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This is a wonderful book on drawing that ranges widely, from basic skills up to figure drawing. It’s like a master-class at a top arts university, in a mere 200 pages. The book itself is beautiful with illustrations, diagrams, and step-by-step instructions throughout. But there’s far more than a typical instruction manual including subsections that explain the hows, whys, plus the common feelings many students (like me) have struggled with specific aspects of drawing. For instance, in the chapter on figure drawing, there is an extended section on gestures.

The author explains how simplicity, dynamism, fluidity, and — surprisingly — exaggeration all help to make our figures more natural. Further, he lays out exactly what color pencils to use, to help make them more lifelike and to bring drawings to life. With the author’s 25 years of teaching experience, this condensed and wonderful guidebook is a manual to learning to “observe, analyze, and (literally!) draw any subject.” For anyone wanted to elevate their drawing skills — because drawing is a skill, not a “talent” — this book is a treasure trove of knowledge, with decades of experience on every single page.