Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Book: The Drawing Lesson by Mark Crilley

I have always enjoyed doodling and drawing. As a young girl, if I couldn't get my hands on a book to read, I could be found coloring on the backs of envelopes Mom had tossed from paying the bills, or I'd be sketching objects on a notepad. I thought of coloring books as too limiting. Anyone can fill in the spaces between the lines. It's the lines that require a creative mind!

Because I still love to read and want to learn to draw better, I was immediately "drawn" to this book. The Drawing Lesson by Mark Crilley is described as "a graphic novel that teaches you how to draw". It is written in comic-book style with each panel sketched with pencils. It is so easy to read and follow along. At the end of each chapter, a suggested "assignment" is given to the reader to practice the drawing lesson that was taught.

It's quite an interesting book as you get to know the characters. David, is a young boy who wants nothing more in life than to learn how to draw. Luckily for him, he comes upon Becky, a 30-something woman, who was enjoying her afternoon in the park drawing away on a sketchpad.

David, enticed by her talents and artistry, asks her if she'd teach him how to draw. Becky, of course, has a life of her own and has no idea that David is going to be a constant side-kick for awhile. One lesson is contained in each chapter and focuses on the skill that Becky teaches David. We see David's drawing develop within the panels and even witness David making mistakes. We also see Becky's frustration and wild facial expressions!
I do think she tends to over react at times, but that makes it fun.

As I read each chapter, I closed the book and picked up my drawing pencils and sketchbook to complete the assignment. Believe it or not, I still have the pencils I used back in college in the early 80's. It was like going back in time, I tell ya!

Follow along as I take you through the chapters.
Photos and drawings are side by side so you can see what I was trying to draw!

Chapter 2: Drawing What You See (my watch)


Chapter 3: Shading (a leather chair in the family room)

Chapter 4: Beginning With a Loose Sketch (an apple in a glass bowl)


Chapter 5: Understanding Light and Shadow (a candle)

Chapter 6: Using Negative Space (a hotel room in Minneapolis)

Chapter 7: Checking Proportions (my patient husband)

Chapter 8: Simplifying Things (the Crab Apple tree in the front yard)

Chapter 9: Creating a Composition (the Julien Dubuque Bridge from the Iowa side)

There is one more drawing assignment I need to complete. It is Chapter 10: Bringing It All Together which uses all of the skills taught in the book to make one ambitious drawing! Almost like a final project or a doctoral thesis. I will get it done!

I truly enjoyed this book and learned a lot from the lessons. It was fun to watch the friendship grow between Becky and David and see David's talents develop too.
I think my talents were strengthened along with David's!

If you'd like to read more about the author of this book, you can click here: Mark Crilley
You can also read more about this book here: The Drawing Lesson

FTC disclaimer: "I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."


  1. Kathy this book sounds fun! I am very impressed with the sketches you made! You are an artist! It is really fun to see the photos right next to what you drew. :)

  2. Wow! You are a talented artist! Like, seriously talented. I'm glad you found this book and enjoyed it. I am trying to doodle more, lately, because I find it relaxing and want to get better at it. But, I stick to thinstall link flowers and mandalas! Great book review!

  3. Umm, typing too fast on a tablet without reading it over before hitting publish. Jeeez. That should have said *things like flowers...

  4. Enjoyed reading this post and seeing your sketches! Nice job!

  5. What a meat book. And what fun to be asked to do a review of it. I assume it is geared for middle grade readers and above - 4th grade and up? Your drawings look great to me. I wonder if my library might have it? Thanks for sharing this.

  6. A great resource, Kathy. Loved your sketches. Thanks for sharing.


I love hearing your thoughts!