Thrift Item of the Moment

April 1, 2007

“How to Draw” Books

How to draw horses

I’m not a visual artist, but I’m really drawn (sorry) to the Walter Foster “How to Draw” books. They’re large and beautiful and the pages are crammed with luscious color illustrations, black and white sketches…

how to draw horses - sketches

…and a bare minimum of helpful instructional text to make me believe that with a few lines and circles and a little bit of shading, I too can draw a horse/leaping buck/tastefully disrobed woman.

hoofed animals - nudes

I’m not sure when they were published because they’re not dated, but my guess would be late 50s or early 60s. The earlier ones (I presume) have a cover price of $1.00 (“Not more than $1.25 in any foreign country”) and later ones are priced $2.00. I bought How to Draw Horses last week for 69¢.


My sentimental favourite is Animation by Preston Blair. I loved it as a lad and was delighted to find it again recently. My career as a “cartoonist” never happened, but I wonder how many animators were spawned by this book.


3 Responses to “Thrift Item of the Moment”

  1. marlena Says:

    These are lovely. I have a small unintentional collection of like publications: The Magic of Oil Painting, 32 Painting Lessons in Oil, Red Barns and Other Scenes (all from Michael), Small Paintings That Sell (a fabulous prize from a Name That Tune gala), Painting With Elke Sommer (from my friend Jeff),and How to Make Flowers with Dennison Crepe Paper (from my friend Pat).I guess I should learn how to use my new scanner and then I could show you them.

  2. […] cake it became one of the most frequently googled items on this blog (though not as popular as how to draw horses or the Sylvers). To make it, fill a metal bowl with softened ice cream and freeze. Unmold, add a […]

  3. Alyssa Says:

    Ah! I have the How to Draw Horses book, and I also have portrait and cartoon (although I think my cartoon one is different).

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