Book Review: Harold Speed’s The Practice and Science of Drawing


The first edition of Harold Speed’s book on drawing, The Practice and Science of Drawing, was published in 1913. I still find the book invaluable though it was published almost a century ago.

Mr. Speed introduces the practicing artist to his ideas and ideals on art which were developed through extensive research and personal application. He studied painting at the Royal Academy of art and became widely traveled throughout Europe.

He divides the process of drawing into two types: linear drawing and mass drawing. Linear drawing appreciates the contour of what is being drawn, whereas mass drawing focuses on the large shapes of light and dark. He claims that the student would do well to learn both.

After discussing the practical application of both types of drawing, he then talks of the rhythm of line and the movement within a drawing. These are the things that give a drawing life. This ‘rhythm’ is found in the variety and unity of line and the variety and unity of mass.

The Practice and Science of Drawing is a must-have for any serious artist using traditional techniques. It is a book that is well organized and full of information. There are times when technical issues are being discussed and the writing can become a little dry for some people, but it is encouraged to get all the way through it. I know few people who have read it and did not feel as if they had a more mature understanding of drawing afterward.

Thank you for reading my understanding,

Oomwah

Difficulty: For the Serious Student

(Click on links <different colored text> to find more information about Harold Speed and to read the ebook for free through google books.)

4 thoughts on “Book Review: Harold Speed’s The Practice and Science of Drawing

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