Art Books: My Suggestions for a Basic Library

Over the years I have accumulated a number of art books…A LOT of art books. I can justify having so many because they were needed in teaching art and then in writing my Harmony Fine Arts plans.

What would I suggest as a basic art book reference library? What have I used the most over the years and can’t live without? What are some books to look for used?

Good questions.

I will share my suggestions for you to check out. If you are on an email subscription, you will need to click over to the actual blog to see the links. I have tried to break down the books by category.

Absolute Staples in My Art Library-Used Over Many Years

  • Drawing With Children by Mona Brookes. Free plans for using this book HERE.
  • Mark Kistler’s Draw Squad -here is his website .
  • The Usborne Introduction to Art-Internet Linked
  • Story of Painting by Sister Wendy-Large images with some images showing close-ups of the paintings. I just realized that this book is out of print. Look for this used.
  • Discovering Great Artists -along with their website and my review HERE.
  • Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists –check out their website. I purchase these as we study each artist. My boys love the humor and style of these books.

Coloring Books to Have On Hand

  • Art Masterpieces to Color: 60 Great Paintings
  • Impressionists Art Masterpieces to Color
  • Color Your Own Famous American Painters

Additional Books for Additional Depth

  • Come Look With Me series -you can read my review of this series HERE
  • Monet and the Impressionists for Kids -loaded with wonderful ideas

For Hands On Fun and Art Skills Development

  • Watercolor For The Artistically Undiscovered
  • Draw Real Animals-You can read my review HERE.

Art Instruction
Artistic Pursuits These guides and lesson plans are a wonderful way to organize your art appreciation as well as learn some art skills. If you can afford to purchase a guide, you can use it with multiple children and spread out the study over a couple of years.

Artcards from Dover
Click over to Dover and you can type in an artist’s name and you should get a set of cards you can purchase. I try to purchase a few sets a year and we have a great collection to look at and enjoy. We use the cards to study an artist or a particular style of art.

If you are looking for suggestions for art supplies, you can click over to my Squidoo Lens to see what I suggest for a basic inventory of supplies.


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