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

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Learn to draw in 30 days with Emmy award-winning PBS host
Mark Kistler
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.
With Emmy award-winning, longtime PBS host Mark Kistler as your guide,
you'll learn the secrets of sophisticated three-dimensional renderings,
and have fun along the way--in just 20 minutes a day for a month. Inside
you'll find:
  • Quick and easy step-by-step instructions for
    drawing everything from simple spheres to apples, trees, buildings, and
    the human hand and face
  • More than 500 line drawings,
    illustrating each step
  • Time-tested tips, techniques, and
    tutorials for drawing in 3-D
  • The 9 Fundamental Laws of Drawing
    to create the illusion of depth in any drawing
  • 75 student
    examples to help gauge your own progress

Average Ratings and Reviews
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Reviews for You Can Draw in 30 Days: The Fun, Easy Way to Learn to Draw in One Month or Less:

4

Nov 22, 2011

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, 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's enthusiasm throughout the book is pretty contagious.

It's not the one and only perfect manual. There's a couple lessons that were a bit boring, and one or two that were tough. But I bet those lessons might vary from person to person, so that's kind of neat. Long story, short: I had a lot of fun, learned a ton, and drew some sweet pictures. Now I feel like I have a nice foundation for carrying on to more and more drawing lessons.

Do yourself a favour if you decide to try these lessons out. Pick up a nice, new sketchbook and a decent pencil and eraser. For the $10 more all this will run ya it's worth it to work with nice things as you're learning.
...more
1

Jul 19, 2014

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 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 source is shown. Frustrating. He teaches students to smudge far too early, which just makes their drawings look cheap, but makes the artist feel that they're getting somewhere. Smudging can work, but it takes so much more to do it well.

He starts you out by asking you to draw a house, an airplane and a donut, without a source. And, I just don't believe these are things ANYONE can truly draw well without a source, especially the airplane. Have you actually thought about what an airplane looks like in perspective? And what is involved with an airplane, other than wings and a tail? To compare drawings after his classes (which are NOT of the same thing) and say people have improved is preposterous.

But the biggest issue I have with this book is that he keeps saying other art instructors don't teach you how to draw. They simply set you up in front of a still life and expect you to understand the basics, to make the 5,000 necessary mistakes. I have been in MANY still life classes and this is not the case. Every class I've been to for beginners has had instruction in basic geometric representation. That's sort of the point. Otherwise you're just at a session, not a class. And even if you follow the book, you're still going to need to make the 5,000 mistakes. Because that's how you learn to improve. It's like he didn't understand the quote at all. ARG!

But, honestly, if you're going to learn to draw, learn to draw from life. Or learn to draw from Jack Hamm, whose books are amazing. If you want to draw spheres get an orange, use a toilet paper roll for cylinders. Look at how light really falls, because this book is not going to help. If you want proof look at the drawings of the face for the students he had. There is no understanding there of what a face is. No understanding of an underlying skeletal structure, and at the same time, no style. I love cartooning style, where basic anatomy can be ignored, but this isn't it.

I do believe everyone can learn to draw, but not with this book. ...more
5

Jul 24, 2014

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 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 grateful that I picked this book to begin learning how to draw and understand the fundamentals of graphic design. This book took me from a so-so sketcher to a "Damn! You are good." kinda artist.

At first, you may think all the lessons are very basic and would be tempted to skip forward. But don't be taken away by your emotions, my friend. Practice each challenge and super challenge of the chapter, every day. Don't skip any one. In the end, commitment and consistency pays off.

Now go draw. ...more
3

Aug 22, 2014

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.
5

Nov 02, 2015

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 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 tells me that my thinking is probably wrong.

I learned a lot from this book especially as a beginner in drawing. I really enjoyed going through the exercises. It makes you feel good when you can unexpectedly finish a drawing and it increases your confidence when the finished drawing looks similar with the example in the book. ...more
3

Jun 30, 2018

I liked this book and I think I have improved however I don't think I can use the skills to be able to draw things from life. I can draw the things we learnt well but that's about all.
4

Dec 16, 2016

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.
5

Aug 07, 2018

I started this book in 2012 and completed 22 lessons and then got distracted and let it sit for way too long. I recently picked it back up and started again. I really enjoyed this book. I never thought that drawing was something I could do. Mark Kistler's lessons are easy to follow and teach you all of the fundamentals. I was amazed at what I learned and even more amazed at what I was able to draw!!!!!!! Things like eyes and faces which I thought too hard I was able to draw!!!! I look forward to I started this book in 2012 and completed 22 lessons and then got distracted and let it sit for way too long. I recently picked it back up and started again. I really enjoyed this book. I never thought that drawing was something I could do. Mark Kistler's lessons are easy to follow and teach you all of the fundamentals. I was amazed at what I learned and even more amazed at what I was able to draw!!!!!!! Things like eyes and faces which I thought too hard I was able to draw!!!! I look forward to drawing and even painting more in the future! I will definitely recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn to draw and will be keeping it as a reference! It is great for adults and children alike!!!!! ...more
5

Jan 19, 2019

I cannot recommend this book more. It is a great starting point specially if you are new to the art of drawing. Going through this book you will learn the basic tools of trade and at the end you will be surprised of how much you can learn at the end of the journey
4

Jul 15, 2018

Very encouraging tone to the book. It made me want to learn to draw. The final two lessons (the face and the hand) could have used some of the same detail of the earlier chapters. But I guess eventually, I can't depend on the book to tell me how to draw everything, but I'll have to go out and practice on my own. I felt like I accomplished something by staying with it.
4

Jun 12, 2013

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 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.

However, as I did the lessons I did get tired of doing the same basic drawings. They just started to lose their appeal to me. While I did try to spice it up, I just wasn't very good at it.

I think the biggest downside to the book is that at the end of each lesson, there's a bonus or advance lesson if you will. While I started to do it at first, they became a bit too daunting. Also, when looking at the drawings other students made, I would feel disheartened when I saw my crappy drawings. I really think those shouldn't be in the book or at the end or I should have more confidence in my drawing skills.

I plan to return to the book and finish the lessons and hopefully move on and draw some more. ...more
4

Jan 23, 2015

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 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 the authors examples were great. I stopped reading the text blurbs after a while because I didn't really need them. Only a few times did I get stumped and i have to take a break because I was frustrated. This book was great and I'm gonna have to see the other books he made. (Ps: this is good for a teen to read and have fun with!) ...more
4

Mar 26, 2014

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 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 the "motivational" parts, the exercises are pretty good.
And, some chapters make reference to drawing exercises that you were supposed to find on his website - but all I could find was paid content and no mention of this book.
But the rest was still pretty good and I am quite happy looking back through the pages I filled with my exercises. ...more
5

Dec 04, 2012

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 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 introduces what he calls the "Nine Fundamental Laws of Drawing" through the 30 lessons which I found very instructive. The lessons were very well structured individually and as a set slowly improved my level of confidence and skill. Definitely a book I would recommend for a beginner or someone, like myself, who thought they couldn't draw or didn't have any 'talent' for drawing. ...more
5

Jun 11, 2014

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.
0

Apr 12, 2014

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.
5

Aug 10, 2019

As promising as it seemed at first sight. Really progressive. The illustrated examples by fellow students seemed a very good idea as it roused a sense of competition among the reader.
Yes, you can really draw in 30 days. Or even less, for that matter.
A good beginner's guide.
4

Mar 11, 2018

My kids got for Christmas some "Scratch and Sketch" books from their aunt, and the books had animal/habitat facts with a drawing on the left page & a page for scratch-drawing on the right. My 4-year-old wanted me to sketch for him and he would choose the page and tell me to draw the gorilla, spider, etc. I was surprised to LOVE doing this and thought the pictures actually turned out nicely. (I still kinda want one of those books for myself.)

Enter *You Can Draw in 30 Days* which I found on My kids got for Christmas some "Scratch and Sketch" books from their aunt, and the books had animal/habitat facts with a drawing on the left page & a page for scratch-drawing on the right. My 4-year-old wanted me to sketch for him and he would choose the page and tell me to draw the gorilla, spider, etc. I was surprised to LOVE doing this and thought the pictures actually turned out nicely. (I still kinda want one of those books for myself.)

Enter *You Can Draw in 30 Days* which I found on Amazon while searching for drawing books for adults. It had good reviews and seemed like a good fit for me. I liked the daily lesson--especially earlier in the book--and learned a lot. I did get bored towards the end though; you can definitely skim some of his text in favor of the step-by-step drawings with annotations, but I have been revisiting the book to check on things I know Kistler covered. I recommend it! ...more
5

Dec 03, 2019

Mark Kistler is a model teacher and what every teacher should strive to be. I have read so many 'How To Draw' books and the Authors all seem to suffer from the same condition of being incredibly vague in their teachings. But not Mr. Kistler, he takes you on a visual journey and calmly explains all the important details along the way, never missing a step. Now I see these steps in my day to day life, a lot of what he teaches is uncommon sense, things you wouldn't think about had they not been Mark Kistler is a model teacher and what every teacher should strive to be. I have read so many 'How To Draw' books and the Authors all seem to suffer from the same condition of being incredibly vague in their teachings. But not Mr. Kistler, he takes you on a visual journey and calmly explains all the important details along the way, never missing a step. Now I see these steps in my day to day life, a lot of what he teaches is uncommon sense, things you wouldn't think about had they not been pointed out to you. I highly recommend this book if you are interested in art or are passionate about art but have a clouded view on how to apply to what yo love. ...more
4

Dec 03, 2017

It is a fun book. It has 30 lessons that teach you how to draw a particular figure. It is not traditional in the sense that you are not taught much about lines, or shading or tones, so if you're looking for that, this book is not for you.

I recommend this for those who want to get into drawing but don't want to dedicate too much time to it at first, and want to avoid feeling overwhelmed by it. By the end, I am less self conscious about my (def not brilliant) drawings, and have gotten quite a bit It is a fun book. It has 30 lessons that teach you how to draw a particular figure. It is not traditional in the sense that you are not taught much about lines, or shading or tones, so if you're looking for that, this book is not for you.

I recommend this for those who want to get into drawing but don't want to dedicate too much time to it at first, and want to avoid feeling overwhelmed by it. By the end, I am less self conscious about my (def not brilliant) drawings, and have gotten quite a bit of inspiration to continue to practice, improve and have fun ...more
5

May 09, 2018

Great, no messing around lessons

Very proud of what I have achieved through the help of this book. The difference between day 1 age day 30 is amazing. As someone who has been interested in drawing this helped give me certain principles in a way that kept me engaged.
5

Dec 15, 2018

My drawing has definitely improved since beginning reading. Mark Kistler has been able to teach me many things about drawing and from this, I have gone on to draw better than I ever have before. Drawing is simple, and Mark shows you how.
5

Nov 06, 2017

If you are a beginning artist, I would highly recommend this book. It's clearly written and shows you how to draw different things using basic fundamentals. I would recommend this if you are starting out.
5

Aug 03, 2018

Easy clear step by step instructions to learn to draw. I recommend this book.
5

Sep 06, 2018

This book has sparked an artist inside me !! Thanks. Loved it !!

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