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Monday, November 7, 2011

Art Book Reviews: Life Drawing, Dragons and Making Graphical Novels

"How to Draw and Paint Dragons" By Tom Kidd

FIRST IMPRESSIONS:
I've loved dragons since little. More so with chinese/serpent like ones but as long as it's a dragon!
So of course I'd borrow this.



POSITIVES & INTERESTING & OPINIONS:
  • great how it encourages you to be creative and how it does BOTH traditional and digital painting methods which is brilliant
  • tells you how to get inspiration--animals/scenery/textures/scales
  • delves into the different kinds of dragons, the structure, features, skeletal system, perspective, flying movements, and even helping you imagine what it might be like if YOU were a dragon in flight
  • it was at first a hard to *start* reading book because it looked like a textbook format in some areas [ie fair amount of reading] but it's well balanced with great artwork and techniques pointed out where you least expect it
  • gives you approaches in where to get reference
  • I couldn't read it in one sitting but it was an enjoyable read with pages of different artists' examples of their exploration of the world of dragons

USEFULNESS TO ME: 8/10
BOOK RATING: 8.5/10



"Bridgman's Complete Guide to Drawing from Life" By George Bridgman

FIRST IMPRESSIONS:
I've heard of George from places like ConceptArt and they said that this is a difficult read because it is a convoluted mash up of 5/6 books which are out of print. Better to read the books individually to have things make sense. Oh so true, I've found.

POSITIVES & INTERESTING & OPINIONS:
  • extremely thick book and I definitely could not read it in one sitting and hard to motivate myself to continue reading and take notes
  • pretty true; hard to follow the structure of the book--especially when I'm new to George Bridgman
  • I made the most of the great mash up of notes and drawings though!
  • I didn't have the time to actually study and go through the book comprehensively however so it's my fault I didn't make the most of it

USEFULNESS TO ME: 6/10 and more if I hadn't been procrastinating!
BOOK RATING: 8/10 it was hard to follow...



"Making Comics" By Scott McCloud

FIRST IMPRESSIONS:
At first by the cover...it seemed useful and it looked easier to read. Appeared different from other "How-to" books.

POSITIVES & INTERESTING & OPINIONS:
  • Rather than a text book format, it was all delivered in comic form AND the aspects it talks about is actually shown as examples as you go along.
  • there was a mix of some things I knew and others I didn't so it was wonderful getting some  understanding about making comics and how you can't allow any misunderstandings in communicating to your audience
  • made me check out scottmccloud.com
  • talks all about: expression/body language, searching for your own style, understanding your reason for making comics, character design, techniques to deliver your message, backgrounds, word/written form, comic forms, many examples of successful people, tools as well, very thorough!!
  • Sweet, useful, inspiring read though I can't  help connecting Scott's persona with Where's Wally/Waldo ha

USEFULNESS TO ME: 9/10
BOOK RATING: 9/10




"Complete Idiot's Guide to Creating a Graphic Novel 2nd edition" By Nat Gertler and Steve Lieber

FIRST IMPRESSIONS:
The book seemed straight to the point...so why not?

POSITIVES & INTERESTING & OPINIONS:
  • fully reminded me that comic making ISN'T where the money's at. Just like unpopular acting/musicians too. 
  • very few actually are able to live off it and the talent pool's set of standards get increasingly higher...it's not enough to be "good enough" to "succeed"--then again, I'm happy with and I want to tell stories with imagery+words in inventive ways where there will be at least some people who appreciated them and gave me feedback. That's what I aim for at least. Of course making money off it would be ideal--but doesn't everyone want that with what they love doing?
  • focused on print based comics in the American industry...so not fully applicable for me in that area
  • that the writer and the penciller/artist are both important for story wise comics
  • making mistakes in your first comic is something to learn and improve from
  • many people do it only as a side hobby; they do other jobs to survive in other words-reality check there folks!
  • full of information from being a writer, the penciller/artist and all the other stuff in print comics

USEFULNESS TO ME: 9/10
BOOK RATING:  8.5/10 the structure was too much of a textbook and yet it was actually conversational


Phew, that's done.
Okay; I won't be doing any further art book reviews in a while!


UPDATE ANNOUNCEMENT:
I won't be updating as frequently I'm afraid. There won't be a regular schedule anymore as I got other things to focus on, hence my ghosting around during this year.
I definitely will post things in the future to show how I think and work through my ideas!
Just that this time onwards, you won't know when I'll post! Haha (:
Shall try to be more active online when able.