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by Mike Sibley

"Finally, a decent instructional drawing book from someone who can actually draw!"
    Giles Illsley - Artist

288 pages - 625 illustrations - £35 plus p&p
ISBN : 978-0955-1578-0-6
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Mike Sibley, one of the world's very few professional graphite pencil artists, reveals his in-depth knowledge of drawing gathered over 25 years. Artists of all abilities, from novice to professional, will gain invaluable insights and understanding. In over 280 pages, Drawing From Line to Life, features methods, techniques, tricks of the trade, tutorials and much more. Four concise sections, separated by step-by-step demonstrations, comprehensively detail tools and basic drawing techniques; guidance on how to see in depth, the benefits of using negative space, employing perspective, using light and shade, and advice on working from photographs. A series of instructive tutorials explain how to draw ellipses, facial features, reflections, foliage, and a variety of textures. The final section follows a drawing, using many of the techniques explained, from conception and preparation through to the step-by-step completion.

The technique of Negative Drawing - a fresh way of working championed by the author - is concisely described and explained throughout. Drawing in layers, coupled with working from dark to light, greatly simplifies even the most complex task.

Fooling the Brain details, in two chapters, how to tune in to your creative side, and proven ways to train yourself to see what is really in front of you. The art of illusion tells you how to fool your viewer's brain into seeing more detail than is actually present; ways to use distorted perspective that look natural; and many other invaluable techniques.

A comprehensive index makes this book equally valuable as a drawing tutor, reference source, and technical manual. It's the publication your bookshelf has been waiting for.

Drawing From Line to Life was published in February 2006, and Mike Sibley was supported by an international team: an Editor in the USA; an Australian Designer; 'test pilots' in both the UK and USA; and a UK Printer with a pedigree stretching back to 1702.

9" x 12"

"I have been working with Graphite now for eight years and I have never had anyone give a better explanation on technique than you do. Thank You!!! And bless you."
Tim Vance — www.VanceStudios.com


Section 1: An introduction to the tools of the trade and chapters on basic techniques:

  • Introduction
  • Tools
  • Line drawing
  • Tone drawing
  • Erasing techniques
  • Blending and Layering techniques
  • Indenting
Plus a final demonstration of the portrait of a young girl, step-by-step with explanatory notes written at each stage - all the frustrations and celebrations.

Section 2: The philosophical and more advanced techniques section covering:

  • Fooling the Brain part 1 - includes using Negative Space and other methods to see and draw what is really there, and how to fool the brain into letting its creative side work free of conscious involvement.
  • Working from Photographs - the benefits and associated problems, and how to turn photographic anomalies to the artist's advantage.
  • Negative Drawing - a concept developed and championed by Mike Sibley. A fresh, simple way of working that makes many conventional methods appear cumbersome and complex.
  • Perspective - the rules explained, how to use them and bend them.
  • Light and Shade - how to construct believable lighting to greatly increase the apparent reality of any drawing, and how lie effectively.
  • Fooling the Brain part 2 - includes ways to fool the viewer's brain into seeing more in a drawing than is actually present, and other visual 'tricks of the trade'.
  • Transfer methods - a variety of ways, such as the Grid method, of transferring sketches to the final drawing surface.
  • Preparation - Includes how to produce concept drawings, advice on properly preparing a composition before drawing commences, and how failure to correctly prepare can lead to later problems.
Plus a final step-by-step demonstration - A drawing of a Tortoiseshell Cat in 25 stages with accompanying explanations and notes - all the trials and triumphs.

Section 3: The Tutorial section: explanations and step-by-step demonstrations:

  • Drawing Ellipses - freehand drawing from tiny to huge.
  • Drawing Textures - with demonstrations on brick, rusty metal, old paintwork, and textiles.
  • Drawing Foliage - weeds, grass, trees and shrubs.
  • Drawing Hair - a much requested chapter from a master of hair.
  • Drawing Features - covers the drawing of human and animal eyes, and animals' noses.
  • Drawing Reflections - all the theory and artistic advice from shiny metal to water.

Section 4: Putting it all together:

  • A specially produced drawing features Parson Jack Russell terrier Maisie in a farmyard setting. Using many of the techniques demonstrated in the book, the study is followed step-by-step from conception, through the preparatory work, to the final drawing.

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