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on 8 June 2014
I've had this book sitting on my shelf for a while and took it down just yesterday, forgetting why it was languishing on the shelf. I really can't understand the rave reviews being given by other readers at all. Yes, its a friendly book, written in a comforting, chatty style and if you want to be reassured that you can indeed draw, that's fine. However, actually *teaching* of drawing skills is severely lacking. Various topics are touched on before Mr Linley rushes onto the next idea, with a few examples but nothing to emulate (though his chapter on the nude model was fairly inspiring, not a subject many beginner books approach.). If like me you're a beginner wanting to learn how to get the pencil to produce images on paper with simple steps and guidance, this really is not the book to go for.

I've done great thus far with Mark Kistler's You Can Draw in 30 Days which starts simply and builds skills step by step and combines techniques you've now mastered into new forms. That would be my recommendation for actually building some drawing ability.

Disappointing, this one.
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on 30 October 2000
This book teaches beginners how to think positive and have faith, when they have a pencil in their hands. Basic rules of drawing are explained, with each chapter featuring different subjects for you to draw. Throughout the book, there are assignments for you to carry out. By reading this book you are given the confidence to pick up a pencil and draw. An interesting and useful book for those wanting to learn how to draw, and for those wanting to improve their drawing skills. I enjoyed this book, as the author writes annecdotes about his experiences and it just made me want to get drawing straight away. I have read other books on drawing, and this is one of the best I have read.
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on 18 October 2004
For a complete beginner like myself, I couldn't draw for toffee! This book has inspired me to draw landscapes in a simple to follow manner. My family have been amazed at the ease to which I have taken to this new hobby. Very easy, concise and enthusing narrative really is motivational. I thoroughly recommend this book for people such as me who like things simple!
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on 10 November 2002
I agree with the other reviewer.
This is a basically sound introduction to drawing with pen/pencil and the author's enthusiasm is very infectious: you'll definitely be inspired to give it a go or improve your existing skills after reading it.
It's nowhere near as in-depth or accomplished as something like Civardi's 'Drawing Techniques' and some of Linley's "portraits" are pretty dire, though he does present some very neat female nudes done with an absolute minumum of lines. His text, however, is always very encouraging and positive.
At the price, highly recommended for beginners and more advanced students alike.
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on 25 January 2005
My mother found this book and was amazed at the price. She is learning to draw portraits, and wanted a book that showed her how to do things step by step, especially with facial features.
Not only does this book provide valuable tips and examples on portraiture, but it also shows you in detail how to draw landscapes, people in general, animals, buildings, and practically everything else. My mum has since created some wonderful pictures just by using this book (different mouth shapes, noses, eyes) and is entirely happy.
After seeing her copy I went and bought my own (I want to improve my drawing of people) and I have to say, it is brilliant. Understandably, the key IS to keep on practising, but at this price you cannot get a better book.
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on 25 March 2009
How to Draw AnythingWas always bad at art at school, so assumed I'd never be able to draw, but this little book's a gem. Just wish I had several hours free every day to play with the ideas in it! I'm never going to get to the Royal Academy, but at least I can see now it's not just down to being "a natural", so if you want to get a bit of confidence and start drawing for fun, this book is a great help.
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on 2 March 2011
This is a wonderful book!!

The best ever book for me.

Years and years ago, I was told by my teachers that I was rubbish and could NEVER draw!!

Alas I believed them then, but now know that NO TEACHER would ever say that nowadays, thank goodness.In his book, Mark Linley dealt with that very negative report, step by step. Firstly by saying very confidently, that drawing IS a skill that can be learned.

He helps us to avoid costly mistakes at Art Suppliers, by telling us that very simple Tools, or materials needed, for drawing. Even a Drawing Board, he said, can be rigged out of a few books. Because of the skills I learned through Mark's teaching, I later went on to a 4 week Watercolour book. While the 2 Mediums are very different, I would never had had the courage to go to an art course of any kind, were it not for knowing that drawing can be learned.
I am amazed at what I can produce now, on Cartridge paper and pen and pencil.

Top marks for this book.
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on 29 June 2004
Good advice for an amazing price. This book on its own is not going to transform you into a Renoir or Degas, but you will improve if you follow it's guidelines.
If you're very much a beginner, you would do well to look at Betty Davis' superbly effective "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain". However, as with any "learn to draw" book, you will only improve if you practise, practise, practise. This is hard on your own, so try and setup / join a small group of budding artists for mutual support, learning and encouragement. Alternatively, join a local art class - they're highly sociable and you'll be amazed at how much you learn. Good luck!
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on 14 February 2013
This book came to my attention via the Amazon - If you bought this you might like this - feature. The good reviews intrigued me, I have never been able to draw and indeed have never been much bothered about it. However, I decided it might be a little pastime during these long winter evenings and decided to give it a go. I started last week and am methodically working my way through the book in order hence I am still on chapter 1 - Landscapes. I have done 7 sketches so far and my progression is astounding. It has fired my belief and enthusiasm and I can't wait to discover just what I am capable of drawing. A wonderful book. Try it, you won't be dissapointed.
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on 19 April 2015
There's something a bit comical, McGonagallish, about this book. His big thing is 'anyone can draw'; that if you can form letters with a pen you have the needed motor skills; that sounds reasonable, but it won't escape anyone's attention when they look at his drawings that the author (to put it politely) has not achieved a professional standard - not even the sort of standard that would make you want to show off your work to others. If the aim is to make people think 'I can definitely do as well as that' then I guess it's successful; but what's the point?

Of course you can teach a skill without necessarily being outstanding at it yourself, but it has to be said that it doesn't inspire confidence in his advice - for example, to aim to complete several drawings within an hour. Nor, as other reviewers say, does he really give much instruction. His idea of learning is copying and 'an infinite capacity for taking pains'. Having seen this book, I still think you need a little bit of natural ability; but as some of these reviews show, people will always believe you if you tell them what they want to hear.

'It may reassure you to know that I myself am a self-taught artists'. Sorry, mate - you seem like a nice bloke and all - but no, it doesn't.
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