Ways of Drawing Artists' Perspectives and Practices

The Royal Drawing School, Julian Bell, Julia Balchin, Claudia Tobin

A generously illustrated collection of essays on drawing as a vital intellectual, artistic, and life practice—by the artists of the Royal Drawing School.


Drawing is among the most direct ways of engaging with the world; a way not just of seeing, but of understanding what you see. At once inspirational and instructive, Ways of Drawing collects a rich variety of reflections on the craft from practicing artists, teachers, and writers.

The book is divided into three sections: Studio Space, which focuses on drawing within four walls; Open Space, which ventures out into the cityscapes and landscapes around us; and Inner Space, which returns to the living, feeling, drawing person. Each section is comprehensively illustrated with a wealth of drawings, prints, and paintings by faculty and alumni of the Royal Drawing School in London, works by established artists past and present, and photographs of artists at work. Short “In Practice” pieces, ranging from a recipe for making oak-gall ink to ideas for drawing from poetry, complement explorations of what it means to draw and personal accounts of artistic development.

Passionately advocating for drawing as deeply personal and utterly essential, Ways of Drawing is an inspiring, intelligent companion for artists and aspiring artists who are seeking new ways of thinking about their practice.


Assembles a wide range of recent work, together with essays and drawing exercises on the human form, the city and nature. There is much material here for art students, teachers, amateurs and enthusiasts.

— The Wall Street Journal


The Royal Drawing School


Julian Bell

Edited By

Julian Bell is a writer and artist. He currently teaches at the Royal Drawing School, London, and writes about art for journals, including the Times Literary Supplement and London Review of Books. He is the author of several acclaimed books, including What Is Painting? and Mirror of the World: A New History of Art.

Julia Balchin

Edited By

Julia Balchin is Director of Education & Enterprise at the Royal Drawing School in London.

Claudia Tobin

Edited By

Claudia Tobin is currently a Leverhulme Early Career Post-doctoral Fellow in Cambridge. She recently devised a program on Literature and Art at the Royal Drawing School in London.