Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Say Hello to your New Best Book-Friend with The Art of Animal Drawing!

Anyone who expects to do a lot of freehand drawings (as opposed to copypasta or just tracing from photographs for the rest of your life) needs references to make sure they know what they're doing. Doubly so for when you're actually trying to draw something that other people are supposed to be able to identify, like an animal.

That's where Ken Hultgren's The Art of Animal Drawing comes in. Don't worry: Like the book itself, this review is short on words.

Production Values: It looks and feels like a old book, and indeed it is -- 1950, in fact. Good thing the book itself is pretty timeless as an art reference.

Content: The book teaches plenty of stuff about anatomy, form, rendering, lines of motion (for animation and sequential art), although it tends to focus on this for certain animals over others. The good news is that it also makes obvious that some animals are fairly similar to others in terms of general motion and form, so this isn't as big a problem as it sounds.

Breeze-ability: It's all PICTURES. Come on.

Resourcefulness: This thing flies off my shelf all the time. If you're drawing animals / furry often, you'll find yourself referring to this book over and over again for everything from tails to feet to faces.

The Verdict: No question. If you've got animals in your comic at all and you're aiming for any degree of realism and/or do not want every four-legged animal being mistaken for a doggy, this is not absolutely vital. Useful for Animal Lovers.

I suppose the rest of you needing reference pics will just have to settle for nude human references like Playboy Magazine . . .

. . . wait a minute, who's getting the short end of the stick here?

Like this Review? There'll be more to come in the following weeks, so you'll want to subscribe to this blog to make sure you read the rest!

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