Friday 29 July 2016

ReaditDaddy's First Book of the Week - Week Ending 29th July 2016 - "Modern Cartooning" by Chris Hart (Watson Guptill)

Our First Book of the Week this week had us scrabbling for our scribbling sticks...
Chris Hart's books are just utterly and completely wonderful. I'm an art book junkie and anything that can help me develop that holy grail for a doodle - some sort of an artistic style that 'sticks' between pieces - is like gold dust.

Charlotte too loves doodling, and she's at that stage where she's starting to really push her own abilities and not just be satisfied with stick figures with lollipop heads.

Chris's "Modern Cartooning - Essential Techiques for Drawing Today's Popular Cartoons" dips into that fantastic retro-futuristic cartoony style that at one and the same time feels like it belongs in the heyday of Hannah Barbera and that amazing American idyll of a lifestyle that began and ended in the 1950s.

The book attempts to break down the main techniques of taking a few simple shapes or lines, and producing characterful illustrations that are brilliant fun to do, and great fun to look at once you've properly finished off your pieces.

Here for the first time is Chris's technique of scratchily sketching out his ideas before he then takes the 'clean and clear' approach of making everything look like it was drawn with the most precise tools on the planet, so crisp and clean is his work.

We've both been working on this (and a couple of other Chris Hart books) for quite some time and the techniques really do begin to become second nature once you realise that the ultimate aim here isn't to produce life-like anatomically perfect characters, but to have a lot of fun producing Waldos, Dexters, Betty Rubbles or Wilma Flintstones.

I love this technique, have done for years and as someone who spends most evenings hunched over a tablet on my Mac trying to get better at drawing and digital painting, this book has been a real boost to my flagging creativity.


Charlotte's best bit: Drawing cute girls and cuter animals.

Daddy's favourite bit: It's such a brilliant style to get the inside track on, and you see it used so much in cartoons and comics at the moment so being able to do this yourself - and better still taking that technique forward to produce fully-finished pieces of artwork - is gloriously satisfying!

(self-bought, not provided by publisher)

"Modern Cartooning - Essential Techniques for Drawing Today's Popular Cartoons"

Written and Illustrated by Chris Hart

Published by Watson Guptil

Publication Date (Softcover): 26th March 2013