How to draw cartoons – a book review
How to draw Cartoons
by Brian Platt
This is a fantastic little book. It’s only 64 pages long but it’s amazing how much information the author imparts in such a small space. Better still, all the instruction consists of the author showing and doing what he’s asking the reader to do. It’s all done in the author’s own inimitable style, with his characters teaching you via their speech balloons. Really, nothing could make it easier to read and learn.
First draw a page of circles – these are your cartoon heads – then add eyes, noses, mouths. It all builds up into complete cartoon figures. I was a bit sceptical. I mean how much can really be taught in such a small space? And how much time is this gonna take?
But it works! I’m a believer! Buy this book if you have any desire to be a cartoonist and don’t know where to start. After about 20 minutes of Mr Platt’s face drawing exercises, I could see that I was starting to develop my own style. Well, almost.
Gee, I love this book. It’s life-changing! I’m taking a break from writing about business (well, for a couple of weeks at least) and am immersed in cartoons and cartooning now. I’ve also ‘met’ some brilliant cartoonists. This is fun.
Brian Platt’s advice is very pragmatic. If you can’t draw something – cheat. You need to draw a horse but you can’t draw horses? No problem. Hide the horse behind a convenient bush. Easy.
Cartooning doesn’t have to be an expensive hobby either. All you need to get the most out of this book is some paper (ordinary typing paper will do), a pencil, an eraser, and a black felt tip pen. (Of course if you get into it you can buy more supplies later on. Some of the professional graphics tablets could set you back £xxxx. But you don’t need that to get started.)
I can’t praise this book highly enough. And at a cost of less than a cup of tea in some places, what have you got to lose? If you’d like to try your hand at cartooning, then do yourself a favour and buy this book today!
2 Responses to “How to draw cartoons – a book review”
You’re right. It’s an amazing book. I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised about how much he can teach in 64 pages – cartooning is all about being concise and clear. At least, modern cartooning is, since Hergé’s created Tintin.
Are you interested in cartooning yourself? It might come in handy to illustrate your books. Since I got the book, I also bought a drawing tablet – a Wacom Bamboo Fun, which I love. Plus I decided to buy PhotoShop CC for Dummies. Perhaps I should review those next but I have quite a backlog of business and other books to write about. Hmm, we’ll see.
I quickly got to the stage where I can draw with the tablet without needing to use pencil and paper at all. Some people draw on paper then scan in the image for colouring and special effects.
Have to say I’m really enjoying this new hobby! But it’ll take a while to get to the stage where I’d be proud to publish any of my drawings, perhaps to illustrate my blog posts.