This section probably requires a bit of explanation.
Art has been a divisive topic among Christians from the beginning. At the most basic level of debate, godly believers on both sides have claimed that art inherently benefits individuals and the community, and that art inherently corrupts, regardless of the content and message. There aren't many still having this discussion.
It's when the topic of content comes up that people typically get edgy. Those defending more dubious content are usually quick to get defensive: "Why shouldn't that be in my movie/book/song? It's realistic. That's what life is like." And the other side goes on the attack: "You don't need to put that in your mind. It's just filth. Art isn't necessary."
To which we'd respond, Art is necessary. God required it of Israel in the construction and ornamentation of the Tabernacle under Bezalel; He revealed Himself through narrative art, poetry, and other literary genres in the Bible; and as the Creator of all things He offers Himself as an example for His people.
The next question is a bit more difficult: What should art depict? God's creation (i.e., everything) is the source for our creative efforts, but as Christians our duty is to choose that which is beneficial and edifying. Does that mean we don't put any "bad" stuff in our art? No, it means (taking the Bible as our cue) that we include only dubious content that serves to make a point or portray an aspect of human nature in light of reality and God's Word.
So, how does all this relate to "advanced drawing instruction"? If you browse our selection below, you'll notice some books that instruct artists in drawing the unclothed human figure. We actually thought hard before including these volumes, not wanting to offend, but also not wanting to reject such titles for the wrong reasons.
The Bible never actually says nudity is a bad thing. It describes times and places in which it is and is not appropriate, and we (as Christians) are expected to abide by those regulations. However, the naked person is as much a creation of God worthy our admiration as a flower or a tiger. What a naked person should not be is an object of lust.
Some will no doubt argue that that is the only context in which naked figures, artistic or otherwise, can appear. Yet in the Bible nudity is more often associated with shame than lust, and a simple drawing that depicts a naked man or woman in order to elicit admiration and honor actually accomplishes a far different goal than one attempting to encourage unwholesome desire.
As fashion routinely shows, it's often easier to foment desire with images of partially (or even entirely) clothed people than people who are divested of all clothing. At the root of how a drawing or painting is received is how it is represented, and a nude portrait is often ennobling rather than titillating.
Having said all that, "Advanced Drawing Instruction" has books of all sorts, and refers more to the ability level of the artist rather than the maturity of the content. We encourage you to browse our selection, and to remember that often we must draw our own lines of conscience, knowing what may tempt us unnecessarily. Mostly, we encourage you and your kids to enjoy drawing, and to do whatever you do for the glory of God Almighty.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here
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