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The Drawing Breakthrough Book (Spiral-Bound, 3rd Edition) Review by Brandie Tesreau

John Hastings
Draw 3 Lines Publishing
PO Box 1522
Hillsboro, OR 97123

John Hastings's award-winning book, The Drawing Breakthrough Book, breaks drawing skills into small, achievable steps. By understanding the contents and completing the exercises, students and artists at all levels will be on their way to attaining and mastering the art of drawing.

After the introduction, which explains the basics of getting ready to draw (setting up a drawing area, placing lighting, and choosing materials), the book is categorized into three main sections--Part One: "Line Drawing Basics," Part Two: "Mastering the Building-Block Lines," and Part Three: "Expanding Your Drawing Skills." Each part is then divided into several lessons, which are clearly presented using written instructions, illustrations, and photographs.

There are eight lessons in this 124-page, spiral-bound, black-and-white drawing book. It's recommended for students ages 13 and up. Following is a sampling of concepts that will be taught in each section.

In Part One, students will learn to:

  • Observe lines and shapes
  • Build drawings around shapes
  • Compare widths, heights, and lengths
  • Measure angles
  • Use diagonal, horizontal, and vertical guidelines
  • Draw various triangles
  • Plan and organize drawings
  • Create cornerstone points

In Part Two, students will learn to draw and master:

  • Straight lines
  • Circular lines
  • Elliptic lines

In Part Three, students will learn about:

  • Drawing composition
  • The rule of thirds
  • Implied lines
  • Shape rhythm
  • Using building-block lines to draw pictures with all types of lines

In conclusion, the author exhorts students to keep drawing regularly in order to maintain or surpass their current skill level. A recommended reading list is provided for those who want to continue to sharpen their art skills.

I requested this drawing book for my 6th grade son who desires to draw well. We have tried many different books, but my son always seems to get discouraged pretty quickly. By the time we received The Drawing Breakthrough Book, his enthusiasm for art had waned quite a bit. He tried a few of the lessons but decided it would be best if he took a break from art for a while. I will definitely be keeping this book, though, for my other children and myself, too.

I recommend this drawing book to middle-grade students and adults who want to learn drawing basics, as it provides an excellent foundation. The website provides a link for an online purchase price of $19.95.

Product review by Brandi Tesreau, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June 2011