Apr 2, 2013

Book Review: Sketch Fantasy Art (A Draw-Inside Step-by-Step Sketchbook)

Well between starting a new day job and moving to a new house it’s been a number of weeks since my last book review. I am happy to say that my life is starting to settle back to normal (as it ever was) and I can concentrate on bringing back these reviews in a regular fashion.

This time around, we are taking a look at Sketch Fantasy Art: A Draw-Inside Step-by-Step Sketchbook. It is part of a series of books that all follow the same draw-inside format, yet works just fine as a standalone volume. The format of the book follows the usual sort of instructional step by step format in which the reader starts with drawing the heads of characters and works their way up to entire forms. The twist is that there are blank pages aside of each printed page so that you can draw along with each lesson inside of the book itself. I found this really simple format change to be quite useful. As someone like myself whom is usually trying to balance any number of reference books and electronic devices around me, being able to pare down the number of books that I have to juggle open at the same time is very welcome.

One aspect of the book I felt was lacking and that was the quality of the paper. Normally I wouldn’t be bothered by the thin magazine style printed paper but since you are expected to also sketch on it, I found it less then enjoyable to draw on. This is a small point but worth mentioning.

The themes in the book mostly center on drawing fairies, angels and mermaids which is a nice change from the usual big macho creatures that you usually find in books of this ilk. I really enjoyed the section on drawing mermaids and how to design there structure so that the human and marine portions of their bodies both twisted and moved in a believable way. I also really liked the lessons that involved drawing a character through different stages of life, starting at childhood and into adulthood. I found this to be very worthwhile as children have their own proportions and characteristics which make them challenging to draw for the unpracticed.

I would say that this is a worthwhile purchase for anyone that is looking to add a fantasy themed how to book, that is a little different than the norm and especially if you want to take your mermaid drawing game up a notch.

(I created this mermaid sketch based on one of the lessons in the book)

To view more of my work please visit my website  www.shaunpatterson.com
For questions about my freelance availability, please email me at canadian.shaun@gmail.com 

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