JeffMellem.com

Bibliophile

Art Books:

Sketching People: Life Drawing Basics

My book on drawing and sketching.

Vilppu Drawing Manual

An excellent text on figure drawing.

Bridgman’s Complete Guide to Drawing from Life

Bridgman is one of the classic teachers of figure drawing.

Strength Training Anatomy

While designed for body builders, this book is a great reference for anatomy in motion.

Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist

The classic book on anatomy for artists.

Human Anatomy for Artists: The Elements of Form

A very in-depth look at anatomy designed for artists.

The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation

An excellent book written by 2 of the best Disney animators ever. Great for animation, story telling, and history of the artform.

First Steps Painting Watercolors

A good text to get your feet wet with watercolor. More useful for sketchbook painting than traditional watercolor paintings.

Africa: An Artist’s Journal

An amazing example of a sketchbook as an artform.

Dinotopia

A children’s book designed to look like an explorer’s sketchbook.

Books on specific artists:

Drawings of Harry Carmean (Master Draughtsman Series)

Leonardo da Vinci, 1452-1519: Sketches and Drawings

Essential Michelangelo

Writing and Creativity:

How to Get Ideas

The best and most clear book on creativity.

Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment

Explains the journey from novice to expert.

Art of Living: The Classical Mannual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness (Plus)

One of the most influential philosophy books written around 100AD, re-written in modern, clear language.

Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting

One of the best books if you want to understand the basics of storytelling.

Story: Substance, Structure, Style and The Principles of Screenwriting

A more substantial book on storytelling to read after Syd Field’s Screenplay book.

Getting the Words Right: 39 Ways to Improve Your Writing

Read this before you start to re-write your first draft.

Damn! Why Didn’t I Write That?

A straightforward book on how to get a non-fiction book published.

Novels that are worth your time:

A Confederacy of Dunces

God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

Breakfast of Champions: A Novel

The Agony and the Ecstasy: A Biographical Novel of Michelangelo

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Other Essentials:

The Complete Calvin and Hobbes (Calvin & Hobbes) (v. 1, 2, 3)