Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Book a Day

Because my Christmas Break is now over, I thought it would be a good idea to do a new entry for my blog (which was sadly neglected in favor of Christmas and all of the wonderful joys and anxieties that go with it). But instead of doing the predictable thing and uploading some digitized project bits, I thought I would do a mini sequel to my how-to-draw blog post. Feel free to run screaming from this webspace. :)

Title: Character Mentor (by Tom Bancroft)

Who should read it: Casual and Advanced artists, illustrators, comic book/graphic novel artists, animators.

Why is it awesome?:

Quite a few people are a aware that I basically swear by Mr. Bancroft's first book (Creating Characters with Personality), so I was incredibly stoked to get my hands on the sort-of sequel. I read it the day it came in the mail, and I was NOT disappointed. While the first book focused on various aspects of character design, this book focuses on what to do with your character once you've made it amazing. Touching on subjects like perspective, line of action, posing, movement, emoting, and composition, among other things. I think my personal favorite sections were the discussion about different types of shots (Choosing Your Shot), the eyes, mouth, and neck, and the whole chapter on posing.

Unlike the original book, this how-to does not really have an assignment at the end of each chapter that allows the reader to test what they've learned. However, Mr. Bancroft included assignments that he has given out before, which include both the student art and notes on improving what was turned in. For those of us who learn from critiques, this is invaluable information. Also returning in Character Mentor are the assignments done by professional guests. It's always fun to see how different professionals approach the same set of given parameters, so be sure to take a look at those.

I highly recommend Character Mentor to any aspiring artist. Paired with Creating Characters with Personality it covers a lot of basic (and advanced) character design and drawing techniques that any artist would benefit from knowing. Pick it up and "learn by example how to bring your characters to life". :D

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