities. 

By Julian Bell (editor), Julia Balchin (editor), Claudia Tobin (editor)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ways of Drawing brings together a sophisticated, exciting range of reflections on markmaking by practising artists, teachers and writers. From explorations of how it feels to draw and personal accounts of artistic development, to short, imaginative propositions for looking, understanding and experiencing afresh, this collection repositions drawing as a vital creative and intellectual endeavour.

The book is divided into three sections: 'Studio Space', which focuses on drawing within four walls; 'Open Space', which ventures out into the cityscapes and landscapes around us; and 'Inner Space', which returns to the living, feeling, drawing person. Each section is comprehensively illustrated with a…


Book cover of Je Suis Le Cahier: The Sketchbooks of Picasso

James Hobbs Author Of Sketch Your World: Drawing techniques for great results on the go

From my list on to inspire you to draw.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started drawing in my twenties when I was lucky to meet and be inspired by tutors who passed on their passion for it. I have drawn and kept sketchbooks ever since: they trace the everyday things, my travels and important life events, but they are also places for thoughts and experiments, notes, and phone numbers. I don’t dare leave home without a sketchbook and pen in case I miss some unmissable thing. I went to art college, trained as a journalist, worked at a variety of art publications, have written three books about drawing, and exhibit and sell my drawings and prints. 

James' book list on to inspire you to draw

James Hobbs Why did James love this book?

I can’t help being inspired by an artist for whom drawing was such a natural, intuitive, lifelong act. Picasso is known to have kept 175 sketchbooks during his lifetime, some linked to his best-known works, such as Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. This book (“I Am the Sketchbook”) not only catalogues all 175, but it reproduces six of them in full, revealing a process of trial and discovery. The looseness, the simplicity, the richness, and the joy of enquiring lines and marks in these pages are, to me, an irresistible stimulant to draw. (There’s the occasional dud too, as any sketchbook should have.)

By Arnold Glimcher (editor), Marc Glimcher (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Je Suis Le Cahier as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Sketchbooks of Picasso is the only collection available of the private sketchbooks of Pablo Picasso, which he began in Barcelona in 1894. For more than seventy years, as the young painter blossomed and matured into the greatest artist of the twentieth century, he kept a record of his ideas and thoughts, so that by 1964 there were 175 sketchbooks, a unique and startling picture of the mind of a genius at work. Accompanying the major sections are essays by six of the greatest American art historians: E.A. Carmean, Sam Hunter, Rosalind Krauss, Theodore Reff, Robert Rosenblum, and Gert Schiff.…


Book cover of The Art of Urban Sketching: Drawing on Location Around the World

Taria Dawson Author Of The Beginner's Guide to Urban Sketching: Everything You Need to Know to Capture Your Favorite Places in Ink and Watercolor

From my list on books to inspire your sketchy adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been sketching the world around me since 2014 after discovering one or two of the books on this list and feeling inspired to do the same. I have travelled and sketched my way through many countries and in 2020, started a blog called Urban Sketching World, sharing tips and tricks I have learnt along the way. This expanded to a YouTube channel called Taria’s Sketchy Adventures, and I am proud to say I have taught hundreds (possibly thousands) of people how to pick up a sketchbook and start recording their own sketchy adventures. I now have my own book published called The Beginners Guide to Urban Sketching.

Taria's book list on books to inspire your sketchy adventures

Taria Dawson Why did Taria love this book?

This is a large, beautiful book filled with urban sketches from all over the world. It is an absolute treasure trove and curated by the instigator of urban sketching himself.

I found it absolutely fascinating to explore the vast styles of urban sketching and also how popular the activity is, with sketchers representing a mind-blowing number of countries around the world.

This is a holy book of urban sketching and one you will keep returning to for more and more inspiration.

By Gabriel Campanario,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Art of Urban Sketching as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Art of Urban Sketching is both a comprehensive guide and a showcase of location drawings by artists around the world who draw the cities where they live and travel. This beautiful volume explains urban sketching within the context of a long historical tradition and how it is practiced today. It includes profiles of leading practitioners, a discussion of the benefits of working in this art form, and shows how one can participate and experience it through modern-day social networks and online activity. The book is illustrated with over 700 beautiful, contemporary illustrations, and includes artists' profiles and extended captions…


Book cover of Lines of Thought: Drawing from Michelangelo to Now

James Hobbs Author Of Sketch Your World: Drawing techniques for great results on the go

From my list on to inspire you to draw.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started drawing in my twenties when I was lucky to meet and be inspired by tutors who passed on their passion for it. I have drawn and kept sketchbooks ever since: they trace the everyday things, my travels and important life events, but they are also places for thoughts and experiments, notes, and phone numbers. I don’t dare leave home without a sketchbook and pen in case I miss some unmissable thing. I went to art college, trained as a journalist, worked at a variety of art publications, have written three books about drawing, and exhibit and sell my drawings and prints. 

James' book list on to inspire you to draw

James Hobbs Why did James love this book?

Drawings by artists through the centuries can be a fantastic reservoir of ideas for contemporary artists. This book – published to accompany a British Museum touring exhibition – includes works drawn across a 500-year span, bringing together ancient and modern: Rachel Whiteread and Georges Seurat, Bridget Riley and Albrecht Dürer, Philip Guston and Vincent Van Gogh. The immediacy and directness of drawings from the past means they speak as clearly to us as those that are contemporary. Take, for instance, the 300-year-old brush drawings of Alexander Cozens, which still look thrillingly fresh, or Roger Hilton’s modern, minimalist nude: both make me reach for the pen and paper. The oldest drawings sing alongside the newest and lure me in. 

By Isabel Seligman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Looking at works from a range of different artists and their various approaches, this book examines the process and practice of drawing, showcasing artworks from 15th- and 16th-century masters, such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, right up to artists working today. In arranging them not by period or style, but by the types of thinking that give rise to them, readers gain fresh insights into the thought processes of some of the world's greatest artists. This thematic rather than chronological structure allows us to place historical drawings side-by-side with modern and contemporary works, to show how artists from widely…


Book cover of The Sketchbook Idea Generator: Mix and Match Prompts for Your Art Practice

Peggy Dean Author Of Mindful Sketching: How to Develop a Drawing Practice and Embrace the Art of Imperfection

From my list on creative books for the wildly imperfect artist.

Why am I passionate about this?

My journey into art began as a serendipitous discovery that unfolded through curiosity. As a “can’t-be-tamed” creative, I understand the tug-of-war artists feel – craving to learn skills and create “quality” pieces, while also thumbing the snooze-fest of sticking to one thing. Been there, done that, got the paint-splattered t-shirt. This has ignited a passion for encouraging others to find their own creative voice, as I've navigated the same path while building a multifaceted career in watercolor, gouache, line drawing, urban sketching, brush lettering, and calligraphy…need I go on? The thing is, I will because there is still so much to be explored.

Peggy's book list on creative books for the wildly imperfect artist

Peggy Dean Why did Peggy love this book?

I think this book is perfect to address creative ruts, when we feel like we’ve explored all the usual avenues of inspiration. I love that it’s interactive with a mix-and-match prompt system.

It provides a breath of fresh air and aligns with how I love to generate random drawing prompts. I love discovering a new combination of prompts, pushing me out of my comfort zone and into creative territories I hadn't dared to venture before.

It's not just a book; it's a companion for those moments when the blank page seems daunting.

By Jennifer Orkin Lewis,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Sketchbook Idea Generator as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A unique mix-and-match book that generates thousands of ideas for tackling a blank sketchbook page

Designed to kickstart creativity for artists and hobbyists, the pages of this book are divided into three separate sections that can be flipped, mixed, and matched to generate more than 100,000 unique sketchbook prompts! Jennifer Orkin Lewis, author of Draw Every Day, Draw Every Way and 100 Days of Drawing, has gained a dedicated following on Instagram by posting her daily sketches. The Sketchbook Idea Generator begins with an introductory section, in which Jennifer provides examples of her work as well as insight into her…


Book cover of Nightbitch

Asale Angel-Ajani Author Of A Country You Can Leave

From my list on badass mothers.

Why am I passionate about this?

The first time I learned that I was raised by a “bad” mother was when I was in the first grade. The teachers complained that my mother hadn’t shown up for parent-teacher conferences and never could get me to school on time. But I knew what they did not, that my mother worked a lot and was raising kids all her own and yet still had time to take us to the library to read books that were well beyond the ones at school. Because of my highly iterant life raised by a bookish and neglectful mother, I have always been interested in the relationship between children and their less-than-perfect mothers.

Asale's book list on badass mothers

Asale Angel-Ajani Why did Asale love this book?

Not quite a tale of eating her young, but this book is a great one for restless new mothers grappling with the demands of motherhood and the pull of a life and dreams that were formed in the freedom of the childless years.

This is a dark book with enough raw and funny moments that you never question its premise. It’s a fun read and a great book for a new mother.

By Rachel Yoder,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this blazingly smart and voracious debut novel, an artist turned stay-at-home mom becomes convinced she's turning into a dog. • "A must-read for anyone who can’t get enough of the ever-blurring line between the psychological and supernatural that Yellowjackets exemplifies." —Vulture

One day, the mother was a mother, but then one night, she was quite suddenly something else...

An ambitious mother puts her art career on hold to stay at home with her newborn son, but the experience does not match her imagination. Two years later, she steps into the bathroom for a break from her toddler's demands, only…


Book cover of This Little Artist: An Art History Primer

Lorie Ann Grover Author Of I Love All of Me (Wonderful Me)

From my list on children's board books to cut your teeth on.

Why am I passionate about this?

In the course of everyday life, when I’m writing books for middle grade and young adult readers, board books spring to my mind. Sometimes they come from catching a glimpse of a child hugging a parent, or they may spring from a phrase I overhear or say myself. That sounds like a board book, I think, and I write it down quickly. Sometimes, I’ll wake in the night, and a board book text will come to me in rhyme. Along with writing board books, I’ve been recommending quality works at the readertotz blog since 2009 in order to raise the profile of the format. Authors, illustrators, and publishers must create the very best quality, and then we must support, enjoy, and celebrate the works. A simple eight words may introduce a first reader to a love of books for life.

Lorie's book list on children's board books to cut your teeth on

Lorie Ann Grover Why did Lorie love this book?

Part of the This Little series, Joan Holub’s This Little Artist is an introduction to art history for our wee ones. Daniel Roode’s stylized figures with big round eyes illustrate greats such as Michelangelo, Mary Cassatt, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. A rhyme and portrait give an introduction on the left-hand page, and several facts follow to accompany the artist in their own setting on the right page. The book concludes with eighteen other artists and their techniques, as well as questioning what your reader might create. This is a little treasure of creativity and inspiration.  

By Joan Holub, Daniel Roode (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked This Little Artist as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, and 5.

What is this book about?

Learn all about artists who changed history in this engaging and colorful board book perfect for creators-in-training!

Painting, shaping, making art.
With creative joy, hands, and heart.

Little artists have great big imaginations.

In this follow up to This Little President, This Little Explorer, This Little Trailblazer, and This Little Scientist now even the youngest readers can learn all about great and empowering artists in history! Highlighting ten memorable artists who paved the way, parents and little ones alike will love this creativity primer full of fun, age-appropriate facts and bold illustrations.


Book cover of Inkling

Anna Humphrey Author Of Megabat

From my list on middle grade unlikely friendships.

Why am I passionate about this?

There are so many ways to make friends—and to be friends. As a painfully shy person for most of my life, I’ve learned that words aren’t always necessary, and that shared interests and non-verbal (or differently-verbal) communication can take you a long way. It’s probably why so many of my books focus on unconventional friendships, like that between a boy and a funny-talking fruit bat (in Megabat), a boy and his emotional support duck (in Quack), or even a bee and a flea (in Bee and Flea and the Compost Caper). Not surprisingly, I also love reading books that celebrate unlikely friends. These are just a few of my favorites. 

Anna's book list on middle grade unlikely friendships

Anna Humphrey Why did Anna love this book?

Adventure awaits when an inkblot from one of Ethan’s dad’s sketches comes to life and leaps off the page. Sydney Smith’s inky illustrations add to the fun of this fast-paced and funny story about friendship and family. And because Inkling loves to read/eat up ink, and he takes on the mood of whatever text he’s just devoured, it’s also a cool and clever introduction for kids to some classics and to different genres of writing. 

What’s more, the book ends on a note that suggests a sequel that I can’t wait to read!

By Kenneth Oppel, Sydney Smith (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Inkling as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Mishaps and madness ensue when magical drawing ink comes to life in the Rylance home and 11-year-old Ethan tries to prove he's just as talented as his famous father.

A moving but light-hearted story about grief, family and a sixth-grade rivalry. When Ethan's class is given the task of creating a graphic novel and magical ink jumps out of his father's sketchbook, a strange series of events is set into motion. To his younger sister, Inkling is Lucy, her beloved dog; to his father, Inkling is a second chance at a dwindling career and a chance to solve his family's…


Book cover of Basquiat: A Quick Killing in Art

Mariah Fox Author Of SAMO©...SINCE 1978: SAMO©...Writings: 1978-2018

From my list on celebrated and controversial artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Why am I passionate about this?

I ardently began research and writing on Jean-Michel Basquiat in grad school (2004), before his paintings demolished sales records and when he was still somewhat misunderstood and marginalized by perplexed art historians. Since then, his potency and intrigue have blazed a global pop culture inferno. I’ve conducted dozens of interviews, befriended those close to him, memorized his lines, colors, words, and spaces in books and real life, and re-read countless pages. Currently I’m writing and compiling a field guide to his work. All Basquiat publications are imperfect. I hope with sensitivity and intellectual intent, fans can move through their initial impressions to better understand his meaningful motives, inclinations, and artwork.

Mariah's book list on celebrated and controversial artist Jean-Michel Basquiat

Mariah Fox Why did Mariah love this book?

I am conflicted recommending this book. I detest this bestselling biography’s gossipy tone concerning Jean-Michel Basquiat’s personal and professional drama.

Yet many of these disturbances are unpleasantly true, and Hoban extensively, tediously researched her book. When I forget key names, or need to reference milestones, I look in the glossary and chapters. Chronologically it is helpful, but loosely delivered.

A revised edition would make a lot of sense, with so much discovery since its publication. The expansiveness, thoroughness, and ambition keep this book useful to me. Readers should take this exhaustive bio with a grain of salt, because of its biased fixation on the negative curiosities of Basquiat’s legacy.

In addition, with so much new information being revealed, researchers must cross-reference all facts taken from this title.

By Phoebe Hoban,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The tragic story of the talented painter Jean-Michel Basquiat details his turbulent childhood, explosive dealings with the elite art world, relationships with such figures as Andy Warhol and Madonna, and rise to fame, which led to his death from a drug overdose at the age of twenty-seven. 12,000 first printing.


Book cover of Paper Son: The Inspiring Story of Tyrus Wong, Immigrant and Artist

Nancy Churnin Author Of Beautiful Shades of Brown: The Art of Laura Wheeler Waring

From my list on children’s books about art.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an award-winning children’s book author who writes stories about ordinary people, like you and me, that discovered their unique gifts and used those gifts, plus perseverance, to make the world a better place. All my books come with free teacher guides, resources, and projects on my website where kids can share photos of the great things they do.

Nancy's book list on children’s books about art

Nancy Churnin Why did Nancy love this book?

Many kids love the Disney animated film Bambi, but how many know they have a Chinese American immigrant to thank for its lush and lovely look? Author Julie Leung tells the moving story of a boy named Wong Geng Yeo who traveled across an ocean from China to America with little more than the immigration papers he needed to start his new life. Chris Sasaki’s delicate illustrations detail how Wong dreamed of making art even as he worked as a janitor at night to pay the bills. The love and care that Tyrus Wong poured into what would become one of the great movies of love, friendship, and, years before The Lion King, of the circle of life, Paper Son is an exquisite reminder of the great gifts that immigrants have brought to America.

By Julie Leung, Chris Sasaki (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the American Library Association's 2021 Asian/Pacific American Award for Best Picture Book!
 
An inspiring picture-book biography of animator Tyrus Wong, the Chinese American immigrant responsible for bringing Disney's Bambi to life.

Before he became an artist named Tyrus Wong, he was a boy named Wong Geng Yeo. He traveled across a vast ocean from China to America with only a suitcase and a few papers. Not papers for drawing--which he loved to do--but immigration papers to start a new life. Once in America, Tyrus seized every opportunity to make art, eventually enrolling at an art institute in Los…


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