September 16, 2015

Inspiring Books to Get You Drawing

Inspiring Books to Get You Drawing. A collection to get you loving drawing again! // shutterbean

I have a love/hate relationship with drawing. I’ve always been envious of the people who could pick up a pen and paper a draw whatever/whenever. Me? I want something to look exactly how it’s supposed to;  I let perfectionism get in the way. It’s funny….I can see Cooper dealing with the same problem. We’d both rather mix paint colors than draw something.

Inspiring Books to Get You Drawing. A collection to get you loving drawing again! // shutterbean

In an effort to help us both out, I’ve been practicing drawing after school with Cooper a few times a week.  After 36 years on this Earth, I can finally say that I really like drawing and it’s because I simply shifted my way of thinking. Instead of making something look perfect I focus my energy on practicing (practice makes perfect?!) my craft.   I’ll see something and my brain says “Let’s see how we can draw it!”I kinda liken it to the creative energy I have when I go to a restaurant and want to recreate a dish I made. I look at it as a challenge to put the ingredients together. Through this practice,  I have more confidence to keep drawing and push through the crappy work. Plus, I put my own personal touch on something….kind of like you would in a recipe!

Inspiring Books to Get You Drawing // shutterbean

I owe a lot of this creative spark to adult coloring books. You can see some of my favorites here.  When I’m coloring something in, I pay attention to lines and see the structure of something. It’s fun to dissect someone else’s technique and see how they built their illustration. It actually makes me excited to draw now.

I put together a compilation of Inspiring Books to Get You Drawing. All of these books have helped me draw more. I really hope this inspires you to GET OUT AND DRAW!!! It’s so good for relieving stress. Trust me!

I love drawing Urban Spaces so these first two books are favorites. Art Before Breakfast is so dang inspiring. Inspiring Books to Get You Drawing. A collection to get you loving drawing again! // shutterbean

The Art of Urban Sketching: Drawing On Location Around The World

Urban Sketching: The Complete Guide to Techniques

Art Before Breakfast: A Zillion Ways to be More Creative No Matter How Busy You Are

Drawing IS magic! These ones help give you ideas/prompts to help you DRAW.

Inspiring Books to Get You Drawing. A collection to get you loving drawing again! // shutterbean

Craft-a-Doodle: 75 Creative Exercises from 18 Artists

Drawing Is Magic: Discovering Yourself in a Sketchbook

The Doodle Revolution: Unlock the Power to Think Differently

Great references for drawings. Everyday Matters is one of my all time favorites and I love Julia Rothman’s illustrations in this Nature Anatomy book. Cooper and I really enjoy looking through it. 

Inspiring Books to Get You Drawing. A collection to get you loving drawing again! // shutterbean

Drawing Your Life: Learn to See, Record, and Appreciate Life’s Small Joys

Everyday Matters

Nature Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of the Natural World


Inspiring Books to Get You Drawing. A collection to get you loving drawing again! // shutterbean


I really like the Draw 500/ Draw 20 Books because they’re mostly small and I can pop them in my purse. 

Inspiring Books to Get You Drawing // shutterbean

Draw 500 Fantastic Foods

Draw 500 Fabulous Flowers

Draw 500 Things from Nature

These Illustration School Books are SOOOO CUTE and I love seeing the breakdown of each technique. There are little funny things throughout the book too.

Inspiring Books to Get You Drawing // shutterbean

Illustration School: Let’s Draw Happy People

Illustration School: Let’s Draw Cute Animals

Illustration School: Let’s Draw Plants and Small Creatures

Here’s the Plant/Small Creatures book in action! I took it to Lynmar Winery with us and Casey and I drew flowers together. It was awesome.

My Everyday Life: Week 35 // shutterbean

Inspiring Books to Get You Drawing. A collection to get you loving drawing again! // shutterbean

  • Beth


    Thank you so much for this post. This past year, I was trying to draw something before work and was on a roll for a while (http://bnut81.tumblr.com/), but have since slipped. This post has reinvigorated me! Have you checked out any of Lynda Barry’s books? I think you would enjoy them, particularly Syllabus: http://www.amazon.com/Syllabus-Accidental-Professor-Lynda-Barry/dp/1770461612

    It’s what inspired me to get back to drawing in the first place. Take care. 🙂

  • Jamie

    Try drawing small mandalas! It’s totally satisfying. = )

  • Raheel

    This is so timely! I too have been inspired to start drawing after getting in to coloring books. Thanks for posting this! I love it!

  • Katie {moms kitchen handbook}

    Such a thoughfully curated collection. I love to draw, and these books are a great entry point…for the artist or amateur. Thanks Tracy!

  • Amy @ Thoroughly Nourished Life

    I’ve always been envious of ‘arty people’ too Tracy, and it has stopped me from drawing, which I really love! Thanks for the inspiration to get out my paper and pencils again and declare my sketchpad a no-judgement zone!

  • Ginger Wroot

    Thanks so much for this awesome post! I’ve always wanted to like to draw, but, like you, my perfectionist voice got in the way. You’ve inspired me to go buy a couple of these books. And the next time I get together with my girlfriends for margaritas, I just might bring along some drawing supplies!

  • Jessica McLeod

    Those are awesome books. Brigit, age 5, uses one called, How To Draw A Radish, by Joy Sikorski.

  • Deb

    Thanks for this post! I would LOVE to be able to draw but am just scared of being rubbish at it so your comments resonated. Must be braver! I just bought 2 of the above books but I also love the Ed Emberley books, if you’ve seen those. So cute and approachable.

  • Judi

    Thanks for the inspiration! I want to draw, really, I DO! I joined Craftsy and everything! But I get caught up in my day and then… nothing! BTW, just wanted to let you know that I miss you and Joy on the podcastio. I know you’re busy doing your own things and all and hey, that’s cool . . . . but MAN, do we miss you guys!!!
    MUCH LOVE and coffee cake

  • Se7en's Fabulous Fun Post #290 - se7en | se7en

    […] Oh I just love this… heaps of my faves in here: Inspiring Books to Get You Going on the Shutterbean. […]

  • Lauren

    Wow this is so cool, just this week I have made a goal to draw at least 15 minutes everyday! Already it has been so good to feel like I must draw (get back into practice again). The short time frame makes it so I don’t worry about picking a subject, there is no time to over think or second guess. Thanks for keeping the inspiration coming.

  • Council Book Love

    […] Martha House, President-Elect, couldn’t decide what to share so she talked about two new books on student research and four on doodling. […]

Leave a Comment