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20 NEW Books about Drawing in 2014

Katherine regularly reviews art books and has a very extensive art library (4 bookcases and lots of stacks waiting for the next one!)


20 NEW books about drawing and sketching published - or due to be published in 2014

This list will constantly update as we go through the year and new books are announced and feedback comes through about those published so far.

By the end of the year this site will have a curated list of the 20 best books about drawing and sketching published in 2014 - in my opinion.

2014 is the year when the book about drawing which I'm writing right now is due to be published.

In the meantime what are the other best NEW books about drawing this year?

Note:The image for this lens is the UK cover for a book by my good friend and fellow urban sketcher James Hobbs which is being published in the UK and USA in January. I contributed to this book, it contains a profile of me and my sketches of gardens and parks and I was sent a pre-publication copy. You could say I'm a little biased about this one!

What this site is about


I've also got similar listings for the new books about drawing and sketching published in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

This site is for people interested in drawing and sketching who want to know more about the latest books about drawing. Its content will always include books about sketching and lean towards the fine art end of drawing. However you won't find any books about drawing cartoons, manga, zentangle or doodling.

You might want to:

  • learn how to draw and/or
  • improve your drawing and/or
  • learn more about contemporary practice of drawing and/or
  • learn more about the history of drawingor just want to know about good new books about drawing

Some books may be suitable for children, although the site is not aimed at children and it's certainly the case not every book is designed for the reading age of different children.


The reason I started doing my compendiums of new books about drawing was to try and come to the aid of those who find that Amazon gets swamped by less good / dumbed down / thin content books about drawing.

It's partly a problem of publishers trying to cut costs and reprint content as if it's a new book and partly new online authors in need of a good editor.

There again - sometimes it's publishers in need of a good new idea!

I also use this site to monitor how well new books about drawing and sketching are received and then review and possibly revise the listings contained "The Best Books about Drawing and Sketching"

How I choose the books to list

My aim is to have a top 20 of new books about drawing and sketching.

The books I choose are the ones which I think are the best on offer. The choices I make are done from a personal perspective, a review of what's available and my knowledge of both books, authors and publishersI own very many books about drawing and I know many of the different publishers. Sometimes the books on offer have also been sent to me for review.

This is how I choose the books to list:

  • Identify the new books scheduled for publication.
  • I screen out and eliminate the ones I'm not interested in and am not going to list (e.g. commercial drawing; cartoon drawing, manga, doodle, zentangle etc plus regurgitated content from cheap publishers)
  • I tend to be a bit circumspect with new authors. I look for evidence that they know what they're talking about.
  • I check out who is publishing what - some publishers are more reliable than others when it comes to books about drawing
  • Base my selection and opinions on what I know about the quality of the publisher (re. previous publications) and the reputation of the author and what I know of other similar books.
  • I then review, revise and update as the books publish and/or I see/review them formally and/or notice of more new books comes online.

Please note it's not uncommon for books to be overdue and sometimes books I've selected change months in which they're listed for publication.

January 2014

The book I've got my sketches is published this month!

Sketch Your World - Essential Techniques for Drawing on Location

There's been an explosion in sketching - and urban sketching in particular - in recent times.People are now keen to know how to sketch.

James Hobbs' book is the latest book on "how to sketch" with particular reference to sketching on location rather than in the comfort of your own home. It's packed full of practical tips for those who'd like to give sketching a try.

  • USA Rated an average of: 5.0 out of 5 stars (2 customer reviews)
  • UK Rated an average of 5.0 out of 5 stars (1 customer review)

It's actually an excellent book - it's both helpful and easy to digest. Plus it includes some excellent sketches by different urban sketchers from all over the world. One of the delights of the book is the variety in the illustrations.

the different covers for "Sketch Your World"


When books are published in different parts of the world it's not uncommon for the covers to be different. This book has three different covers and which one you get will depend on where you live in the world.It is however exactly the same book inside.

This Is the Double Page Spread Which Profiles Me and Includes My Sketches


My profile focuses on my sketching of gardens and parks and how I approach this - plus the media I use.

February 2014

Two great books about drawing figures finally make it to their Kindle edition

The Artist's Complete Guide to Figure Drawing: - A Contemporary Perspective On the Classical Tradition [Kindle Edition]

At last! This is the Kindle edition of a very popular book about drawing the figure.

Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters - 45th Anniversary Edition [Kindle Edition]

This is a brilliant book - and I'm very pleased to see it's now being available in Kindle.The book focuses on classical drawing of the figure and shows you how the great masters - such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Rodin, Goya, and Rembrandt - approached this topicThe hardback and paperback versions have generated some very positive reviews

Rated an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars (based on 43 reviews in the USA)

March 2014

Urban Sketching seems to be a strong theme for books published in 2014. This month sees the publication of two books about drawing and sketching New York and I've featured the one I think is best.

How to Draw Cool Stuff: A Drawing Guide for Teachers and Students

This drawing and graphic design book for children and students by Catherine Holmes has achieved:

  • #1 in Graphic Design Techniques
  • #2 in Commercial Illustration
  • #4 in books about Drawing
  • an average customer review of 4.7 out of 5 stars (based on reviews by 53 customers)

It's very much a book which has been created by an art teacher for the type of information which is missing from very many books about drawing. It combines the basics relating to techniques for drawing shapes and solids with the more popular requests from young people for "how to draw cool stuff". You can check out the exact contents on the five pages covering the very detailed table of contents available to see via the 'look inside'.

All the lessons are based on three parts and principles - know, understand and do. She has also tested out her lesson plans - which the author suggests teachers print out - and each has been student approved!

It is NOT published by one of the better known publishers of art books - in fact Library Tales Publishing is a new style publisher which was only set up in 2011. It aims to realise new ways to distribute content - and this book is available as an ebook as well as paperback.

It's got one of the best covers of any drawing book published this year!

Urban Sketching: The Complete Guide to Techniques - by Thomas Thorspecken

Rated an average of 4.4 out of 5 stars based on 43 customer reviews

Entirely focused on sketching the urban world around us, this book is absolutely packed from end to end with helpful techniques for drawing and sketching. In my opinion, some might actually find it a little bit too dense.

There are masses of sketches by people sketching urban places around the world

It also provides advice on how to digitise sketches and share them online through social media and the urban sketching community

Urban Watercolor Sketching - A Guide to Drawing, Painting, and Storytelling in Color

109 customers who have reviewed this book have given it an average of 4.6 out of 5 stars

You can see a number of the internal pages of the book - including the table of contents on Amazon. Always a smart move by publishers!

The book is focused on drawing and painting in watercolour and focuses on this medium for painting and how you can learn all about colour through a box of watercolour paints

It's emphatically NOT a step by step book

Hello, New York - An Illustrated Love Letter to the Five Boroughs by Julia Rothman

This is an interesting example of what you can do with drawings in terms of recording where you live.

I like the idea of the book - because it's exactly what I do with my blog Travels with a Sketchbook - plus although simplistic and "illustrative" in nature I like the drawings I can see in the sample.

Drawing Autism - by Jill Mullin (Editor)

Rated an average 4.9 out of 5 stars based on 10 customer reviews

This book celebrates the drawings of people on the autistic spectrum.

The book is filled with artwork and explanations of it by the artists interviewed for this book

April 2014

The New Sylva - A Discourse of Forest and Orchard Trees for the Twenty-First Century

This isn't really a book about drawing - it's a book about trees

However it's also illustrated with an amazing 200 drawings of trees in pencil and pen and ink - drawn by Sarah Simblet, author of best selling books about drawing:

  • The Drawing Book: An Innovative, Practical Approach to Drawing the World Around You
  • Sketch Book for the Artist
  • Anatomy for the Artist
  • Botany for the Artist: An Inspirational Guide to Drawing Plants

The book is both a contemporary update of and also celebrates the 350th anniversary of the publication in 1664 of John Evelyn’s classic book Sylva: a discourse of forest trees and the propagation of timber in his Majesty’s dominions.

All the people I know who have been to see the exhibition which accompanied the launch of the book were extremely impressed by it - but then Sarah Simblet does draw extremely well.

Introduction to Drawing the Human Body - by Giovanni Civardi

This book is by an experienced author of books about drawing and in particular drawing different aspects of the human form

Topics covered by the book include observation, anatomy, proportion, body structure, perspective and composition.

May 2014

The Art of City Sketching: A Field Manual

The official description characterises sketching in the city as being "the laborious and sometimes complex process of sketching". The cover certainly suggests this is not a book for those wanting something simple and easy to read.

The author of this book is a recognised expert at formal technical drawing. (Michael Abrams is the co-ordinator of the Interior Architecture Program at the George Washington University in Washington, DC).

I suspect this book is academically oriented and targeted at adult higher education students who need to learn about drawing perspective.

It doesn't strike me as being a book about relaxed freehand sketching - I hope the "look inside" option is available soon so I can stop speculating and can say more about the reality.

June 2014

Fearless Drawing - by Kerry Lemon

I love both the title and the cover. Plus I love the strapline "Illustrated Adventures for Overcoming Artistic Adversity"

Plus the very clever use of yellow and black will ensure that this is the most eye-catching book in the shop. [NOTE: yellow and black when combined represent the most visible combination of colours - it's why it gets used by emergency services!]

This looks as if it might be a good book for adults who want to get to grips with drawing again and be able to do what they once did fearlessly as children.I'm also very impressed with a book which makes me want to see it just on the basis of a jolly good cover!

July 2014

CitySketch London - Over 100 Creative Prompts for Sketching the City on the Thames by Melissa Wood

I suspect this book will fall by the wayside as the year progresses. I cannot imagine what possesses any publisher to commission an American to do a book about sketching London. There again its cover suggests that its audience will be tourists rather than Brits!

August 2014

Learn to See the Human Figure: Drawing Gestures, Postures and Movements - by Daniela Brambilla

This book focuses on innovative ways of drawing gestures. Likely to be suitable for adult students of drawing The author teaches Human Figure Design and Pictorial Techniques at the Istituto Europeo di Design of Milan

September 2014

The Urban Sketching Handbook: Architecture and Cityscapes - Tips and Techniques for Drawing on Location

Written by Gabriel Campanario the Founder of Urban Sketchers and the Editor of "The Art of Urban Sketching" - which started the current craze for books about sketching in cities.

November 2014

The Urban Sketching Handbook: People and Motion - Tips and Techniques for Drawing on Location

This is Gabi Campanario's second book this year - this time focusing on how to draw people on location

How to Render: the fundamentals of light, shadow and reflectivity - by Scott Robertson (Author, Editor) , Thomas Bertling (Assistant)

This is going to be a big heavyweight hardback of a book - targeted at the professional and commercial end of the market for books about drawing and rendering.The aim seems to be for this book to become a set text for instructing high school and higher education students learning advanced level skills in technical drawing

Strokes Of Genius 6: The Best of Drawing - by Rachel Rubin Wolf (Editor)

Another edition of the ever popular series of books about drawing - using a variety of media and surfaces

December 2014

Hopefully the book I'm writing at present is published - in the USA and UK - just in time for ChristmasI'll tell you more about this when I can.

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Comments and Feedback - Has this site helped you?

RTalloni on August 21, 2015:

Thanks much for the low down on this run down of drawing books! :)

Several look interesting, but I'll first be taking a look at Fearless Drawing. That's the way little children draw but too many lose that fear when so-called grownups critique their work as imperfect instead of encouraging them to draw more with positive feedback.

I'm always on the lookout for drawing books for my grands and as they grow their books need to advance, so, thanks again.

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