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Three Books

Banes at 12:00AM, Dec. 21, 2023

I've only read three books in my life.

Okay, that's not true - over the years I've read nearly a dozen.

But the first art-instruction book I used (at least, the earliest one I can remember) was this book
about using basic shapes to draw animals.

It was Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Animals.

The book used basic shapes to construct cartoonish-looking animals. I can vividly remember lying on the floor, flipping open the next page and fervently trying to get each animal to look right. I guess I was a little rule-follower because I felt I had to work out each animal in the book before getting to the dragon at the end. Or I had a sense that I'd need the skills learned from making the simpler animals to do battle with the dragon. I don't think I actually got that far.

When I tried to search for it to remember the title, I found it almost instantly. Looks like this is still easily available all these years later. What a great drawing book for kids!

It would have been years later, probably in my teens, that I got “How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way”.

This was similar, and it seemed like a revelation that humans (and superhumans!) could be broken down into fairly basic shapes. I'd had the earlier experience with the Drawing Animals book, but I don't think I connected these things at the time.

It was a great book, with pics by John Buscema and written in Stan Lee's jovial style.

It's only in the past couple of years that I picked up Framed Ink, which I found mind-blowing on the same level as those earlier tomes. Framed Ink is by Marcos Meteu-Mestre.

This book is outstanding, and I wrote a Newspost about it a little while back. What stuns me about it is how I can FEEL the emotions created by the images in this thing. The evidence is right there. I must admit I'm still trying to get my head around using the composition techniques in this book. The most important thing is actually knowing what effect I'm shooting for on each comic page and panel. I'm not always super solid on that.

There are some incredible art tutorials and approaches on YouTube - but I must give appreciation to these books as well.

Have you got any art books that were useful to you? What are the standouts?

Oh! And of course, Merry Christmas!
Wishing all of you all the best.


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plymayer at 1:42AM, Jan. 11, 2024

My copy of Jack Hamm's Drawing the Head and figure just arrived on the slow boat from Amazon. :)

plymayer at 9:46PM, Dec. 21, 2023

@ lothar, Figure drawing by Jack Hamm? The cover on image looks familiar. My cousin might have had this in his collection. I've seen it somewhere.

plymayer at 7:42PM, Dec. 21, 2023

Richardson and Hamm's books are well worn and often re-read or used for reference.

plymayer at 7:41PM, Dec. 21, 2023

Three books? The Complete Book of Cartooning by John Adkins Richardson, How to Drawa Comics the Marvel Way by Lee & Buscema, How to Draw Animals by Jack Hamm. But they don't begin to scratch the surface. Many other art books only a few shown here ( ) and just about every comic book I ever picked up.

lothar at 4:26PM, Dec. 21, 2023

cool my three books were Fun with a pencil by Andrew Loomis, Figure drawing by Jack Hamm, and Dynamic Figure drawing by Byrne Hogarth

paneltastic at 12:17PM, Dec. 21, 2023

Oh wow, I had forgotten all about that animal book.

Ironscarf at 7:33AM, Dec. 21, 2023

I finally got a copy of How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way a couple of years ago, cos young me always wanted one. Instead I learned from Dynamic Figure Drawing by Byrne Hogarth, a great book that also breaks the figure down but goes into greater detail of musculature, foreshortening and so on. He wrote a series of drawing books I believe but I haven't read the others. Framed ink is a great book I agree and he also wrote a couple on perspective I think, but that doesn't sound like quite so much fun to me.

PaulEberhardt at 5:48AM, Dec. 21, 2023

With just three books I could hardly last a week... ;) In fact, I've never had any book about art at all. I learned it all by observing closely and a lot of the old trial & error. However, there's this one book by Scott McCloud I borrowed for a week long ago and that I've been wanting to get for myself ever since. Your post reminded me of it, so I probably should order a copy now before I forget to again.

marcorossi at 4:08AM, Dec. 21, 2023

Hmm. This post gave me an idea on a self-gift to myself for Christmas. Hm.

jerrie at 1:31AM, Dec. 21, 2023

another great book is "Notes to draw from" by Mitch Byrd.

jerrie at 1:27AM, Dec. 21, 2023

I KEEP a copy of How to draw comics the Marvel Way. when it wears out I replace it. From time to time a person will ask me:''how do you draw that action ?" THIS old book is where I got the ideas from.

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