What a great time it is to be an aspiring young artist! Picture books, comics and graphic novels are more popular than ever. Animation for both children and adults is regularly featured on television and in the movies as innovative technological advances now allow us to create nearly anything that we can imagine. But it all begins with an idea and the ability to bring it to life with old-fashioned drawing skills.
When I was growing up I drew almost constantly. Peanuts comics and Mad Magazine were always close at hand and I never went anywhere without paper, pencil, and eraser. The walls of my room were covered with drawings. I spent hours going through comic books, carefully copying (not tracing) my favorite characters and creating my own stories. Eventually, I sought out ways to improve my skills by poring over the few “how to draw” books available to me at the time. Fortunately, the non-fiction section of the Children’s Area at the Lawrence Library offers a much larger selection of “how to draw” and related books.
These popular books (j 741.2 in the children’s non-fiction collection) teach the materials, concepts, techniques, and good habits needed to achieve a professional look and personal style. In Drawing: the only drawing book you’ll ever need to be the artist you’ve always wanted to be by Kathryn Temple one can learn about light and shadow, perspective, proportion and scale, as well as many tips and tricks that can help take one’s art to the next level. Many books such as Mark Kistler’s Imagination Station , provide step-by-step illustrations showing the evolution of a drawing from a simple gestural sketch to the finished product.
Other books like How to Draw Superheroes by Jim Hansen and John Burns and How to Draw Pokemon by Tracy West focus on specific styles or characters popular today. Nearby the ‘How to draw” books one will find general interest books on art and the works of popular cartoonists like Lincoln Peirce (Big Nate), Jim Davis (Garfield), Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes), and Charles Schultz (Peanuts). And don’t forget our Graphic Novel (j GN) section near the children’s computers where hundreds of characters from Babymouse to Zeus are waiting to inspire you.