Art Book Reviews: Life Drawing, Action and Comic Drawing

Censored because of obvious reasons; this Blogspot is family friendly!

 “Drawing the Male Nude” By Giovanni Civardi

Well I’ve tried applying for “Life Drawing” classes thrice and things failed. And I don’t draw males as well as I draw females. So with this book I thought; hm, this looks direct and straightforward, since I don’t have real people to draw–it doesn’t have to be nude but getting the impression that I need to know what’s under the clothing to get the forms of the human body right.


  • learned that the best way to learn drawing the body is to have a real person to draw in front of you; great
  • this book is about techniques when you have a model in front of you to draw [lighting, communication with the model, etc]; what rendering and measuring techniques to use, the process in structuring the drawing, poses to practice and many examples of poses the artist has drawn that you should do yourself as practice
  • Shading techniques were touched upon and different media too–pencil based book though
  • Made me increasingly aware that looking through what other great artists do isn’t going to help me–only personal practice of my own will– but at least showed me how life drawing happens if you seek random people who are willing to do it. 
  • Didn’t do practice based on this book, but I know I need to! 

BOOK RATING: 7.5/10 if you have live male models

“Sketching People: Life Drawing Basics” By Jeff Mellem

Good, more life drawing tips!


  • Besides the blaring need for a good camera and actually getting out to draw people [which I know] it delves more into how to go about drawing people/settings from observation [and realised I did it as well without knowing]
  • Goes about life drawing in a generalised way in an organised manner from structure, gesture, expression, folds and so on.
  • I liked how different drapery folds are explained, how building blocks of the human body is explained, gesture drawings to be basic and the essence of the person
  • I read through most of it, skimmed the rest and this was a fluid read mostly!

USEFULNESS TO ME: 6.5/10 Great!
BOOK RATING: 8/10 good beginners/intermediate book for people who want to know about drawing from observation and going about it.

“Draw Comic Book Action” By Lee Garbett

I know I’m not good at “ACTION!” kind of scenes so I borrowed this to see how I’d go.


  • Besides the expected DC Comics/Marvel style of everyone and a bit of the stereotypes of appearances VS roles again [like the Fantasy Cartooning review I did], it was okay
  • This art style isn’t my cup of tea, but I’m happy to draw something differently
  • some rendering, setting, process, group shots, paneling of a comic page, different action poses
  • what I got out of this book: the action poses! I’d need to practice and refer back to when needed


BOOK RATING: 6/10 for people who want to draw in this style and to get their great poses

“Draw Comics” By Dick Giordano

Well…I’m just getting different approaches to making comics really. So I borrowed what I could find.


  • goes into panelling/camera shots–which I knew about since 2003 in a tiny animation subject I did
  • further generic roles are explained for the beginner; hero, sex appeal, allies, evil villians, thugs, variations thereof to make it less generic
  • goes into asian/african amercian faces but doesn’t go deep with it
  • inking/rendering methods and process briefly from getting the script to finished page
  • I did get some stuff out of it; but it is not a book that goes deep into each area and you essentially have to *experience* making it yourself to realise what you are missing

USEFULNESS TO ME: 4/10 perhaps. I don’t know yet. I need to start making my own anyhow
BOOK RATING: 6.5/10 for people who want to draw in this style of comics it would be 7.5 or 8

Gosh, I must add a disclaimer–these are really my opinions alone about what I thought about these books and I do not intend to maliciously criticise any book/anyone.