When I was thirteen in the summer of 1954 my Dad gave me a book How To Draw Dogs by a man named Walter Foster. For me, this book was the most magical gift of my childhood. Pretty soon I was learning how to draw Spaniels and Retrievers and Boston Bulldogs and Irish Setters. I couldn't stop drawing. In no time I had to have another book about How to Draw Horses. I bugged my Dad about it because I didn't have much of an allowance and I thought I'd never save enough. I think I was really annoying. My Dad told me I'd have to wait until Christmas.
In the meantime I started visiting the library eight blocks away from our house to take out all the books about horses I could find. I started reading novels including Black Beauty and Green Grass of Wyoming and My Friend Flicka and my favourite horse book of all, King Of The Wind.
With all the reading about horses I was doing, I became obsessed with reading and drawing and the following summer I went to a ranch camp for kids called Arrowhead Ranch in Ontario. I spent the summer riding horses and drawing them and working as an assistant counsellor so I could stay the whole summer. It was a wonderful summer. I returned from camp with a sketch book filled with horse drawings. I knew I was an artist. And it was all because of that book my Dad bought me for my summer birthday, How to Draw Dogs by Walter Foster.
And you know what? There is a website for Walter Foster Books about Drawing.
www.walterfoster.com/ and there are more books about drawing puppies and dogs and cartooning and all kinds of things.
I guess there have been many others who started their drawing careers with a Walter Foster book about how to draw.
Note: The picture here is a drawing I did recently of Wally, a family dog. You can see I still like drawing dogs.