The Complete Book of Drawing Review

Drawing is one of the most beautiful forms of Visual Art and is considered by many as the essence of most forms of art. The beauty of a drawing lies in the simplicity but at the same time challenging creative process needed to produce something that could be considered a masterpiece at one point in life. Barrington Barber, the author of one of the most extraordinary and complete drawing books “The Complete Book of Drawing” explains in a memorable and expressive way the different techniques that any artist needs to know and master in order to achieve the drawings you have always wanted and one that will capture the admiration of any spectator.

Drawing of a Girl by Barrington BarberCredit: Barrington Barber

Drawing based on Vermeer by Barrington BarberCredit: Barrington BarberDrawing of Seura's picture Sunday afternoon on the island of la Grande-Jatte by Barrington BarberCredit: Barrington Barber


The ability to produce realistic drawing is one of the most challenging tasks for any artist, especially if you are on the early stage of this creative process. The Complete Book of Drawing has outdone all the other illustration books as it teaches you all the essential skills needed to convert an amateur into a talented artist with the valuable tips given by this brilliantly gifted artist through the different sections of the book. The 352 pages of priceless tricks will make an impact on you and the way you draw; but the most inspiring part of the book are the innumerable drawings prepared by Barrington Barber and used to illustrate each one of the various stages.

Learn How to Draw - Tips on how improve your drawingCredit: Daniel M Ramirez

 The author of this remarkable book outlines the importance of practice and the substantiation that anyone can draw, even if you have never considered yourself a gifted artist or creative person; practice can make the inner artist to come out and find your own style and technique. The approachable and easy to follow style will teach you absolutely everything you need, from object drawing and still-life composition to portraiture and landscaping; it also includes all the basics like shading, shapes and composition.


Credit: Daniel M RamirezMy own experience: after trying unsuccessfully various drawing books I came across with The Complete Book of Drawing; I bought it on Amazon at the beginning of January 2010 and it has been the best teacher I have ever had. I am more than happy to recommend it to anyone who is serious about improving his or her drawing techniques. I have added three of my best drawings produced after I completed the last section of the book.



The Complete Book of Drawing Content

1) First Stages:  The foundation part of the book is as important as any other section; you will learn many techniques to be used through the book, as well as the technical aids essential for your first drawings.  

2)  Object drawing and still-life composition: You will learn how to draw objects that you see around your house or work all the time; the idea is to develop a visual template and start looking at common objects as subject matters for your drawings. 

 3)  The experience of drawing: Learn how to look at different version of the same objects: light, colour, shape, form and movement; you will be able to interpret your own optical experience of what you see and transfer it to your drawings.  

 4)  Form and shape: Practice will teach your mind how to interpret the various shapes and forms of objects and at the same time translate them to very realistic illustrations, exceeding your own expectations by improving the recognition of the different forms and shapes of the subject matter.  

 5)  Form of Nature: Representing the movement in your drawings is a fundamental part of creating realistic illustrations; the techniques in this section will allow you to improve the realism of the natural world and at the same time to improve your observations skills.   

Learn how to draw - Drawing of The CostsworldsCredit: Daniel M Ramirez

6)   Figure drawing and portraiture: Portraits and the human body are the hardest subjects to draw; although life-drawing class are the key to improve your technique; the methods suggested by Barrington will be invaluable. By the end of the chapter, drawing close-up hands, heads at different angles, hair and the facial expressions will become easier and more realistic.  


 7)  Styles and techniques: Practice and experiment to develop your own style and techniques; the only way to find yourself is to imitate other artists, trying different styles will allow you to find your unique approach of drawing.

8)  Composition: Enhancing the beauty of your drawing will be achieved by mastering one of the most rationally and at the same time sensitive skills: the composition of a drawing.

How to Draw Landscapes and Landmarks - drawing of LondonCredit: Daniel M Ramirez

9)  Drawing from the masters: Barrington Barber has carefully selected beautiful masterpieces from famous artists, with the intention of inspiring you and demonstrates everything you can achieve with practice, practice and more practice- remember, we all have the capacity to become great artists but not all of us have the will to fight for it.