Today's Library of a Self-Taught Artist post is going to be a bit of a double-header and also an oldie but goodie. We're going to take a quick look at two books by Betty Edwards that changed the way I looked at drawing and painting.
The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain was one of those books that helped me transition from drawing what where basically stick people to drawing from life. No matter where you style ends up, it's so important to at least begin with some life drawing. Once you learn how things really look and function, and once you can actually draw them passably well, you can begin to deconstruct them and develop your own style.
This was one of those books that helped me open my eyes and see things as they really were, not as I assumed they were. You assume that a chair is drawn a certain way you've seen so many chairs in your life, you just assume you know everything about any chair. Not true. This book will help you actually look at things, considering the relation of its parts to one another and to surrounding objects. If you're just starting out on an artistic journey, I highly recommend giving this a read through.
My second recommendation today is another Betty Edwards goodie Color: A Course in Mastering the Art of Mixing Colors which helped guide me when I began working with paint. It's pretty basic, but has some great color mixing exercises that help you become more familiar and confident with the mixing process.
Although I read through these books several years ago when I was just beginning to draw and paint, I still find myself flipping through them from time to time just to remind myself of some of the lessons I learned while reading them. These are both excellent starting places for beginners!