Can books make me a better artist?

As an artist I do posses several books which have guided me through my learning process. Even if I’ve found these books useful they are only a small portion of the learning process in my case. What I’ve found throughout the years is that building your drawing abilities mainly relies on your ability to interpret the information that you see and re-alliterate in a new form. Can a book make someone a better artist?

Seeing the world in a different perspective is an essential skill for drawing or creating art. This skill can be developed with time but is made easier if it is broken down into simpler steps. Different artists have different techniques which they use to break down the forms around them some of which are easier to grasp than others. A good a book shows the student how to break down the information in their surroundings so that they can better work and manipulate the forms. Such fundamental techniques include but are not limited to the following.

  1.  Perspective
  2.  Structure
  3.  Anatomy
  4.  Composition
  5.  Color
  6.  Lighting and shading

Books generally provide a good resource for these basic techniques which can help further improve an artist’s current skill set. With the proper understanding of these fundamentals a student can learn how to render what they see around them. Like anything else the quality of the book is a factor in determining whether or not the student will be able to learn the essential techniques. If the student begins with a book which is too advance or has incomplete information they will not benefit as much from the reading material.

Although these fundamental techniques show the artist how to interpret and copy the information it doesn’t show them how to manipulate these forms to create something new. The re-interpretation of this information is a separate skill set which is more difficult to teach a student and relies on their ability to think creatively. This creative process is done by taking seemingly unrelated subjects and combining them to make something new. I have yet to discover a book which teaches visual creativity since this process is heavily dependent on personal experience.

Books face another difficult road block in their endeavor to teach potential students. A book can’t force a student to work through the millage it takes to acquire any given skill set. Skills require several hours of practice in order to become cemented into one’s muscle memory. Like anything else there are the odd exceptions to this rule but for the most part most artists need to spend the time actually drawing in order to become efficient at their work.

While books and reference material can improve an artist’s ability I do not believe it is realistic to say that it will make a better artist. A better artist is created by long hours of training in combination with learning essential drawing techniques. Books can provide the fundamentals which are necessary to achieve a level of professionalism but can only take the artist as far as they are willing to push themselves. I hope you’ve found this information useful and I hope to see you guys in the future. Thank you can take care.

Copyright © by Yasmeen @


Yasmeen completed both the 2D and 3D animation course at Algonquin College and worked in the animation industry as a freelancer for a number of years before being hired to manage the 3D printing services at ItsYeBoi. While using the Alias of "Jenny" during her services, she was responsible for the testing, maintenance and upgrading of the machine while also filming and developing 3D printable assets for various projects.