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Top 5 Drawing Books Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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What better way to inspire your art by studying and learning by the drawings of master paintersThe Metropolitan Museum of Art has included over 400 FREE books for download and online viewing. I dug through the pile and searched out all of the well known and inspiring masters that I’m familiar with and came up with five of the best PDF Books you can download for free, study, and be amazed by. If you’ve never heard of Georges Seurat, Leonardo da Vinci, Peter Paul Rubens, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, or Vincent van Gogh, then I suggest you read more, and download while the getting is good!

It’s hard to narrow these down any further because they are all excellent in their own way. The drawings found within these books are priceless and a fountain of information and masterful work. They say one of the best ways to learn drawing is to analyze and copy a master drawing, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities here.

First we’ll start with Pieter Bruegel the Elder. He gets extra points in my eyes, only because of his wild imagination. Some of the characters within his drawings are definitely from another world.


This next book is by Peter Paul Rubens who was not only a tremendously talented artist, but also a master at design and composition. He creates powerful figures that would put Hercules to shame.


Georges Seurat can hold his own ground among the masters and you’ll see this within his drawings. He creates depth and atmosphere within his work that is very original. In the book you’ll also see some of his famous paintings.


If you are trying to learn more about anatomy this book is full of Leonardo da Vinci’s anatomical drawings. Everything from muscle structure to reproductive organs can be seen throughout this indispensable resource.


Of course, how could we forget Vincent van Gogh who really mastered the use of patterns and design within his drawings. Within the book you’ll find plenty of inspiration from his drawings as well as additional images of his paintings and preliminary sketches within letters to his loved ones.


I couldn’t finish the segment without a bonus book. One extra book to keep the creative juices flowing. This book on Andrew Wyeth will allow you to see deep into his creative process by seeing his drawings, rough sketches, and polished paintings. He was a famous painter who lived on the East Coast and did a lot of his work on the Kuerner Farm in Chadds Ford, PA…very close to where The Barnstone Studios were located. Exciting stuff, especially if you are able to visit the farm like I was!


Well, these books should keep you plenty busy for a little bit. Please continue to visit the Barnstone blog as there are many inspiring news letters from the past, and inspiration from the present coming several times each month. Please do us a favor and share this info with the social media buttons below. See you next time!

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