Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain
I come back to this book and the exercises within time and time again. It taught me a lesson that I'll never forget and I want to impart to everyone; the essence of making anything starts first with seeing, which is made so clear in this elegantly written and enlightening book. I use the lessons within for students of all ages, and with all skill levels and goals. Simply applicable, simply awesome.
Around the World with Mouk
I recently wrote cultural art curriculum for elementary students, and Around the World with Mouk by Marc Boutavant was the inspiration for the lessons I wrote. This book is absolutely fascinating, filled with gorgeous, bright, engaging illustrations, and entertaining (and accurate) factoids about diverse places around the world. Mouk teaches about food, customs, language, clothing, dance, music, transportation, geography, and so much more! I believe it's a really tangible way for kids to immerse themselves in the study of a culture. It gives them a magical world to picture in their minds, and fuels their excitement to research and learn more!
Drawing with Children
Drawing with Children really breaks down line, space and other basics in a meaningful, accessible way. Exercises in this book are much more directed at a specific end or image, but teach valuable things about the process of drawing, the practice of seeing, and help beginning drawers gain confidence in their ability and technique. One of the techniques I use the most from this book are what I've deemed "Copy Puzzles": the idea of making abstract images in a grid, with spaces for them to be copied under each image. It helps young or beginning students build motor skills and recognition of line and space. I use them a lot as a warm up and a way to get the pen, pencil, or marker on the paper without any pressure to perform. My young students ask for them over and over again!