books about art

5 Essential Books Every Artist Should Read

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Many Sketchbook Skool students report that drawing helps them to calm their minds and slow down – much as meditation can. In a recent discussion, they shared the following resources to find the link between these two brain-healthy practices:

1. “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” by Dr Betty Edwards
The book has an entire chapter on the neuroscience and is referencing academics. In her book she explains what is happening when we quiet the left-brain enabling the r-brain to see and draw what we see. She contends that by disengaging the left analytic brain thus enabling the right brain to do what it does best can produce a euphoric (perhaps meditative) state

2. “The Undressed Art” by Peter Steinhart
Steinhart writes about the rituals, struggles, and joys of drawing and reflects on what is known about the brain’s role in the drawing process.

3. “The Zen of Seeing” by Frederick Franck
Seeing and drawing as a discipline

4. “Syllabus: An Illustrated Field to keeping a Visual Journal” by Linda Barry
Exploring this delicate relationship between drawing and looking, drawing and experiencing, drawing and thinking.

5. The Artist’s Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom by Christine Valters Paintner
About discovering and developing your creative gifts in a spiritual way.

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