Our Favorite How-to-Draw Books

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My children have always loved to draw.

I've contemplated getting rid of all the toys because it seems they would rather draw than do almost anything.

Over the years we have collected some helpful how-to-draw books. I'm so thankful to have these on the bookshelf when one of them asks me how to draw something or other (since I have no idea!).

I thought it might be fun to share these titles with you since I searched many times in the early years for such books and often ordered wondering if they were any good.

These are the books we have and enjoy in our home:

How to Draw Flowers – simple and straight-forward. Shows how to draw 30 different garden flowers. For ages 5 and up. This one is very helpful when drawing in our nature journal. I use it myself as I often have trouble trying to figure out how to draw flowers (they are tricky).

How to Draw People – Also simple and straightforward. Teaches how to draw people of different shapes and sizes engaged in a variety of activities.

How to Draw Faces – For kindergarten and up. Step-by-step instruction in sketching the human face. 30 different faces to draw.


How to Draw Aquarium Animals – I am thankful to have this for when we study the ocean or after a visit to the beach. Also for kindergarten and up.

There are many other books in the How to Draw Series and most of them are excellent. I plan to add more to our collection!

I'll probably get the How to Draw Trains, Planes and Boats next:

Note: Many of these books are less than $5 and are eligible for the 4-for-3 promotion on Amazon.com. That's how I stocked up. Buy four at a time and only pay for three! (And get free shipping, too!)

Draw. Write. Now. – great step-by-step instruction. Teaches a little about the animal, person, or time in history that is the subject of each drawing. Suitable for ages 5 through 9 (or older). Teaches the use of color and some other techniques, like how to use space and how to fill the background.

I love that they also have books that help kids draw historical figures and national monuments:

For more thorough art instructions, we love Artistic Pursuits.

I mean, seriously LOVE.

I have looked at (and tried) a number of different art curriculum and like this one the best. It teaches children concepts in an easy to understand way and incorporates art appreciation and history into each unit.

Artistic Pursuits also allows children to leap past using how-to-draw books and enables them to create art using their own ideas while staying within the parameters of the instruction they are given.

What are your favorite drawing and art resources for kids?

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  1. My husband is a really talented artist (he actually works for Disney Interactive and is currently illustrating a children’s book) and he frequently gets asked about drawing book recommendations. The first book he always mentions is “How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way”. People find it to be an odd suggestion at first (especially since most aren’t interested in drawing comics), but he tells them it’s the book that really helped him as a kid to develop his talent – he would spend hours following every instruction and exercise. To this day, he keeps it by his desk at work for reference.

  2. This post comes at the perfect time…I was on Amazon earlier today trying to find a good drawing book for my 5 yr. old, because I’m seriously terrible at drawing! Thanks for all the good recommendations! Is the Artistic Pursuits one that you can use through all four years of K-3?

    1. Yes Krissa, Artistic Pursuits is used for K-3. They also have curriculum for grades 4-6. I think there are three books for each of those time frames. You can use one book for a whole school year or stretch it to two years. There are four lessons per unit. (I can’t remember how many unit there are). I think you need to do two lessons per week to do it in one school year.

      The older kids can do a lot of the lessons on their own, too. It really is good. We love it.

  3. Hi! Popping over from Simple Homemade today! I just wanted to add that my daughter has become obsessed with drawing lately and one of our best finds came from the thrift store. It was Ed Emberley’s book of animals (http://www.amazon.com/Ed-Emberleys-Drawing-Book-Animals/dp/0316789798). We’ve had it for about a month and she uses it every day. Then, while at the library yesterday, we found Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book of the World (http://www.amazon.com/Ed-Emberleys-Drawing-Book-World/dp/0316789720/ref=pd_sim_b_1) and it might be one that we add to our shelves. I like the books because he draws things using basic shapes that my 4 year old already knows and it’s easy for her to follow along.