Best Books to Inspire New Art Ideas

Top Art Books for New Ideas and Techniques

It’s an artists continual challenge to find new inspiration; from gathering new ideas, trying a new styles, or new mediums. Books from the old masters are a great way to push your artwork to a better quality, detail, style and concept. Check out the best of the best with these great master as you get a behind the scenes look of their ideas, thought processes, different lifestyles, and studios. The best way I find new ideas is to start browsing through one of the best books from an old artist master.

50 Secrets of Master Craftsmanship by Salvador Dali

Discovering the Secrets of New Artist Skills

Sure many have seen Salvador Dali’s great surrealist paintings. The Persistence of Memory, the melting clocks, and surreal landscapes are some of the great Dali’s great classics. The 50 magic secrets of Master Craftsmanship starts with the 5 different types of strokes, and brushes; all the way through secret of pointy mustaches, and housing spider webs to catch the dust from getting on your paintings. One of the best features about the 50 magic secrets book are all the sketches, ideas, and techniques laid out throughout the book. You can see Dali’s ink illustrations, mathematical processes, and the eye of a true surreal artist. I would definitely add a couple of chapters of the book to your artist bible.

Why is this one of the best books for inspiring new artworks?

Aside from all the great things that come from an biography, history, sketches, and ideas of old artists; 50 Magic Secrets of Master Craftsmanship is written by Salvador Dali himself. The word use, tangents and descriptions within the book are just as eccentric as his paintings.

“Looking through the five cobwebs you will be wonder-struck as you see the bowl, by virtue of the rays of the setting sun, become irradiate by the most subtle and golden mother of pearl tints of thousands of rainbows.” – 50 Magic Secrets of Master Craftsmanship, Salvador Dali.

Leonardo Da Vinci Notebooks : Blooms with Inspiration, Technique, and Ideas

Unveil the Ideas of Leonardo

Another true view into art masters worlds is Leonardo’s Notebooks. This is an in depth curated book of all Leonardos’s inventions, paintings, ideas, prototypes, and techniques. Relearn the human body ratios from eyes, to lips to shoulders and toes; to draw better figures. Check out all the innovative ideas from flying machines to steampunk looking robots. Relearn shadows, and highlights to get the high volume out of your painted figures. Leonardo’s Notebooks is an inspirational book from one of the best artists and engineers of our time.

Van Gogh: The Life

This is a New York Times best seller with an in-depth look at Van Gogh’s life. As one of the worlds well known artists, with the Starry Night and for cutting off his ear, he actually wasn’t to well known until years after his death. Van Gogh’s bouts with depression and mental illness, inspired many different feelings, and expression through artwork. His pure emotions gave him a new impressionist style and vision on the world. Read more through Van Gogh: The Life.

Art and Fear by David Bayes and Ted Orland


Sometimes getting over the humps of new developing new artworks have a lot to do with uncertainty and insecurity of your future in artwork. From developing as an art student to being a professional artist, this book is a great kick starter for provided a path your keeping yourself motivated in developing new art. Art and Fear gives you a business and phycological kick you need to keep pushing your artwork forward and becoming successful at it.

Master Artist Books Inspire New Art Ideas

New inspiration is hard to come by, yet it is all around you. A new book from one of these master is a sure way to open your eyes a little further into quality and new ideas to kick you back into your own art world.