I wanted to share a few of my favourite books that explain the elements of art and design in an easy to understand way.
The first one is by Molly Bang, Picture This: How Pictures Work. Ms. Bang found that after writing, illustrating and publishing many books she struggled with the basic knowledge of how pictures worked, as in how basic principles of picture structure determine our emotional response—our feeling about a picture. This is the only book she has written for adults but it is very appropriate for children as well.
She uses the iconic tale of Little Red Riding Hood to show how the artist can create tension and build the story from mundane to having an element of fear. Artists of all levels can use what they learn to make their pictures more emotionally powerful.
A Book About Design: Complicated Doesn’t Make it Good by Mark Gonyea is an absolute gem of a book that introduces the concepts of design in an approachable way.
Using a sense of humour and simple shapes, lines and many examples he illustrates why designs work and why they don’t and how we can learn to make them better.
I turn to these books often and they are a great way to help artists of any age learn more about design. Happy reading!