Free Art Books

Online Books for Artists and Students

These books are timeless unabridged classics perfectly suited to the artists of today looking to improve and develop their skills. The books cover everything from theory, anatomy and freehand drawing to painting landscapes and drawing in perspective, and while they are a little verbose in places, if you bear with them, you will find them to be invaluable. There is no better way for the self-taught artist to educate and enlighten themselves than by reading the words of old masters, who have spent a lifetime honing their skills, and who were often taught in turn, by other great masters.

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Drawing For Beginners

"I think, then I draw my think" was an innocent child's reply to the question 'how do you draw'. This drawing book by Dorothy Furniss, helps guide beginner's in their quest to learn how to draw, sketch and capture a likeness.

  John Singer Sargent

The life of American artist John Singer Sargent, through his letters to friends like Claude Monet, and illustrated throughout with paintings and sketches. Written two years after the artists' death.

  The Practice of Oil Painting

If you ever wanted to learn how to paint like the Old Masters, then Solomon J Solomon fabulous book on drawing and painting will help guide budding students on their quest to greatness. Full of useful advice and methodologies that are often forgotten in today's art colleges..

Practice of Oil Painting
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Freehand Drawing

This free book serves as a manual to teachers and students alike. Anson Cross has created this book on the premise that all ideas and sentiments are based on natural objects, and that a person who cannot represent what they see, is unable to express the simplest of conceptions.

  Light and Shade

This is a book exploring the principals of light and shade. An understanding of how to model form and the principals of light and shadow in basic geometric forms, lends itself to advanced drawing and painting whether painting the human figure, landscape or even works of abstract. This book includes chapters on pencil and charcoal drawing, and brush drawing.

  The Anatomy of Trees

From the same author as "Perspective for Artists", Rex Vicat Cole's art book examines trees in great depth, delving into their anatomical makeup from branches to root, buds, fruits and leaves, through to composition. This art book is illustrated thoroughly throughout.

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Drawing For Art Students

This free book for students and illustrators puts an emphasise on fine draughtmanship, acknowledging that the path to get there may not always be too interesting, but is necessary. The book looks at mastering proportion, nuturing individual style, and contains chapters on edge study, anatomy, animals, landscape and the human figure.

  Charcoal Drawing Without A Master

Charcoal appears to be regaining popularity amongst some artists. For anybody with an interest in charcoal drawing, this free book is a brilliant resource on charcoal artists of old, their methods / techniques, from the setting up of the easel, to the use of paper, charcoal and various methods for blending and lightening tones through to fixing the drawing.

  Constructive Anatomy

George Brigman was a great teacher with a penchant for simplifying complicated anatomoical structures, and teaching how the muscles work together Bridgman also illustrates individual features in detail, including eyes, nose, ears and mouth. This book is a must read for anyone serious about figure drawing or painting.

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Horses and Movement from Painting and Drawings

Learn to capture the movement and rhythm of horses in your artwork. This is not a 'how to' book to teach the painting and drawing of horses, but on how to observe and create works with rhythm, movement, pattern and power.

  Landscape Painting

This book assumes some rudimentary knowledge of drawing. The author believes the failure of many landscape artists are their false attitudes towards nature. The student must learn to construct, draw, paint, observe, and select. And it is only by close application and increasing perseverance that they can achieve anything worthy.

  Perspective For Artists

Whilst Rex Vicat Cole is a little verbose, there is very little that isn't covered in this free book on perspective. It remains one of the most informative books for artists wishing to improve their knowledge of perspective.

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Animal Drawing and Anatomy

For artists interesting in portraying wildlife, Edwin Noble explores a large number of animals, from gesture sketches to more detailed studies. Illustrated throughout with diagrams and anatomical illustrations; there is no better way to gain knowledge to supplement life drawing.


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