The Natural Way To Draw  (Souvenir Press) book collectible [Barcode 9780285638389] - Main Image 1
The Natural Way To Draw
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Kimon Nicolaides - The Natural Way to Draw Review

The Bottom Line

Many readers will find Kimon Nicolaides’ book too wordy, and the requirement to do hours of gestural drawing may put them off following through the work. However, ’The Natural Way to Draw’ offers many useful insights into the drawing process, so may be of interest for those looking to take further steps in figure drawing. Tertiary art teachers will find it a useful resource for class projects, as it covers a broad range of technical and expressive ideas.


many illustrations, including Old Masters
focuses on drawing from life, especially the figure
includes analysis of drapery
covers many key concepts in depth


very wordy, sometimes excessively so
the drawing ’shedules’ are repetitive and daunting
overemphasises gestural drawing

Kimon Nicolaides - The Natural Way to Draw
pub Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston
ISBN 0-395-08048-7

Explores gesture, weight and expressive tonal modeling
Includes study of anatomy and drapery
covers a range of media, including ink and charcoal
explores design of the figure drawing - using curve and line
Guide Review - Kimon Nicolaides - The Natural Way to Draw

The most off-putting thing about ’The Natural Way to Draw’ is the premise that it will be a year-long course of study; when you get to the page that instructs you to ’draw for three hours as per shedule 1D’ you feel there is no way you’ll ever finish the book. Its important to remember then that this isn’t a highschool text, nor is Kimon Nicolaides your teacher - you are your own teacher, and you are free to use this book as you choose. If you don’t have three hours to spare, one will have to do. If you want to move on to the next chapter, do so. Make realistic judgements about whether you have grasped the idea, and move on at your own pace. ’The Natural Way to Draw’ covers most of the key concepts in drawing - contour, gesture, cross contour, weight and modeling, structure and design. It has a great many exercises and is illustrated with student works as well as Old Master drawings. Kimon Nicolaides’ lessons tend to focus on gesture and action, feeling and expression, which may be of interest to readers who are trying to develop these aspects of their art. However, if you are a beginner looking to develop basic skills, you’ll find that the technique can be too difficult to separate from the rest of the dense text.

”...not only the best how-to book on drawing, it is the best how-to book we’ve seen on any subject.” Whole Earth Review

Product Description:

Great for the beginner and the expert, this book offers readers exercises to improve their work.

About the Author:

Kimon Nicolaides was born in Washington D.C., in 1891. His first contact with art was a subconscious familiarity with the oriental objects imported by his father. He decided early that he wished to paint, but he had to run away from home to study art because his parents were unsympathetic to the idea. He supported himself in New York by whatever came to hand - framing pictures, writing for a newspaper, even acting the part of an art student as a movie extra. His father was finally won over by his obvious seriouness and financed his instruction at the Art Students’ League - under Bridgman, Miller, and Sloan. When the United States entered the first World War, Nicolaides volunteered in the Camouflage Corps and served in France for over a year, receiving a citation. One of his assignments, involving the study of geographical contour maps, first opened up for him the conception of "contour” which constitutes Exercise One in this book. After a period of work in Paris (1922-23), he was given his first one-man show by the famous Bernheim Jeune gallery there. Back in New York, he held his first exhibit at the Old Whitney Studio Club, now the museum, and settled down to painting and teaching. As a painter, choosing to work painstakingly and exhibit seldom, he became known to the critics gradually but unmistakably for "the range of his work,” "originality of technical approach,” "richness of mental concepts” and his "eager, restless pursuit of new aesthetic experience.” As a teacher, during the next fifteen years, he became, as the Art Digest put it, "second father” to hundreds of students who passed through his classes at the Art Students’ League of New York. Scrupulously honest and high-principled, endowed with humor, richness and warmth of personality, sanity and balance, his extraordinary talent for human relationships grew with his wide contact with increasing numbers of students. Although he died in 1938, at a tragically early age, he left behind a tremendously devoted following of brilliant young artists, as well as the unique and concrete system of art teaching presented in this book.

Souvenir Press
Date Added:
2018-06-26 17:44:59
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