Deliver to your Kindle or other device


Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.
The Practice and Science of Drawing (Dover Art Instruction)

The Practice and Science of Drawing (Dover Art Instruction) [Kindle Edition]

Harold Speed
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £4.61
Kindle Price: £4.43 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £0.18 (4%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £4.43  
Hardcover --  
Paperback £4.66  
Kindle Daily Deal
Kindle Daily Deal: At least 60% off
Each day we unveil a new book deal at a specially discounted price--for that day only. Learn more about the Kindle Daily Deal or sign up for the Kindle Daily Deal Newsletter to receive free e-mail notifications about each day's deal.

Product Description

Product Description

This classic approach to the dynamics of drawing by a brilliant teacher is filled with insights and practical advice on line drawing, mass drawing, visual memory, materials, and much more. Throughout, the author offers historical backgrounds and specific exercises. 84 plates and diagrams reinforce Speed's clear presentation.


Reproductions of works by such artists as Degas, Velasquez, and Manet complement this study of the line and mass approaches to drawing.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 25185 KB
  • Print Length: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; 3 edition (1 Oct 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #120,115 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hidden gem 15 Jun 2009
This book is a hidden gem of art education. It took a while for me to get used to the language (written early in 20th century!) but, once I did, every page contained useful information and insights with the analysis backed up with visual examples. I'm an artist interested in figurative technique and "old school" techniques and my approach is probably more suited to a century ago than today. Harold Speed considers line and mass drawing in detail (origins, uses etc.) without ever losing sight of what the artist is to express with the techniques - so, it by no means just a dry, academic tome. If you are looking for a coffee table book full of colour illustrations, you will be disappointed. This is a typical Dover reproduction of the original on cheap paper with a paper cover. However, it contains some really wonderful content. I found it inspirational.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very academic but worth reading 24 Nov 2012
By Peasant TOP 500 REVIEWER
I was amazed to find this still in print - my copy dates from 1913, and it shows. This is how drawing was taught at the art schools, for example under Profesor Tonks at the Slade. By "academic" I do not mean that it is hard to read, but that the techniques taught are those traditional ones championed by the academies. We are taught, predominantly, how to draw the nude in mass and in line. All is illustrated by reference to the masters, and we do come as far up to date as Manet's Olympia. Throughout, Speed is firmly wedded to the classical, and despite his protestations there is little room in his teaching for the spontaneous, expressionist artist.

It is worth learning these skills, and there is much in this book which modern art students will benefit from. However, drawing is the art form where the hand is in the most instinctive communication with the imagination and senses, and Speed is in danger of breaking that link with his emphasis on tight control. His musings are developed in the chapter on "Rythm", which betrays a distrust of "decadence", characterised by him both as the willful primitivism of modern art, and as the kind of over-blown pseudorealism seen in late Victorian art. Sadly, he seems unsure what the solution is to the over-sophistication in art which leads to both these errors. A hundred years later we do not seem to be any the wiser.

Your approach to this book will differe according to whether you are an amateur or an art student. Much of what Speed has to say would be anathema even to the most scrupulously figurative of modern draughtsmen - Grayson Perry springs to mind as an example - and to anyone who rates conceptual art it is all balderdash.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best. 6 Jan 2008
By blofeld
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is one of the best on the art of drawing. It was written nearly 100 years ago so it is written in what would be considered now a fairly archaic style. It is not filled with loads illustrations but it is filled with some really essential information. It is not for beginners. It is , however, for people who want to acquire the knowledge that will help them to make better drawings.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 19 Jan 2010
Seems a bit dated in style in places, but nothing has changed in the subject matters he discusses. Lots of insight - too much for one reading, and already planning to read it again. For the price of a magazine it's a steal
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for any serious draughtsman. 31 Oct 2007
This book presents much of the essential information the student requires to learn how to see and draw accurately. Such a delight to read that since I bought my first copy in the early 80's I have reread it many times, so many that I've had to purchase a second copy.

I agree with the other reviewer as well. Skip the hardcover if it's missing the illustrations. They are key.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute must for the serious artist 16 Jun 2008
By Mars
I was thrilled with this book. I believe it is an essential read for the serious art student. For anyone trying to grapple with drawing Speed gives some memorable advice. A treat for those who are disappointed with the poor teaching coming from art institutions in this day and age.

Highly entertaining, very readable (I didn't think it archaic at all), with plenty of illustrations this book is definately good value for your money if you are genuinely interested in understanding the art of drawing.

Also recommended, if you are a painter: oil painting techniques and materials by Harold Speed which adds on further to this book.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for serious artist 18 May 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic book. It explains the importance of learning to draw accurately (technical) without leaving out the importance of drawing with feeling (rythmically). A must for all artists but especially for those who are serious about developing their art in the classical style. It will not teach you how to draw but it will tell you why! Along with Richard Schmidt's 'Alla Prima' this is the best book to read if you want to seriously develop your artistic understanding.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ART NOUVEAU UNREPENTENT 3 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is written by an artist working in the Art Nouveau style long after it ceased to be fashionable.. As a drawing manual it does not compare with the work of Andrew Loomis but neither does it convey anything of his commercial ruthlessness and American can do pragmatism. Speed was an Edwardian Englishman - reticent, kindly and gentle, even in his disgust at modern art. At one point he talks about Drawing from Life and says in effect Don't forget when you have finished drawing the model you will just have a drawing on paper and you will need to do a lot more to make this ART. The book is worth having for this sentence alone - since most life drawing teachers drone on endlessly about putting down what one sees as though neither memory nor imagination came into it at all. He actually says ALL drawings are memory drawings since one you look away from the model you are relying on your memory to draw the image. This kind of honesty in a world of unthinking dogma is worth having and reading when one is feeling low.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good for beginners/post-beginners that are keep to draw realy well
Reprint of an old 1912 book - you need to put your own page numbers in it if you need to make an index. Splendid book that really helps on drawing basics - very practical. Read more
Published 2 months ago by mr_pod
5.0 out of 5 stars Book worth its weight in gold.
I knew what to expect when I got the book and I was not disappointed. Like many of the truly great art books this one is text heavy and discusses drawing theory in depth. Read more
Published 3 months ago by JM
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor quality printing - over wordy text
This is a disappointing publication. Lovely cover image not representative of what's inside! The drawings and prints are very poor and very small, and are not useful to an artists... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Dr. Gwendolynn Heley
4.0 out of 5 stars Review and a Question!
Question: does anyone know who the artist is for the front cover image?
Review: I am part way through the book, it does take some concentration to follow his arguments, but... Read more
Published 5 months ago by ohmleap
Obviously this is a reprint of an old classic. Harold Speed, who died nearly 60 years ago, has much to say that is both thought-provoking and helpful, and is a worthwhile read -... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Jeff Walmsley
4.0 out of 5 stars Old but still classic
This may have been written over 100 years ago, and some examples seem odd however it is still relevant today.
Published 13 months ago by ericg
5.0 out of 5 stars a great read
changes your attitude to painting and drawing,The downside is the pages are not numbered and the text is right across the page . more like reading an a4 essay. Read more
Published 16 months ago by paul
4.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating old book
As other rewiers have said - this book covers a lot of the theory behind drawing and is very useful for those of us who have never been taught it. Read more
Published 19 months ago by wandah
4.0 out of 5 stars Art training as a serious discipline
As an addition to a range of art training books that I already own, this is a contrastingly seriously written approach from an author who is writing from a learned frame of... Read more
Published 22 months ago by star sirius
3.0 out of 5 stars Too wordy
Too many words, not enough pictures and demonstrations. More of a mindset training guide than the actual practice of drawing for me.
Published 23 months ago by P. Carter
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category