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You Can Draw in 30 Days: The Fun, Easy Way to Learn to Draw in One Month or Less
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You Can Draw in 30 Days: The Fun, Easy Way to Learn to Draw in One Month or Less

4.21  ·  Rating Details ·  793 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
Learn to draw in 30 days with public television’s favorite drawing teacher. Drawing is an acquired skill, not a talent—anyone can learn to draw! All you need is a pencil, a piece of paper, and the willingness to tap into your hidden artistic abilities. You Can Draw in 30 Days will teach you the rest. With Emmy award–winning, longtime PBS host Mark Kistler as your guide, yo ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 4th 2011 by Da Capo Lifelong Books (first published May 4th 2008)
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Nov 22, 2011 Shawn rated it really liked it
Shelves: how-to, draw
This was my first "how to draw" book. Before using this book I could draw stick figures and ugly junk. After these 30 lessons I've drawn things that amaze me! This book boosted me well up in drawing options. Not via secrets or weird rituals though. Instead by simply explaining the fundamentals then providing accessible exercises to get the explanation into your memory. I flipped through several books in the "how-to draw" section and thought this one was the most clear and accessible. Plus, Mark' ...more
Jul 19, 2014 Jeanne-Erin rated it did not like it
Terrible book. even the sample drawings are not good. The idea of the book is to give you shorthand for drawing, not teach you how to draw from what you see. Which is fine, if that is what you want, but some of the shorthand is wrong, placing a shadow between two objects (he does this with spheres and continues it) for example. In most instances there is a LIGHTER area between two spheres. So his drawing look really off. Then he shows planets and gets the shadows all wrong for where the light so ...more
Jul 24, 2014 Atul rated it it was amazing
Are you a beginner who is tired of making sloppy stick man and weird houses? Do you think you can never learn to draw in your life? Do you wish you could make something better than a man consisting of one circle and some lines?

Go no further my friends. This book is the only book you need to change your destiny.

In one sentence, this book is a simple, easy, step-by-step guide that teaches you to draw from simple cube and spheres to a realistic eye and a gorgeous women; in 30 days.

I am extremely
Martie Last
Aug 22, 2014 Martie Last rated it liked it
The book has some fun exercises that show basic tricks for drawing. However, it lacks a depth of explanations of fundamental or foundational drawing skills. It serves a purpose as an entertaining launch pad to improve drawing.
Min Yee
Nov 02, 2015 Min Yee rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art-drawing
One of the basic skill of learning to become a self-taught graphic designer is drawing. This book was mentioned in one of the blogs and I started to learn to draw from this book.

I didn't do any drawings or sketches since I left my high school, which is almost 15 years. I always got a barely pass grade for my Arts subject during high school. Besides, my previous jobs never required a drawing skill. I always feel drawing is an innate talent until I started to learn drawing from this book which te
Annabella Crafts
Jan 23, 2015 Annabella Crafts rated it really liked it
A few months ago I suddenly sparked an interest in drawing. I tried but I didn't know where to start so for Christmas I got this book along with a crap load of other art supplies. This book is great for a beginning but if you want to just buy one book and know a huge genera of topics, this isn't quite for you. It does have good details on cubes, spheres ect but not to much variety. Wasn't much of a problem for me but I do need to buy more drawing books. For this book, the student examples and th ...more
Mar 26, 2014 Anke rated it really liked it
This is quite nice - it got me using my sketchbook again, which was my goal.
It has 30 chapters that build on each other and introduce drawing concepts in an approachable way.

Two things I didn't like: The tone is a bit too... American? for me - the author constantly says things like "this is AWESOME and you will LOVE it and will keep drawing circles ALL THE TIME because they are so FUN!!", and I found myself skipping those lines because they have the opposite effect on me. But if you leave out
John Glover
Jun 11, 2014 John Glover rated it it was amazing
I've just started working my way through this book for the second time. The book does a remarkable job of distilling what people have discovered about representing the 3-dimensional world on a 2-dimensional piece of paper into 30 well graded and structured lessons. I really can't find any faults - except that there doesn't appear to be a follow on book to take the budding artist to the next level.
If anyone knows of a book of this quality for figure/portrait drawing then please let me know.
Brett Anderson
30 drawing lessons that build well on the previous. It had been about a decade since I had done much of any sketching so this was a good refresher. The lessons will definitely start to take more than the 20 min advertised by midway through. I did about 23 lessons in 25 days and then let the rest drag out over a number of weeks.
Missy J
Dec 16, 2016 Missy J rated it really liked it
A very fun and easy to follow drawing book. I used to draw a lot when I was younger. This helped me to find my joy for drawing again. The first half of the book was strong, the lessons were very eye-opening. Towards the end, I didn't enjoy the concept of "tracing". Definitely recommend this for those who want to learn how to draw.
Jun 12, 2013 Marc rated it really liked it
I picked up this book because I wanted to learn to draw of course. I have an idea for a webcomic and I don't know any non-flaky artists. I'm digressing. So I wanted to learn how to draw but sadly, I didn't finish the book's lessons even though I was only 10 lessons away.

The book did not lie. It made drawing easy and fun and I almost did it in 30 days. I think the biggest thing the book did was trying to change the noob (me!) mindset. Drawing isn't just a gift and you can train your eye correctly
Theo Karner
First some background, I have no experience or training (including any sort of short courses) in drawing; I picked this book for this very reason. I was looking for a book that would teach me the basics and not just give me examples to copy with no explanation or show me artists work that I couldn't possibly reproduce at my current skill level. This book was exactly what I was looking for.

Mark Kistler's easy going and confidence inducing style was encouraging throughout the book and he introduce
Sep 14, 2012 Roland rated it really liked it
This is probably the only drawing book I've seen that introduces the fundamentals in the type of increments that lead to understanding them, instead of just cramming everything in a chapter that you'll just skim. This book takes you step by step through simple drawings, and then introduces the concepts while you're doing them. This is clearly a book for people who can't draw and are taking it up as a hobby, but if you're new to drawing then this is the book to start with. Probably the only book ...more
Marie S. Doss
Nov 14, 2015 Marie S. Doss rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Only the second day and I'm amazed at what I've learnt! Just a few circles and I've turned to build rocks and boulders. This book teaches the importance of shading and what you can achieve by following a few basic steps. Great book for a beginner. Only my second day of practicing and I'm simply amazed at what I've drawn. Follow his rules and learn to draw the first day of reading.

I am teaching myself Pyrography (wood burning) but needed some help with my sketching, I found this book very helpfu
Erin Pieronek
I should as the book suggested worked on this everyday. Sadly I didn't. In fact I haven't finished yet even though I have had it for months. I plan too. I got to lesson 11. I really learned in the lessons I did. I do think it was odd that we never practiced a light source in more than one place but I did on my own. I just didn't have a reference to see if I was right. I got this book because I had signed up for a class that had a pre-requisite of a drawing class. I hadn't taken one in well over ...more
James Heiney
Jan 06, 2013 James Heiney rated it it was amazing
This is a great book for those who want to draw and don't know where to start. The book covers basics and moves on to more advanced lessons. The instruction covers important art concepts in an entertaining way. You'll be drawing from the first lesson and improving with each one as long as you practice.

You'll eventually have to learn to apply these methods to drawing things that you see around you, but for a starter book on drawing, you can't go wrong with this one.
Jan 31, 2017 Swodha rated it liked it
I started this book way back (like 4 months ago) but got side tracked.... but i finished it. This book was very helpful although it did kind of jump a few steps on the last three chapters. From drawing a two point perspective pictures to drawing a face it was kind of sudden and frankly i was not too satisfied with that chapter but if you want to learn to draw simple basic shapes and cartoon characters this is the book for you.
Natalia Boldyreva
Apr 19, 2016 Natalia Boldyreva rated it it was amazing
Отличный самоучитель. Упражнения от простого к сложному, одновременно автор не выходит за рамки самых азов рисования. Книгу можно рекомендовать новичкам для ежедневных тренировок. Руку вы себе поставите, базовые правила усвоите, и сможете взяться уже за что-то более серьезное или делать простые скетчи.
Aug 22, 2013 Audrey rated it really liked it
Great step by step guide to drawing realistically. Good for learning spheres and cubes, and other drawing that stem from that. Wish the author went into more depth on drawing humans, but I guess that's for another book. This is a great start to drawing, and I like how the author separates it into daily lessons.
Feb 24, 2014 Jeff rated it it was amazing
I wanted this book as a refresher for drawing techniques I had long forgotten. I really enjoyed the way Mark presented the material. He gave it in nice lessons with a new drawing to work on. I can now sketch again. I highly recommend for anyone brand new to sketching or someone like me who hasn't drawn in years.
Jul 30, 2014 Andy rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, art, 2014
3.5 stars - This is the first book I've used since becoming determined to draw again for the first time in 35 years and as an introduction (or re-introduction), it's pretty good. You'll spend a lot of time working on squares, spheres, etc. but not very much on the human face or anatomy - other subjects for other books. Still, this was a good book for me to use to get back into drawing.
Jan 29, 2014 Linda rated it really liked it
This was a very fun book, and I was sad that there weren't more lessons. I used this book in a 30 day challenge so I did one lesson a day, and it really was easy to follow. I am now drawing all over my notes at work and sketching on napkins and other scrap papers. I really recommend it for people who are real beginners as I am.
Kate Davis
Jun 12, 2014 Kate Davis rated it liked it
Great and slow-building (if a little cartoony)...then the last few lessons really jump it up. Which is fine, you're ready for it, it just felt a little disjointed.

I'm MUCH more confident than I was when I started!
Jul 30, 2013 Lorrie rated it really liked it
Fun, practical, doable. It is the basics laid out as they should be. Step-by-step pictures and challenges for anyone up for a little extra drawing. I have a lot (a LOT!) of drawing books and this one is one always at my studio desk.
Amber Parker
Jul 31, 2016 Amber Parker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I decided that my "do something new" goal for the summer was going to be to draw everyday. I quickly realized that I have no grasp of perspective or technique. I bought this book for basic instruction, and going through the exercises has been quite fun, and surprisingly successful.
Anna Goldina
Упражениния по сути направлены на рисование сфер, кубов и конусов - ровно то, что вы делаете в любой обычной школе рисования. Минус: приучает условно изображать объекты, например цветы. После будет труднее перейти к натурализму и похожести.
Terrie Purkey
Jun 17, 2015 Terrie Purkey rated it liked it
Shelves: art-inspiration
A very helpful book that simplifies drawing into an easily usable format. I just wanted to be able to draw/sketch some basic things and this book made it possible for me to feel successful. Recommended.
Jo Ladzinski
Mar 06, 2015 Jo Ladzinski rated it it was amazing
Shelves: physical-copy
This book was fun. I did drawing for once a day as the book prescribed and what's interesting is that I did find myself improving in art that was outside the designated 20-minute drawing sessions. It seems great for beginners or people who haven't had any proper training in a few years.
Ahmad Shadeed
Jul 16, 2014 Ahmad Shadeed rated it it was amazing
This book brought me back to the days of childhood, each lesson of this book has a memories with me. I advise each person who want to draw to read it, and believe me you will be happy by the end. The writer way of teaching is wonderful, it's makes you smile sometimes! :)
Federico Raue
Mar 10, 2013 Federico Raue rated it it was amazing
Shelves: drawing
I feel confident that I could some how "draw" after this book. The transition was smooth from somebody who can not draw to somebody can draw. I totally recommend this book for any beginner. You just need a pencil and a sketchbook book
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Mark Kistler teaches art. He has run thousands of elementary school workshops, written art books, and starred in the public television series The Secret City, The Draw Squad, The New Secret City Adventures, and the Emmy-Award-winning Imagination Station, all teaching art.

[author photo credit: Lois Bernstein]
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