The text below is a repost of my reply to a "What resources have you been using?" question on Tumblr. It's a little bit outdated (2016), but still valid. Anyways, please consider it as a temporary placeholder which will be replaced quite soon.
I started with a "default" book, "Drawing on the right side of the brain" by Betty Edwards, read it just in a week and started a new one - "Keys to Drawing" by Bert Dodson, and it took me two months to practice all exercises. While Betty's book was fun and easy, Dodson's one was like a work.
After 2 months I was able to "copy"/"trace" from screenshots/life, at least at some level. It was a really huge improvement for me back then.
Next book was by Brenda Hoddinott and Jamie Combs, "Drawing for Dummies". Personally, I don't like it, but at least there were some exercises to practice, like taking a photo and drawing it rearranging objects to improve a composition.
Then Kimon Nicolaides, "The Natural Way to Draw". Great-great-great book. IMHO, one of the best to understand a "gesture" concept. Unfortunately, I've read/practice only first two chapter or so, don't know why, maybe I'll be back to this book later.
Next one was a well-known "Fun with a pencil" by Andrew Loomis. "Must read" one. First book about "construction", drawing from imagination and all. Easy and pretty understandable fundamentals - and yet no hope to draw something that would not look ugly.
"It's time to academic drawing, I'm ready for this now" - my thoughts after 6 months of drawing.
I've started with Nicholas Lee, "Fundamentals of educational academic drawing", it's in Russian only(
It was a pain.
Yep, it's a cube drawn from life. My first one.
Oh, wait a minute, 6+ months of everyday drawing and I can't draw even a cube? Okay, let's the battle begin.
The one thing that really helped me A LOT is this channel: Обучение рисунку. Введение It's in Russian too, but just watching it will be a great help, I'm 100% certain with that.
3 months later I was able to draw something like this:
and +2 months:
and +2 months
and up to this boot I’ve drawn last month
It's all based on this "classical academic approach".
Of course, I've read other books. Ernest Norling, "Perspective Made Easy" - is a best one on perspective, "must read", I've read it during first year of drawing. Giovanni Civardi, "Drawing Portraits: Faces and Figures" - not bad, not good, at least did't help me a lot.
Besides these books I've mentioned above I've also read entire Internet, lol (first months I've spent hours a day reading all I could find) and briefly viewed dozens of books (my personal library contains hundreds of books - thank you, The Pirate Bay!)
Figure drawing. The best two "must read" authors - Michael Hampton ("Figure Drawing: Design and Invention" book) and Glenn Vilppu ("The drawing manual", book + videos, just a book didn't help me a lot, but video is just a best that could possibly exist). All I could say, "practice makes perfect".
My first attempts with Hampton:
and then a year or so later:
Started with Vilppu:
and a year later:
And now I'm still reading Hampton and Vilppu and practice it every month, and will for at least next year.
And animu is just something different, to draw from imagination and try cartoonish style. All these still lifes/figure drawing/anime - are all the same, I mean same drawing fundamentals. But yet very different.
In the late December it'll be 3 years as I draw everyday, and still I can't draw. But I believe that extra 2 years will do the trick. I guess, it'll be a pretty average result - maintaining at least a some mediocre drawing skill in a 5 years (based on others' improvements I've googled).
Here I post all my drawings, month by month http://allmydrawings.com/ just to track my improvement. Not good ones, but literally all of them - I guess it’s rather important to accept the fact that not every drawing will be good, on the contrary, 99% will be bad. It’s just a part of a process. Right now I don’t care if my next drawing will be good or bad, it’s not important. The only thing that matters is that I draw, learn, practice. Every single day.