Click to preview Drawing Lessons from Civita photo book

Then there’s the “evocative.” It is all of the above, plus the memory of experience and place—the senses, the history, the structure, and the story. This is how Anita draws. This is how she connects with the world and experiences life. Hers is the hand of a practiced artist who has spent thousands upon thousands of hours honing her tool. Her pencil is her baton, and she wields it as effortlessly as most people breathe. She reaches us with her drawings because she connects so perfectly with who and what she is seeing. She becomes part of it, breathes it in, lives it, and loves it. There is humor, humility, work ethic, and confidence in this beautiful book about the ancient city of Civita. It could be a guidebook for travelers, a handbook about drawing, or an anthropological thesis about indigenous spaces and places.

What it is, though, is a book about drawing with all one’s senses, and it should be read by anyone who loves to draw.


About the Author

Anita Lehmann
ahldraws Seattle, Washington
Anita Lehmann is a registered architect in the state of Washington. She is also a teacher and an artist. After receiving training at the University of Washington, she taught freehand drawing in Rome and in Seattle, and currently offers small group classes in drawing and painting. Her other skills include architectural design, graphic design, community planning and design illustration. Using figures as disparate as bugs and urban monuments, Anita has designed several series of alphabets, which have been acquired by the Smithsonian Institution. ‘City Alphabets’ is a unique collection of illustrated highlights of American cities: for each letter of the alphabet, the iconography of a city is represented in illustration; a new alphabet, ‘Alphabugs,’ was recently launched. Prior to receiving the 2013 NAIUSI fellowship, Anita was a graduate student at the University of Washington Rome Center, in Rome in 1985. For a full résumé, please feel free to visit the artist’s website at:

Comments (1)


wcpainter says

This books is a great addition to any artist's bookshelf. I'm an artist and have been using Anita's book to make my drawings more beautiful. (I've taken a drawing class from Anita and have seen the beauty of her drawings in real life.)

My current drawing practice is to do a basic drawing exercise and then redraw the exercises using ideas from "Drawing Lessons from Civitas" on ways to do the exercise with beautiful line work, shading, shadows, etc. It is like having master teacher in the room with me.

posted at 03:20pm Jul 01 PST


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