Over the years, I’ve really come to enjoy art how-to books. I can attribute much of my influences to them. These books are great books for art theory and are also great graphical reference books. While sitting at my desk, I often grab one of these books off my shelf for answers or much needed inspiration. In this article, I’m only going to review a few notable books that I’ve recently enjoyed and one that I continue to use anime websites Anime story summary.
The book, How to Draw Manga: Sketching Manga-style All about Perspective is a must have for anyone especially new artists. I thoroughly enjoy this book. The book centers around perspective when dealing with all sorts of things like people, building, and scenes. It uses beautiful images to teach the fundamental concepts of perspective.
Back in 2006 I purchased a book called How to Color for Comic by Guru-eFX. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised since this book is about color but, it has so much eye-candy and vividly Photoshoped pages. The book leads you to believe that it is just for American Comic Books but, they also use Manga art as well. It takes you all the way from the basics of color to applying layers and FX in Photoshop. I would suggest this book for anyone struggling to learn Photoshop or those who want to know more about it and how it applies to Comics and Manga. At the time I purchased this book, I was just starting to learn how to color my drawings in Photoshop. I must say that my skill level grew by leaps and bounds. In addition, they give you the hot keys used to do all of the techniques they speak about. I still refer to this book today and really enjoy the art inside.
Recently, I ran across the book called How to Draw Manga: Making Anime when I was in Hastings book store. This was a jewel of a find and I wasn’t even aware of its existence in the series. It’s rare that you find anything that is specifically about the Japanese animation process. It takes you all the way through the process with nice explanations and examples. There are pictures of a real production in the works and the guys and gals using the old animation equipment. A lot has changed in Anime with computers but a lot is still the same in regards to the workflow and the spirit of making animated films.
One thing that I have found as I continue to grow as an artist is that there is always something new to learn. I try to remain on the lookout for that gem, that new skill, that aha moment. I never stop being amazed by what artists are capable of creating.