Lately I’ve been trying to practice my people drawing skills. I can draw them, don’t get me wrong, they just look… off. So I thought this book, Manga Art: Inspiration and Techniques from an Expert Illustrator by Mark Crilley, might help with that. However, this book is not a step-by-step for drawing people. So it didn’t help me with that aspect.
But this book did help me with a lot. It’s very well put together, and the author takes you through the basics of Manga art. He talks about coloring techniques and even tells you the different methods he used to finish each piece in the book, and the ideas behind the piece. He even goes so far as to share Youtube tutorials for some of his work featured in the book. I personally think that his art is beautiful. Manga style art usually is, and someday I will learn to draw it.
While reading this book, I also learned a bit about the Japanese culture. He tries to incorporate it into his work. There are are pieces featuring traditional food stalls, temples, doorways, train rides and canned coffee (which apparently a thing in Japan, hot canned coffee from a vending machine.) He mentions that his wife is Japanese and credits her with much of his knowledge. Through out the chapters he does give assignments if you’d like to try some of the techniques he uses, I think someday soon, I might sit down and go through the book again, and try to complete them all.
He also encourages you to imitate famous art styles. It’s good practice and it broadens your horizons. It will push you to try thing you wouldn’t ordinarily try with your art, it makes you think outside the box. he demonstrates his own art in a variety of different styles from Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbs style art to Gustav Klimt pattern filled style.
I really enjoyed reading this book, and seeing all the art work he completed for it (including sketches to finished pieces.) Anyone who is interesting, in drawing, Manga or Japanese culture should definitely pick up this book because it’s great! (Click on the cover image below to view/buy the book from Amazon, any purchase through my affiliate links help me greatly)