The Best Drawing Tools the Library Has

January 20, 2018 | TRL ARTS

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So, you want to learn to draw but don't know where to begin. Everyone can draw, really! There is no good or right way to draw but if you haven’t done it in a while – or ever – it may seem overwhelming to just jump in and start. We are fortunate to live in a city rich in galleries, artists  and art. There are lots of places to find inspiration through other peoples’ work or just in the city around us. But the library is the place where you find tutorials and materials to help get you started or re-started on your drawing adventure.

Here are just a few of the drawing related eResources you have access to with your Toronto Public Library card.
Free to anyone with a valid Toronto Public Library card and an internet connection. Check out their excellent ‘Drawing foundations’ series. It includes tutorials on: figure drawing, fundamentals, light and shadow, urban sketching and more. Search the term ‘drawing foundations’ once you are logged in and you will see a full list of the tutorials in the series. You can watch as many times as you want and progress at your own pace.

Gale Courses
Or you can enroll in the Gale Courses class, “Drawing for the Absolute Beginner”. This is also free to anyone with a valid TPL card. Once you are at the Gale site search the term, ‘Drawing for the Absolute Beginner’. You must register for these classes and they are conducted online. Participation is necessary to stay enrolled and that’s some pretty good motivation.

Through Kanopy you have access to some of the “the Great Courses” series of tutorials. One of these is the 36 episode ‘How to Draw’ series. It takes you from basic fundamentals and materials all the way to linear perspective and advanced drawing projects. This is also all FREE with a valid Toronto Public Library card and an internet connection.

Safari Tech & Business Books
You can access Safari with a valid TPL card and an internet connection. Safari has loads of titles and video tutorials on tech and business topics but it also has much more. Once signed in do a general search using the term ‘drawing’ and you will get lots of results. Or, you can search specific titles like, “Figure Drawing in Proportion” by Michael Massen and “Drawing in Black and White” by Deborah Velasquez.

If you’ve never used any of the above eResources before and you need help getting started you can ask staff at your local library branch for help or make an appointment with our Book-a-Librarian service.

Here are some books to get you drawing and keep you motivated and inspired:

Get Unstuck Creative Block  Paint Your Way Out of a Corner

Figure Drawing a Compete Guide           Dare to Sketch

Perspective for the Absolute Beginner  Just for Fun Drawing
Pencil Art Workshop  Anatomy for the Artist

If you want to explore other books about drawing technique just head to you local library and explore the 741.2 area. The number will be the same no matter what format or age group.

Maybe you want to attend a painting class?

Or work on your comic/komiks with other like minded people?

Or do some life drawing at the library?

Or maybe you have some storyboard art that you want to bring to video?

But sometimes you just want to colour!

Some other open figure drawing sessions in and around the city. Take a look at their sites for their specific details:

Artists 25 non profit art studio

Gladstone Hotel – life drawing

ARC Artist Resource Centre

OCADU open life drawing sessions

Toronto School of Art open life drawing/painting sessions

The 519  open life drawing

Once you’ve got that drawing bug activated again you can keep the momentum going by challenging yourself to do a daily drawing or one ‘finished’ piece a week for a year. Get a bunch of friends together and have an 'Art Sunday' where everyone brings something creative to work on. What’s most important is that you are challenging yourself and still having fun. You’ll be surprised at how you begin notice the world around you just a little differently!