Do you want to learn how to draw? I had a teacher tell me once that drawing wasn’t about moving a pencil across a page. It was about seeing. As adults, our interests and what we would like to draw are different than when we were children. And we see differently. You need books that will engage you and that you’ll want to use. To encourage you to draw as an adult, in this post, I’ll tell you what my top 3 picks are for how to draw books adults love.
- Draw Your Day: An Inspiring Guide to Keeping a Sketch Journal by Samantha Dion Baker
- 50 Ways to Draw Your Beautiful Ordinary Life: Practical Lessons in Pencil and Paper (Flow) by Irene Smit, Astrid Van Der Hulst, and the Illustrators of Flow
- How to Draw Modern Florals: An Introduction to the Art of Flowers, Cacti, and More by Blue Star Press
How to Draw Books Adults Will Love to Learn From
Creatives like limited amounts of instruction- we want to know just enough to get us off and running so we’re actually DOING something. Then we’ll run full out until we hit an obstacle. After bouncing off it, we’ll stop, regroup, and check the instructions again. Maybe we’ll look up another video or check out a book at the library. If that’s your m.o. as well then I would love to suggest a couple of books I picked up recently off Amazon. The subject matter is more adult and that makes these guides much more interesting to adult readers.
How to Draw Books that Elevate the Everyday to Art
Pick # 1- Draw Your Day: An Inspiring Guide to Keeping a Sketch Journal by Samantha Dion Baker
I just love the author’s drawing style as well as her habit of taking the small things around us and elevating them to art. She says that through her work, she “realized how positively people respond to sketches of every day, the mundane, the ordinary. We all buy eggs and black beans but in illustrating them we truly see them, and they suddenly become special and beautiful.” I love this outlook and as a bonu this meditational style of really being present is great for your mindset.
Pick #2- 50 Ways to Draw Your Beautiful Ordinary Life: Practical Lessons in Pencil and Paper by Irene Smit, Astrid Van Der Hulst, and the Illustrators of Flow.
This book is designed to be a workbook and has more of an illustrative style. It gives you space in the book to work through the 50 different exercises. The basic goal of it is to teach you to draw things in your life. And to celebrate life where you are. It also gives you a ton of fun extras that are tucked into the book. I don’t want to spoil the surprise, so I’ll let you discover them if you decide to purchase the book.
Pick #3- How to Draw Modern Florals: An Introduction to the Art of Flowers, Cacti, and More by Blue Star Press
With drawing, you can also start right where you are. The three drawing books I recommend are great places to begin because they encourage you to see the shapes and charm of the everyday objects around you. These aren’t children’s how-to-draw books that take you through how to draw a tiger or a monster or a super hero.
Not to Knock Kids Books, But These Books Are For Adults
They’ll illustrate how to draw your morning tea or coffee, the pot of flowers on your deck, or your art supplies. They’re simple, a little bit illustrative, and very very fun. I’ve had many college-level art classes and am still enjoying these books. Many classes don’t teach the illustrative style that you’ll find in the 50 Ways to Draw Your Ordinary Life book.
How-to-Draw in Four Quick Steps
So to give you an idea of how to start I chose one of the 50 Ways to Draw Your Ordinary Life. I decided to follow one of the drawing exercises in it. The how-to-draw exercise I began with is the how-to-draw a camper page (pg. 200).
- Make a Rough Sketch Following the Exercise in the Book. I started drawing it in my sketchbook, to get a rough idea of what the camper would look like,
- Create the Composition. I began to roughly sketch out the composition around my camper.
- Add Color. I took a photo of my sketch and uploaded it into my digital drawing app, Procreate. I added color there.
- Add Final Details. Step back a bit from your drawing and look to see what finishing touches you could add.
What Do You Need to Draw?
Chalk, charcoal, pencils, and oil bars were some of the favorites I tried in my college classes. That’s also where I was introduced to the concept of a sketchbook as a creative catch-all.
I wrote about that a little in my post, Why You Should Keep a Sketchbook. Still, I began with a how-to-draw book as a child. And as an adult, I’d like to recommend you start with a couple of how-to-draw books adults love.
Try Digital Drawing Apps
Digital drawing is an easier way to start in many respects. You can undo with a tap, there are layers so you can move around different parts of your drawing, and you can use different types of brushes.
Procreate is a drawing app on the iPad I’ve been experimenting with for a few months. It totally pulls me in every time. Yesterday, as I was playing with it, I lost track of time, forgot to make dinner, and…. didn’t resurface until my husband came home. After dinner, intending to spend just a couple more minutes, I dove back into the app. I resurfaced again a few hours later to hear my husband mumbling about the fresh salsa being dead, as it can’t sit on the counter all night. Sigh. BUT, part of the joy of creating is that you can lose yourself in it.
And we all need to take a little time to relax, detach, and practice some self-care. I highly recommend drawing, because it’s something you can see growth in, something that creates self-awareness, and it engages our brains in a way that promotes healing. Truth.
More Ideas and Inspiration for How-to-Draw as Adults
Have I inspired you? Are you excited to reinvest in learning how to draw as an adult? If you’re the goal-oriented type a good way to motivate yourself would be to participate in the Brooklyn Art Library’s Sketchbook Project.
It’s completely crowd-funded and anyone can contribute. To participate, check out the link above and then order your sketchbook. If you do decide to do this I would love to know!!! I think it sounds like a great opportunity to make a contribution to a collective art experience. It would also be a pretty good reason to head to Brooklyn sometime (wink).
Curious to See More Sketchbook Art?
I have a Sketchbook Ideas Pinterest Board I’d love to have you check out!
And here are a couple of posts that I’ve written that get into what a sketchbook can do for you. I also have a FREE QUIZ that will help you decide on what kind of sketchbook fits your personality and lifestyle best.
Thanks for Reading This Post on How to Draw Books for Adults
And I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to know if you decide to download the free pdf of my art. The quote is a variation of a John Muir quote I created with in a post and have as a free SVG and PDF in the Creative Resource Library as well! Enjoy!
FYI- I did include affiliate links in the above article. Both for Amazon and for Skillshare. If you choose to purchase the books, or decide to try Skillshare then I get a small compensation for recommending you that DOES not effect your purchase cost at all. It’s so cool! You can help support this blog by purchasing one of these how-to-draw books adults love and it’s absolutely free for you to do. Win!