I recently taught a workshop on sketching birds. Although I rarely use a "textbook" for my classes, for this one I asked everyone to buy The Laws Guide to Drawing Birds by John Muir Laws. Every week we studied a chapter from the book to complement the studies we did in class. This is definitely the best book on the topic of drawing birds but it is also one of the better art books I've come across.
Written and illustrated by artist and naturalist John Muir Laws this book is a tribute not only to teaching art but also to birds: their lives, structure, behavior and details. John Muir Laws doesn't just focus on technique but shares information about the scientific study of birds and natural history. In a message that is true to my heart, John Muir Laws promotes drawing as a vehicle for seeing.
As Laws writes, ''To draw feathers, you must understand how feathers grow, overlap, and insert into the body. To create the body, you must have an understanding of the bird's skeletal structure. To pose this skeleton, you must be able to perceive the energy, intention, and life of the bird.''
Bird Drawing Basics
Mastering Bird Anantomy
Details and Tips for Common Birds
Birds in Flight
Materials and Techniques
Divided into logical chapters that easily lead from one aspect of drawing birds to the next, my students were all so enthusiastic about this book.
In the future, when I teach this workshop again, I will review the last chapter, Materials and Techniques, first. It is so full of helpful tips and information that I would've made it chapter one!
This book will inspire you not just to draw birds but to use drawing as a way to connect more deeply with your world. Laws delivers what he promises: ''drawing birds opens you to the beauty of the world.'' The Laws Guide to Drawing Birds is great for both beginners and seasoned artists. I can't recommend it enough!