Book Review: Freehand Figure Drawing For Illustrators

Freehand Drawing is simultaneously the most difficult form of drawing and the most liberating. Using this technique to draw figures allows an artist to use their skill and imagination without the need of a picture or a model. This provides flexibility when working from different angles and poses without a reference.

Freehand Figure Drawing For Illustrators: Mastering the Art of Drawing from Memory by comic book artist David H. Ross is an excellent new resource on the topic and a book that everyone from art students to professional artists will want to examine.

The book starts with a primer on foreshortening to help artists get an appreciation of thinking in 3D. While basic, this is also essential and something that needs to be established before attempting freehand figure drawing.

The rest of the book deals with just about every aspect of the Glass Mannequin imaginable. Positions and situations ranging from a basic figure standing to figures walking while carrying weight. Crouching, squatting, reclining, you name it.

In addition to poses, Freehand Figure Drawing spends a lot of time focusing on details…event the smallest details. Hairlines, hands and feet, anatomy, even the armpit.

While I am not convinced that this book will help improve my art, it does provide some great tips and useful ideas that I am anxious to try out.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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Book Review: Japanese Woodblock Print Workshop

Mokuhanga, a Japanese form of woodblock printing is a medium not often experimented with outside of Japan. Japanese Woodblock Print Workshop by April Vollmer hopes to change that and inspire more artists to apply these techniques in their art.

Upon a first glance through the pages in this book one can feel a bit overwhelmed at the complex designs and unconventional methods that surround this art form. Vollmer understands this and meticulously explains each step and process and includes plenty of high quality pictures to supplement the text.

In addition to being a great “how to” guide, this book delves into the history and significance of Mokuhanga, providing a well rounded understanding of why this art form is culturally and artistically important. The author’s experience and love for wood block printing is very apparent and I believe this could easily be considered the definitive resource for anyone wanting to learn more about it or give it a try.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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Book Review: The Complete Guide To Self-Publishing Comics

For those just starting out in self publishing there is a good chance you will find some useful information in The Complete Guide To Self-Publishing Comics by Comfort Love and Adam Withers. For everyone else, this is very basic stuff and some of it has a tendency to come across as very amateurish.

Of course, everyone has to start somewhere and while the creative side gets more attention than necessary this book does focus a couple chapters on the many aspects of self-publishing and marketing which are what the book title actually promises. As it rightly points out, if you want to be successful you have to put in the time and that means everything from Conventioneering to creating a strong web presence. Good tips and ideas are provided and to me these are the most important sections of this book.

With technology cheaper and easier to use than ever before, computer art, self publishing and digital books will increasingly flood the market. While this means that readers will have to sift through a lot of mediocre publications to find the gems, it also means that quality authors and artists who ordinarily would never have had an opportunity to succeed can make a name for themselves and make some real money while they’re at it.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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