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

“How to Draw and Paint Dragons” By Tom Kidd

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.


  • 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


“Bridgman’s Complete Guide to Drawing from Life” By George Bridgman

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.


  • 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

At first by the cover…it seemed useful and it looked easier to read. Appeared different from other “How-to” books.


  • 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
  • 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


“Complete Idiot’s Guide to Creating a Graphic Novel 2nd edition” By Nat Gertler and Steve Lieber

The book seemed straight to the point…so why not?


  • 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

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!

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.