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Ways of Drawing

Artists' Perspectives and Practices

Julian Bell, Julia Balchin, Claudia Tobin

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A lavishly illustrated collection of essays on drawing as a vital intellectual, artistic and life practice, by the artists of the Royal Drawing School

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Drawing is among the most profound ways of engaging with the world. It is absorbing, instinctive – a way not just of seeing, but of understanding what we see.

Ways of Drawing brings together a range of reflections and creative propositions by contemporary artists and teachers associated with the Royal Drawing School, generously illustrated with images by alumni of the School and the work of significant artists past and present. From explorations of artistic development to short, imaginative strategies for seeing the world afresh, it repositions this art form as a vital force in the contemporary world.

Advocating passionately for drawing as both deeply personal and utterly essential, this book is an invaluable companion for artists with all levels of experience looking for new inspirations for their practice.


'More than a teach-yourself manual, offering prescriptive lessons in perspective or proportion, colour palettes or light … the emphasis of this book is on range, on a variety of approaches'
The Times

'Grapples with the paradox of learning to shed one’s preconceptions and practices'
World of Interiors

'Drawing is returned to its rightful place as an invigorating force'
Art Books of the Year, The Times

Artists & Illustrators

'Excellent … this book is the most engaging, informative and affirming I have read on the making of drawing'
RA Magazine

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 28.0 x 21.0 cm

Extent: 272 pp

Illustrations: 308

Publication date: 3 October 2019

ISBN: 9780500021903

About the Author

Julian Bell is a well-known painter and author. His books include Bonnard and What is Painting?, both published by Thames & Hudson.

Julia Balchin joined the Royal Drawing School in 2010 and is now Director of Education and Enterprise. Julia has curated exhibitions in London and New York at Christie’s, Blain Southern and Buckingham Palace and has collaborated with the Royal Collection, British Museum and the Courtauld. A curator and art historian, she maintains her own artistic practice as a way of seeing and thinking. She studied Fine Art and History of Art at the University of Leeds, later returning to set up fine art publishers and commercial gallery Paper Scissor Stone. She has lived in Holland, Australia, Mexico and Spain, and now lives and works in London.

Claudia Tobin is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in Cambridge and curates the ‘Lecture and Conversation’ series at the Royal Drawing School.