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Museum of Danish America Design Store

Charley Harper: How To Draw 28 Birds in Harper’s Style, Sketchbook.

Charley Harper: How To Draw 28 Birds in Harper’s Style, Sketchbook.

Regular price $25.00
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Includes the following:

  1. Introduction with instructions and brief essay about Charley Harper and his art
  2. Full-color insert showing all the birds in the book
  3. Three sequential line drawings that show how to draw each bird plus two blank, uncoated pages for drawing Harper's original image in full color.
  4. At the end of the book: thirty blank, uncoated pages for further sketching


This step-by-step visual guide to drawing 28 birds as portrayed by artist Charley Harper progresses from simple to complex images, from cardinals through owls to a roadrunner.

An avid naturalist, Charley Harper particularly liked to paint birds. He masterfully portrayed a host of species using simple lines and shapes. From the smallest songbird to the largest seabird, Harper conveyed not only the form and coloration of his avian subjects but also their personalities. His minimalist approach did not reduce the impact of his art; instead, it offered a bold and unique interpretation of nature’s winged beauties.

This sketchbook gives you the opportunity to learn how Harper captured his subjects with the fewest possible visual elements. For each of the 28 birds featured herein, we’ve included a four-page presentation. On the first page, you will find line drawings that show a three-stage process for recreating Harper’s image. The line drawings build on each other: the first one presents the most basic shapes, the second further develops the form of the bird, and the third completes the image with all the details. Following the line drawings are two uncoated sheets on which you can mimic these lines and shapes. Harper’s original full-color bird image completes each sequence. The sketchbook progresses from the simpler of Harper’s bird images to the more complex. In some cases, the line drawings present a slightly modified version of the original art.

At the end of this book, you will find 30 pages for your continued sketching, be it using Harper’s style or your own bold and unique approach. Happy bird sketching!
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