We love drawing…and our young artists do too! Drawing is not always easy, though, and for some, it can be downright intimidating. In our experience, kids draw freely and happily from a very young age, but as they get older, they tend to be more judgemental of their drawing style. For those kids — for anyone who feels like they “can’t draw” — drawing books can be instrumental in helping build skill and confidence.

At Arts For Life we use drawing books all the time at our tables. (In fact, if you’ve ever visited one of our tables, these might look very familiar…)

Here are a few of our most favorite authors and collections.

Ed Emberley

drawing books, Our Favorite Drawing Books, Arts For Life AnywhereTitles

Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book of Animals
Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book: Make a World
Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book of Faces
Ed Emberley’s Big Green Drawing Book
Ed Emberley’s Big Orange Drawing Book
Ed Emberley’s Big Purple Drawing Book
Ed Emberley’s Big Red Drawing Book
Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book of Weirdos
Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book of Trucks and Trains

Good for ages 3+

Why we love them
These books present drawing in a way that’s practical and approachable. We’ve used these books at our art tables with kids as young as 3 and with adults too. Emberley’s drawings are so unique that it makes you think not just I can do that! but I can’t wait to do that!

Bonus: Ed Emberley also offers downloadable drawing pages!

Sachiko Umoto/Illustration School

drawing books, Our Favorite Drawing Books, Arts For Life AnywhereTitles

Illustration School: Let’s Draw!
Illustration School: Let’s Draw Cute Animals
Illustration School: Let’s Draw Happy People
Illustration School: Let’s Draw Plants and Small Creatures
Illustration School: Let’s Draw Magical Colors
Illustration School: Let’s Draw a Story

Good for ages 5+

Why we love them
Seriously: these drawings are so. darn. cute. Whether you’re trying to draw animals, or people, or flowers, or cakes, or hot air balloons, Japanese artist Umoto’s drawing style is pretty irresistible. What these books lack in step-by-step instruction, they more than make up for in design simplicity and pure sugar-sweetness.

Mona Brookes

drawing books, Our Favorite Drawing Books, Arts For Life Anywhere

Titles
Drawing with Children
Drawing for Older Children and Teens

Good for adults teaching kids ages 4+

Why we love them
Brookes’ books are designed for adults teaching children, but they have invaluable insights and methods. Specifically her approach of breaking down complicated drawings into different simple shapes is especially helpful for beginners.

 

 

 

 

Usborne

drawing books, Our Favorite Drawing Books, Arts For Life Anywhere

Titles
Usborne ART Ideas: Drawing Faces
Usborne ART Ideas: Drawing Animals
Usborne ART Ideas: Drawing Cartoons
Usborne ART Ideas: Big Book of Things to Draw

Good for ages 5+

Why we love them
There’s something for everyone in these books. For the artist who is looking for inspiration and visual references, the Usborne books offer great ideas of things to draw. And for those who like a little more structure, they offer step-by-step instructions too. These books also contain lots of little ‘hidden gem’ tips and tricks too, that can be applied universally to all kinds of drawing projects.

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