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Ways of Drawing

Artists’ Perspectives and Practices

Julian Bell, Julia Balchin, Claudia Tobin


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. 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.

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'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

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

Artists & Illustrators

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

'Provides a rich historical context'
The Art Newspaper

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Size: 28.0 x 21.0 cm

Extent: 272 pp

Illustrations: 308

Publication date: 23 February 2023

ISBN: 9780500297001

Contents List

Preface, Catherine Goodman
To Start..., Julian Bell
Studio Space: Introduction, Julian Bell
Focusing on the Individual, Ishbel Myerscough
The Life Room, Thomas Newbolt
Looking and Listening, Eileen Hogan
Skill and Vision, John Lessore
The Gallery as Visual Dictionary, Ann Dowker
Drawing from Ancient Sculpture, Ian Jenkins
Modelling, Isley Lynn
Open Space: Introduction, Julian Bell
From the Studio to the Street, Timothy Hyman
Learning the City, Liza Dimbleby
Buildings as Objects in Space, Martin Shortis
Other People’s Terrain, Mark Cazalet
Covering the Ground, William Feaver
Finding and Making in Open Country, Daniel Chatto
Nature Up Close, Clara Drummond
Inner Space: Introduction, Julian Bell
Stroke, Body, Space, Ewan Clayton
Graphic Medicine, Emily Haworth-Booth
Drawing from Film, Catherine Goodman
Walk the Line, Sarah Pickstone
Text and Image, Sophie Herxheimer
Being Drawing, Dilip Sur

About the Author

Julian Bell is a well-known artist, writer and critic. His books include What is Painting? and Mirror of the World. Julia Balchin is Principal at the Royal Drawing School. Claudia Tobin is a writer, curator and academic. Her recent book publications include Oh, to be a Painter! and Modernism and Still Life: Artists, Writers, Dancers.

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