The Art of Portrait Drawing and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more

Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
Trade in Yours
For a 0.46 Gift Card
Trade in
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Start reading The Art of Portrait Drawing on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

The Art of Portrait Drawing: Learn the Essential Techniques of the Masters [Hardcover]

Joy Thomas
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 15.92
Price: 15.73 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
You Save: 0.19 (1%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Temporarily out of stock.
Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we dispatch the item.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition 9.49  
Hardcover 15.73  
Paperback 13.56  
Trade In this Item for up to 0.46
Trade in The Art of Portrait Drawing: Learn the Essential Techniques of the Masters for an Amazon Gift Card of up to 0.46, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Book Description

25 Aug 2006
"Art is not what you see, but what you make others see."—Edgar Degas

Learn how to turn what you see into masterful, expressive art. With the practical instruction and advice in these pages, you can develop the skills necessary to draw fine portraits in the realist tradition.

In The Art of Portrait Drawing, skilled artist Joy Thomas passes on to you the lessons she has gathered from generations of the world's greatest artists. Learn about the golden mean, the traditional three-color portrait, the secrets of proportion and more methods used by the Old Masters and today's best artists alike!

Inside you'll find:

  • An introduction to every commonly used drawing medium, including charcoal, Conté and graphite
  • An illustrated overview of the history of portrait drawing
  • Time-honored methods for drawing accurately
  • Insights on how to capture not only the likeness, but also the mood and essence of your subject
  • Advice on posing a subject, setting up lighting, choosing the right tools and composing effectively
  • 9 in-depth, step-by-step drawing demonstrations to develop your skills and your confidence
Portraying the human face is the ultimate expression of art. Use The Art of Portrait Drawing as the road map for your artistic quest.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Frequently Bought Together

The Art of Portrait Drawing: Learn the Essential Techniques of the Masters + The Artist's Complete Guide to Drawing the Head
Price For Both: 28.32

One of these items is dispatched sooner than the other.

Buy the selected items together

Product details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: North Light Books (25 Aug 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581807120
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581807127
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 1.7 x 27.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 637,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

About the Author

Award-winning artist Joy Thomas has shown her work all over the country, including at the prestigious Salmagundi Club. Her work has been featured in American Artist, The Artist's Magazine, International Artist and The Best of Portrait Painting. She lives in Murray, Kentucky.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Explore More
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

3 star
2 star
1 star
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Portrait Drawing 22 Nov 2009
An excellent book showing how the author draws her portraits in various styles. I particularly liked the charcoal drawing of the young lady. She goes through the various stages from the initial sitting to the final drawing, on the way showing you how she sets out the features and shapes of the faces to then checking for a likeness. Then filling in the details of the finished drawing.
If you have a keen interest in portrait drawing and like me have struggled over the years, then I think you will find this book very very useful.
It certainly isn't the type of book you would read and then put away, it is one that can be used over and over again full of useful tips and expert knowledge gained over many years of portrait drawing.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
4.0 out of 5 stars Portrait drawing essentials learned 27 Mar 2013
By Dave
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am very pleased with this learning opportunity, I must confess I was not expecting charcoal drawing. I have only ever drawn with pencil, but I have learned a great deal about charcoal and am considering maybe trying some charcoal. I would consider working through this book with one of my grandchildren who is very keen on sketching, and, enjoys asking how to achieve things.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sound Advise for the Intermediate 20 Sep 2006
By Woodie - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The author works from life and covers most the kinds of things you'd want to know about successful portraiture. The step-by-step was most interesting to read as she takes you through a process and how to resolve some issues you may run into. It doesn't offer a lot to beginners because she assumes you know how to see and do basic drawing and toning. I'd say this is a book for the intermediate artist who needs to reenforce existing knowledge with some very useful tips you probably never thought of, particularly for drawing from life.

I only have a few small critical things to say here. Although she reviews some basics on composition such as the golden ratio, she doesn't actually seem to practice them much in her examples. For example, she shows you how to "center" the head and says the "full face" portrait is the most common. Well I've heard alot of arguments against centering and full face views so it seems a contradiction to talk composition then not practice it in reality. I believe the 3 quarter view is most common, and you do not want to center the head for reasons I can't give here because it is too detailed. But perhaps she didn't want to overload the reader with composition theory since that's a much more complex issue.

But this is very worthwhile to read and she seems to have done a great job with the structure and language of the book.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "Must Have" book 3 Jan 2007
By R. laird - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The "Art of Portrait Drawing", a hard cover beautifully printed book, is a fine addition to any beginning or intermediate artists library. Joy Thomas is a highly skilled artist and the book is filled with "hands on" demonstrations and practical tips on approaching this subject. Personally

I find portrait drawing/painting to be an extremely challenging and intimidating task. Indeed there are many "celebrity" artists in the top galleries who couldn't paint a good portrait if their life depended on it.

While this book may not be the definative work on Portrait Drawing, it is very well done and well worth the investment.
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thomas' Portrait Drawiang 28 Jun 2006
By J. Gordon - Published on
I just watched the video that comes with this book. I would higly recommended both. As a beginner it was inspiring to watch an artist actually doing the technique described in the book. I can only imagine that if someone has more experience, it would be very usefull to see someone highly skilled perform their technique. I have read many books on this subject and find this to be the best.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous! 1 Dec 2008
By G. Stapleton - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a great book for the newbie and intermediate. Those that have not found there style or zone yet. I notice that as you become better you adopt your own style. But it's still always good to get tips from a true pro like Joy Thomas. The DVD that is sold separately, is a great resource because what she describes in the book is not always easy to visualize. This book reads like you are sitting down in a classroom with her. This book is well worth the buy.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nothing more than a showcase for the artist 6 Jan 2009
By K. Louhio - Published on
I was hoping this book would give new insight into drawing portraits but it has no additional info comparing to other books of the subject. This is almost nothing more than a picture gallery for step by step process. I was very dissappointed for the lack of intormation - not the talents of the author. The measuring was covered very lightly considering it's the most importrant aspect of getting the features right. Posing-chapter gave no other info except how to get the model turn their head to the direction the artists wants. No advice on light or composition other than the golden ratio.
The book is not entirely useless but I'd say this book is ok for a beginner. It doesn't go into depths of the subject so there's little to learn for someone who already possesses some knowledge of the matter. This book is not worth the money - go to a portrait course if you really want to learn of the subject.
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
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