Drawn from Life - a new book

Just under 1 week to go before my new book arrives in the shops on 23 March 2017.
I can't pretend that the build up to its release isn't just a little bit exciting.

Helen Birch on Amazon
I did a quick interview last week with Pyramyd - the French publisher of the book... 

The interview is available on Pyramyd's blog

English version:

Helen Birch, author of several titles on drawing translated by Pyramyd editions, answers a few questions ...

Why did you decide to write some books about drawing techniques?

I’ve always been fascinated by the immediacy of drawing. The most modest of materials can render something special. I like the diversity and apparent ease of drawing too. Whether pencil on ordinary notepaper or more expensive drawing kit on on specialist papers….there’s so much to see, think about, share and experiment with.

Through my experience as an art lecturer I’ve demonstrated and talked about drawing techniques with students. I thought that the experimental drawing outcomes from these workshops were really exciting and that others should see them, so I started blogging as drawdrawdraw. Producing a series of books was the next logical step. These books have included drawings, illustrations and paintings from international contributors and cover a wide variety of techniques.

What is your favorite drawing technique ?

I find it difficult to pinpoint just one technique! 
I like such a diverse range of drawing techniques from fine line drawings, to huge dark and messy charcoal drawings. I get a lot of satisfaction from looking at drawings, thinking about what prompted them. I like drawings that reveal something about the person making them – their ideas, willingness to experiment, conviction, and depth of research. All of these decisions can dictate which art materials an artist selects and how they are handled and ultimately - the drawing they become.

Which artists inspire you?

Again, a difficult one. A constant is Matisse, as are the drawings of Ingres, Walter Sickert, Paula Rego, Lucian Freud, Elizabeth Peyton and Frank Auerbach. I also like the illustrations of Craig Thompson, Marjane Satrapi, Raymond Briggs and Joe Sacco. This list would change if I answered the same question a day later!

Do you have any other book projects ?

I’ve been thinking about putting together a book about how to draw abstract forms, colours and patterns. There’s also the potential for more books that explore other specific drawing techniques.

Helen Birch sketchbooks

The interview is available in French too


  1. As one of your students a long time ago, I learnt loads, I have massively progressed and even Retrained myself in the last year after triple brain surgery, and this came from your inspiring teaching along with others, so thanks Helen and im hoping to be as successful as you ������

    1. Lynn - just found your message. Many apologies for the delay in replying. I've been following your Facebook posts. So good to see your health improving. Your retraining and progression is amazing to see. Exhibitions and classes facilitated by your good self happening sometime soon?
      ps Thank you so much for your kind words :-)


Post a Comment

Popular Posts