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John Hastings's The Drawing Breakthrough Book: Drawing made Easier for Everyone Reviewed By Beth Burke of Bookpleasures.com
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Beth Burke
Reviewer Beth Burke: Beth is a college professor and freelance editor. She recently retired as a homeschooling mom when her son graduated high school. Her love of books spans half a century, during which time she has read from a wide range of genres. In her free time she creates quilts and tends to a garden.  
By Beth Burke
Published on April 5, 2011
 

Author: John Hastings

Publisher: Draw 3 Lines Publishing

ISBN (spiral bound): 978-0-9826202-8-1




Author: John Hastings

Publisher: Draw 3 Lines Publishing

ISBN (spiral bound): 978-0-9826202-8-1

Click Here To Purchase The Drawing Breakthrough Book: Drawing Made Easier for Everyone

If you are the person whose team blames you for losing at Pictionary because of your lack of drawing skills, or if you have often said, “I can’t draw a straight line,” take heart! The Drawing Breakthrough Book might be just the inspiration you need. John Hastings has expanded the material in this, his third edition, to offer a formula that I think nearly anyone can follow to hone their drawing skills. Be forewarned, however—Hastings does not offer a shortcut to becoming proficient. As with any acquired skill, practice is the key to learning to draw well, and this book is chock-full of ways to practice. In order to be successful, the novice will need to spend time with the many exercises, not just read the book. The spiral binding on this edition is helpful in making it a useful workbook for this purpose.

Hastings keeps things simple by breaking down the drawing process into three parts: line drawing basics, mastering the building-block lines, and expanding on drawing skills. The components of each are laid out systematically with explanations for the why, and directions for the how, plus ample illustrations of good and not-so-good methods. He requires the student to not only pick up a pencil and draw, but also to look and really see what is being drawn.

One of the most practical tips that gave me a “light bulb moment” was the author’s suggestion to use the drawing pencil to gauge the measurements of a subject so that the proportions are accurate in the finished drawing. This can be done from the subject itself or from a photo of it. It had never occurred to me to use something I had at hand—the pencil I was drawing with—as the gauge. There are other tips like this for using the pencil to judge angles and planes. To me, this kind of commonsense, nontechnical approach makes the instructions easy to grasp.

After laying out the fundamentals for drawing, the author focuses on mastery of types of lines in the second part of the book. Here Hastings’s visualization technique, again using an everyday object, this time a drinking glass, helps the student see straight, circular, and elliptical lines.

The third chapter covers composition and “going beyond the building block lines.” I think the composition basics given here are adequate, as that isn’t really the focus of this volume, and the “going beyond” section may well serve as the author’s jumping-off point for Volume 2.

The list of recommended reading and the glossary help make this a true reference book for those who wish to work at becoming better at drawing. And by being diligent in working through this book, you may be in demand for that next game of Pictionary.


Click Here To Purchase The Drawing Breakthrough Book: Drawing Made Easier for Everyone