This sorta-kinda-not-really has to do with writing. Well, maybe a little. You see these are all books, just not concerning writing. They are all about drawing which is something I love to do when I’m not writing. I do use these books many times with my writing, though. I like drawing my characters to help me visualize them. I do a good amount of fanart as well. 😉 Anyway, these are five drawing books that have really helped me to learn how to draw and paint.
5. Dragonart’s Fantasy Characters by J “Neondragon” Peffer
This was one of the first drawing books I checked out when I began drawing. The author’s style is realistic cartoon, something that really appeals to me. There’s everything from braids to fairy wings to elves to dwarves in this book. Her step-by-step instructions are clear and easy to follow not to mention there are entertaining cartoons on every page. The only thing I don’t like about this book is Part 3: Things that Go Bump In The Night. It’s full of vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and things I’m not really into. I personally choose not to use that section, but I still find the rest of the book really helpful, especially the fashion section at the end.
4. Painting Animal Friends and Painting More Animal Friends by Jeanne Filler Scott
I mostly draw manga/anime style characters, but I do occasionally branch out to painting more realistic animals. These books teach you how to paint different animals step-by-step. The animals range from cats and dogs to peacocks and cows. It’s a great series for anyone who wants to try their hand at acrylic painting, especially the beginner.
3. How to Draw Manga Chibis & Cute Critters by Samatha Whitten and Jeannie Lee
My favorite part of Manga style is the chibis. I love chibifying characters such as Kili, Captain Jack Sparrow, and most recently, Loki and Khan. The more chibi help I can get, the better! This book is awesome if you’re looking to learn how to draw chibis. It has everything from chibi clothes to chibifying animals. It also goes through and shows the differences between a manga styled piece and a chibi style drawing.
2. Drawing Dragons by Sandra Staple
This is the book that started me drawing. I’d never really liked to draw, but I checked this book out, because, hey, dragons are cool. This book changed how I felt about drawing. Unlike other dragon books, this one focuses just on dragons. No people, just dragons. The author’s simple step-by-step instructions will have you drawing dragons in no time! She has a good sized reference section for different dragon designs which is very helpful when you’ve started branching out from her ideas.
1. Mastering Manga and Mastering Manga 2 by Mark Crilley
Without a doubt, I owe most of what I know about drawing to Mr. Crilley! I’ve learned so much from his YouTube channel, and I can see a huge difference in my art from when I started watching his channel until now. Since I can’t take my wifi connection everywhere and always have his videos handy, his how-to-draw books are the next best thing! Mastering Manga takes you through the basics of manga style art. There’s also a nice section on eyes, hair, shoes, hands, and poses if you need a little inspiration. Mastering Manga 2 is a “level up” with more complicated poses and scenes with foreshadowing and backgrounds. Another plus is that Mr. Crilley’s work is clean, so there are no worries about half-clothed anime girls which is a big problem with this genre.
Here’s one of Mr. Crilley’s timelapse videos:
Thanks to Jennifer K. Marsh who encouraged me to share some of my character drawings on my blog.
What are your favorite drawing books? Have you used any of these? If so, did you like them? Comment below and tell me!