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  • May 2010
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So You Think You Can (or Can’t) Draw

I have always wished that I had artistic ability.  Other than some interesting doodles, though, not much has come out of this fantasy.

And even my doodles aren’t that interesting.

(That one isn’t mine, by the way. I just like him)

Because of this, I have always really liked all those teach-yourself-to-draw books. Some are better than others. And most of them are way too advanced for me. But there are a lot of good ones that I think even talented artists might get something out of.

Scott, Damion
How to Draw Hip-Hop
Hip-hop is more than baggy jeans and explicit song lyrics. It’s a cultural force that influences everything we see and everything we hear. Now two masters of hip-hop have joined forces to create one remarkable book. Damion Scott, a noted hip-hop artist, and Kris Ex, an internationally recognized music journalist, explain drawing basics and construction of the hip-hop look; ways to capture the style and spirit of the B-boy and B-girl; and how to draw hip-hop gear, environments, characters, and graffiti.

Hart, Christopher
Drawing Dragons and Those Who Hunt Them
From Smaug to Puff, from wyverns to Hungarian Horntails, dragons are everyone’s favorite mythological beasts. Towering, fierce, and merciless, yet devoted to their young, these dragons prey upon the medieval villagers of fantasy’s Dark Ages. Hart masterfully unfolds a story of dragon against man, illustrated with remarkable splash pages and two lavishly illustrated fold-out gatefolds of action-packed battles. Step-by-step how-tos on drawing a dragon’s fire-breathing head and awe-inspiring body, dragon horns, fire, attacking dragons, dragon flight patterns, dragon birth and death, dragon catacombs, baby dragons, hunting dragons, weapons, and even the mysterious dragon graveyard show fantasy artists how to create their own stunning, startling dragon worlds.

Baker, Kyle
Drawing Stupid
Author Kyle Baker, who only acts stupid, is in fact “the greatest cartoonist of all time,” or so he tells us. Here he presents a hard-working instruction book that provides artists with the essential skills needed for success. From the principles of drawing to turning those principles on their ear (or their rear), from conveying movement to creating a step-by-step sequence, from idea sketch to finished drawing, this is the smartest purchase any aspiring artist can make, regardless of mental acuity.

Lin, Selena
Manga School with Selena Lin
Finally, a cute and approachable “how-to-draw” manga for shojo artists. Through a series of simple lessons, global manga artist Lin teaches readers all the basics of manga creation, from selecting professional tools and character development to composing panels and inking.

And if these books aren’t motivation enough, and you are still eager to test out your abilities, come join us at Teen Art Club, Wednesday afternoons at 3:00PM at CLP Main. Middle school and high school students are welcome to drop by and try out the week’s art or craft project. You do not have to be good at anything! Just willing  to try! We make buttons and create stuff out of duct tape and draw and paint and all kinds of neat things.

If you have any questions about Teen Art Club, or you’d like a teen art book recommendation, send me an email: amorosoc@carnegielibrary.org.

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