Andrew Marr ‘A Short Book About Drawing’

I’ve had this book for quite a while, I can’t remember where I bought it but I picked it up because it was in the sale and I thought it might be quite interesting. It’s sat on the bookshelf in my art room for well over a year.

A few weekends ago I found myself in the unusual situation of having plenty of time but not feeling like I wanted to draw or paint. Usually I’m desperately trying to carve 30 mins in my day to find time to draw but having had plans cancel at the last minute this weekend the free time came as a bit of surprise and I just couldn’t get my head in the right frame of mind to paint.

Maybe it’s because I’m in the middle of a 100 day challenge or maybe it’s just tiredness but either way I thought it was good excuse to catch up on some reading.

The book is an interesting one, it’s very well written which you’d expect from Andrew Marr and very honest with his sketches and drawings of varying quality throughout. He touches briefly on this stroke, the impact it had and the role drawing played in his recovery but doesn’t give too much detail as I suspect he wants to keep this as a very private challenge.

The book is an interesting mixture of theory and subjective opinion and charts the history of drawing along with some thoughts from himself and others as to why we draw. He ponders such questions as what is the difference between drawing and painting? Why drawing is such a source of happiness when it’s actually bloody hard work. Why do we draw? What’s the point of drawing?

I had one of my sketchbooks to hand and found myself scribbling down some of his theories as well as some lovely quotes such as “Learning to draw is learning to remember. Learning to remember is learning to look harder” and “drawing gives your mind a bit of space to catch up”.


It’s not a heavy book, informative but really easy to read so if you have a space hour I’d recommend it

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