Jan 29, 2013

Book Review: Incredible Comic Book Women with Tom Nguyen: The Kick-Ass Guide to Drawing Hot Babes!

It’s now time for my third review, and this time we move away from the world of manga into the realm of drawing “Hot Babes!” 

The first thing that the reader will notice about this book is its tone. The author certainly has a sense of humor and isn’t afraid to use that as a vehicle to help in the learning process. From the over the top title to the wry internal captions, this book definitely does not take itself too seriously.

The content of the book is laid out in a very logical way. You begin with learning the correct way to draw components of female anatomy and then work towards drawing the full figure. This book does an excellent job on focusing on the basics of anatomical construction, the importance of action lines and building up a form with primary and secondary curves.

I wish the book had included more reference images from which the reader could put some of the concepts into practice. It’s fine to follow along with the lessons, but by the end I wanted to spread my wings a little more.

One real standout bonus for me was the fact that the author included many illustrations of common mistakes. For example, he would show how amateur artists draw long hair by over emphasizing every single strand. He then explains why this is not effective and shows a more professional approach to drawing the same hair. This technique is used throughout the book and really helps to hit ideas home, especially when (like me) you can really relate to some of the examples of how not to draw it.

One note that may sound a little silly is that I was glad to see that included in the book was a full three pages on how to draw breasts. For some unknown reason most books shy away from this topic, which is a real shame because drawing natural and realistic looking breasts is challenging and is not something that should be missed.

Why is drawing women so difficult? I know myself; I often struggle to really capture a real femininity and sexiness when I attempt to draw women. I believe that there is a real dynamism and energy in a successful drawing of a women and it’s something that only comes with a mountain of practice. I believe that if this is your goal (like it is mine) then this book is definitely for you to.

(Below is sheet of sketches, created while following along with the book.)