Experimental Drawing – Robert Kaupelis

Title: Experimental Drawing

Author: Robert Kaupelis

Publisher: Watson-Guptill

Year: 1992

Number of Pages: 192

Available at: Amazon


  • Chapter 1
    • A Few Words
  • Chapter 2
    • Some basics: contour, gesture and modelled drawing
  • Chapter 3
    • Organization/ Structure
  • Chapter 4
    • Using light and dark
  • Chapter 5
    • Photographs, grids, and projected images
  • Chapter 6
    • probing a single form-idea
  • Chapter 7
    • Old and modern masters appreciated and exploited
  • Chapter 8
    • Drawing extended
  • Chapter 9
    • Now to begin…

About the author

Robert Kaupelis (1928-2009) Born in Amsterdam, New York

Professor of Art and Art Education at New York University for 30 years. He was one of the outstanding teachers of art in the nation. His paintings and mixed media artworks have been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums around the US.

Learn more about Rober Kaupelis



As the saying goes: you must first learn the rules before breaking them.

This book talks about traditional drawing techniques and then show you how different artists tested and pushed through the boundaries to break the rules to create interesting masterpieces and artworks. There are many images of different artists work ranging from the old masters to recent contemporary artists, each of them has a short description about the artwork to help you have a better understanding of the meaning behind the artwork.

The book is also in the structure of a class and has exercises that range from challenging to tedious to help you experiment and develop your own style of drawing. The way the book is written lets you feel as if you are in a classroom.

My experience

I got this book as reading material for my ongoing art course. Reading this book has opened my eyes and let me see art in a different way. I have little understanding of things like abstract art and only thought of traditional art as the only way to go, this book gave me a better understanding of contemporary art. I’ve brushed up on my theory and at the same time learnt many ways i can experiment with my drawings, be creative and express myself. I realised that a drawing doesn’t have to look realistic to be good. Drawing can be a form of expression that can get your viewers thinking.

Things to take note

This book is printed in black and white, so the artworks shown in this book will not be coloured, which can take a lot of meaning out of them. However, a simple google search for the artwork will be able to help you see the artworks in colour.

Interested in this book?

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post.

If you get the book through the links I’ve provided, I get a small commission fee which helps me continue reviewing art materials and books.

Some of my other art book reviews:


16 Responses

  1. What an interesting book, I was a budding artist in my school years and I’ve always regretted letting the skill go since I qualified at A Level sitting. 

    Personally, I think this sort of art is a lot more interesting than your more traditional versions. Finding out what drove these artists to think outside the box and create something fresh makes the person themselves more interesting. 

    I’m wondering how much detail they go into with each piece they cover. For instance, do they give enough tips for the reader to go out and try the technique for themselves?

    1. Thankyou for the question. Some exercises have very detailed instructions for you to follow and some just give you a general direction to experiment with. There are also tips and example work of the authors’ students work from his classes for you to gain inspirations from. Hope this helps. 

  2. Firstlyi want to say this is a great book and things might have been easier for some of us growing up when we discovered we love to draw. It is always nice to have some form of guide as one journey towards the road of been a professional artist. That’s why I’m glad I came across your article on this book. I presently have a nephew who also loves to draw and I think this is gonna be a great book for him and every other artists out there.

  3. As a lover of creating things and also viewing beautiful pieces of art, I find your website both beautiful and interesting.  This book, even though you state it is only in black and white, would really be helpful in learning how to draw.  I mean, I know when I took my first several art classes in college, we didn’t use color at all.  It was all done in black and white, so I guess I would think a drawing book might find color distracting, which might be why the author chose to stay in the black and white instead of adding the color.

    1. Thankyou! I think you have a point there. Black and white can show values better and in art, getting the values right are most of the time more important than getting the colours right. So that might be the author’s intention. 

  4. Art is one hobby of mine that I’m fast losing interest in. But, articles like this tend to reignite it’s waning appeal in my creative life. 

    I’ve never thought of learning art theoretically before. But, now that the threat to my artistic life is becoming more real, I think I need to take drastic measures. And reading books is a great way to start. 

    I’ve always thought that drawings have to be completely pic perfect and realistic, to be good, but now, I think I’d adopt your mind set of being original, creative and flexible and creating my own style, no matter how it comes out and then, grow from there.

  5. thanks for this review..recently have been thinking on how to get books that will be helpful for my artworks especially on traditional drawing and to expand my understanding and knowledge on Art as a whole also..i will definitely get this book from amazon and i will also recommend it to a friend for his ongoing course also..thank you once again 

  6. Helo there! 

    I appreciate your brief and precise review on this drawing book. It’s great to know about a great icon in the world of drawing Robert Kaupelis. I have passion for drawing while I was a kid but I diverted from it to go to the university and I never had the chance to do anything related to drawing. I am happy I found myself on your site to get this book. I have already made an order on Amazon, I will surely send my feedback on my progress with 

  7. Wow! Great job Mr. Kaupelis. I must congratulate to you for this book. Because I feel excited to read ‘Experimental Drawing’ after reading this wonderful review. The contents of this book really sound good. I acquired some minor knowledge of drawing when I was in school. It was very enjoyable for me. I think your book will be very valuable to know the fundamentals of drawing well. I am sure to collect this informative book from Amazon. Thank you so much for the review.

    1. Thankyou! Glad you find the book interesting. Hope it will live up to your standards when you’ve read it. 


    While going through it I felt that it would have been complete if you have added some more information about the subjects mentioned in the content of the book, in your words. That way the reader may understand what they will be going to read after purchasing the book. Off course you have cleared it in the description but it is in very short. I feel More elaboration on the subject of the book is necessary.

    Secondy, you have mentioned the book is printed in Black & White, & people can Google search for color images if they want to. But I was expecting your own comment on this. How it can be justified? Is it necessary to go for color images?


    1. Thankyou for your comment. I had a look at the review again after seeing your comment. I do agree that the description may be a little short. I will add in more information on the book that the reader can expect. 

      As for the black and white images, I don’t know the authors real intent in this but as I said colours in image sometimes are used to portray mood. Taking them away may give viewers a completely different feeling or understanding of an artwork. However, maybe the authour is trying to focus on the values of the artworks. 

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