The Best Art Books

Find out which are the favourite books of many artists

If you've got a query leave a comment at the end of the page.


The Best Books about Drawing and Sketching 

[This will be moving to a new site soon - when it will be updated] 

Do you want to learn how to draw? Not sure which book to buy? Want to find out which which are the best books about drawing and sketching?

This site covers books - and book reviews:
  • for people wanting to learn to draw
  • about creativity and creative drawing
  • about drawing at an advanced level,
  • for people wanting to develop their drawing skills
  • for those wanting to learn about drawing by masters through the ages
  • about specific drawing techniqes
  • about using a sketchbook about drawing materials


The Best Books about  Painting

The best selling and top rated art books about painting - for beginners, improving artists and advanced painters.

The Best Books about Oil Painting 

Do you need an instruction book about how to paint in oils? Or want to develop your skills in painting with oils? Are you interested in knowing more about oil painting and oil painters? Find out about art instruction books and books about artists painting in oils which can fill in the gaps...

The Best Watercolour Painting Instruction Books

Do you want to find out more about watercolour art and artists who use watercolour? Do you need an instruction book about how to paint in watercolour? Do you want to develop how you paint using watercolour? Find out about art instruction books about...

2011: Best NEW Art Books - Mixed Media 

Explore the top new books  about mixed media art published in 2011 - in hardback, paperback and ebook editions. Listings on a month by month basis. Each book highlights the type of format, nature of the book and the reception and reviews it has had to date.

Art Basics

The Best Art Books - Colour

This site identifies leading art books about colour and includes art book reviews - for books about understanding colour, using colour, mixing colour. It was created out of The Colour Project on Making A Mark and book reviews on the blogs of participating artists.  

The Best Artist Guides for Mixing Colours 

You know the principles about mixing colours - but you'd like more help - preferably in pictures. You want to know a lot more about which colours when mixed together produce another colour. Lots of colour charts in fact - done by somebody else! Below is that help!

The Best Art Books - Composition and Design 

This site identifies leading art books about composition and design and includes reviews of art books about composition and design.

Art Business

 The Best Art Business Books 

Do you want to learn more about the business of being an artist? Looking to improve your marketing of your art - and your sales? Want to make the jump to full-time artist or illustrator but not sure what you don't know that you need to know? Thinking about setting up and art gallery and looking for tips? If any of the above apply then this site has a book which can help These are the best books on and about the art business which are available on Amazon. So while you learn more about art you can save on your business expenses!

 Art Bookshops - Resources for Artists

This site is developing a list of good art bookshops. Starting with bookshops in London, the intention is to identify other good bookshops in the UK and other countries

Best Books - top rated, best selling and/or new

Makingamark's Top 10 Fine Art Books 

Every month I used to list the fine art books identified as being the top rated and best selling books across various categories of Art Books - including books yet to be published. Find out if you know which are the top rated and best selling art books for: * drawing * painting * artists * art business * new art books

Artists' Favourite Art Books

These are the favourite art books of people who read my blog - as suggested in January 2009. Readers were asked: (1) Do you have a favourite art book? (What is is it and why?) and (2) Is there one book which had a huge impact on you and your work?


  1. You can write a comment in the comments box below

  2. Ahhh, I bought 2 books.......
    Your recommendations are so spot on and I have bought a few already. Thanks you so much.
    Whenever I want to buy an art book this is my first source!

  3. Thank you for your kind comments - I've certainly found that people seem to like the books I recommend - but it's always good to hear this! :)

  4. This site is a treasure mine. I own "Responsive drawing" and "Art of watercolor" and wow the information and awareness that you gain from the re-reads truly makes you a better artist. And Harold speeds practice of drawing teaches you about rhythm and analyzing compositions.

    What I am wondering is if you can make a list for art history books. Here are some that changed my life and revived me from boredom.

    For Modern art:
    -HH Arnason's Modern Art History 5th edition(Beautifully written survey with short descriptions that cover formal analysis and social prominence of so many artists.Painting and Sculpture sections are the best, Architecture section taught me so much as well. Photography was barely talked about though...)

    -A concise history of modern painting By Herbert Read:(even to this day more artists both obscure and well known mentioned than any other book I own. Artists range from late 19th century to mid 20th century. Most plates used are never analysed and still it manages to give so much insights into the affiliated moments that you tend to easily fill in the blanks yourself (reproductions))

    Modern European Art: Impressionism to Abstract Art (World of Art) by Alan Bowness (Gets butchered reviews from the internet but truly one of the greater gems that made me fall in love with modern painting. It focuses on fewer artists than Arnason's Survey but of the ones it cover give you an expansive and thorough reading of the works structure and significance.

    for prehistoric to present :

    -Gardners art through ages(tackle the formal qualities of artworks like no other survey)

    -Visual arts a history by Hugh Honour(Gives you a strong historical background as well as an art one. Picture a much more advanced level,expansive and elaborate "Story of Art/Grombrich")

    Sorry for long comment,Hope to see Making a Mark Grow and Wish you the best.
    Best Regards
    -Signed a Lifelong learner in the fine arts.


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