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Illustrator How To Books

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It was brought up in another thread that it would be a good idea to have a thread where we could all post great books for illustrating. I've compiled all the ones mentioned in that thread (thanks to everyone who posted a rec!) and have listed them here. Please feel free to add more!

Cartoon Animation by Preston Blair http://www.walterfoster.com/books-kits/cartooning-animation-books-for-adults/6/Cartoon-Animation/CS03.html

How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way, by Stan Lee and John Buscema  http://www.amazon.com/How-Draw-Comics-Marvel-Way/dp/0671530771

Writing With Pictures by Uri Shulevitz

The Natural Way To Draw by Kimon Nicolaides

Picture This, How Pictures Work by Molly Bang.

The Artist's Complete Guide to Facial Expressions, by Gary Faigin

The Encyclopedia of Writing and Illustrating Children's books by McCannon, Thornton and Williams

Illustrating Children's Books by Martin Salisbury

A list of books on James Gurney's blog:
http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/2012/07/best-how-to-art-books.html
#1 - November 27, 2012, 01:33 PM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

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I don't have much more to add as Arte so graciously included my contributions already, but I wanted to say I already love this thread and look forward to everyone's suggestions/recommendations!

#2 - November 27, 2012, 01:52 PM
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World's Crummiest Umbrella (2014, Wandering in the Words Press)

OddBerryCreations

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I personally like The Illusion of Life Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston. It's one of my favorites and it has a permanent spot on my book shelf.
#3 - November 27, 2012, 04:49 PM

Cool thread! My daughter wants to be an animator or illustrator, so if any of you have recommendations for young people (she's 12), please give them.  I'd be particularly interested in books that explain the difference between drawing and illustrating, or getting "story" into art.  We're giving her one of the Scott McCloud books for Christmas--the one called Making Comics.
#4 - November 27, 2012, 05:04 PM

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For watercolour, I have learned so much from,

The Watercolorist's Essential Notebook - Landscapes, by Gordon Mackenzie

I looked at tonnes of books but his was by far the best. Step-by-step instruction covering all aspects of watercolour. It revolutionised my technique. He has another one, too: The Complete Watercolorist's Essential Notebook: A treasury of watercolor secrets discovered through decades of painting and experimentation.

I've also got Paint Watercolors that Dance with Light by Elizabeth Kincaid, but it felt a bit too advanced for little old me. Maybe in a few years!

PS I'm not an illustrator but even so I'm pretty sure these two books are awesome for illustrators and non-illustrators!
#5 - November 27, 2012, 05:31 PM

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I'll have to think on that, Jaina! I feel like I should know some...there are a couple of manga drawing ones I've been thinking about getting for my son.

Another great just art basics book is Art Fundamentals: Theory and Practice, by (if I can remember this, I moved last week and it's packed up) Ocvirk, Stinson, Bone and Wigg. I've had this book since college but I know there have been many editions since then (back when dinosaurs ruled the earth, to hear my kids tell it). But it's great for learning all those technical things, like color theory, composition, light sources, perspective, etc...

I'd be interested if anyone has any great titles on watercolor techniques (or other media) as well!
#6 - November 27, 2012, 05:40 PM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

http://cyndimarko.com
@cynmarko

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um, crossposted! Siski read my mind!
#7 - November 27, 2012, 05:40 PM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

http://cyndimarko.com
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um, crossposted! Siski read my mind!

 :paint  :)
#8 - November 27, 2012, 06:29 PM

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Jaina, the Walter Foster books on animation are fantastic. I also remember Bruce Blitz and Christopher Hart made some good introductory books on cartooning. Hope those help!
#9 - November 27, 2012, 08:21 PM
http://alexschumacherart.com/
World's Crummiest Umbrella (2014, Wandering in the Words Press)

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(Pulling this one in from the other thread...) The BEST book for drawing facial expressions that I know is this one: The Artist's Complete Guide to Facial Expressions, by Gary Faigin. It walks you through six basic facial emotions and their variations in great detail. Even if your style is more cartoonish, it helps to understand the basics of what those facial muscles are doing to make a scary/sad/happy/sneering face. A writer/illustrator in my crit group who is self taught said her editor recommended this book to her specifically. It's really excellent!
#10 - November 27, 2012, 08:32 PM

Three books I refer to over and over:

"How to Draw and Paint Crazy Cartoon Characters: Create Original Characters with Lots of Personality" by Vincent Woodcock
http://amzn.to/TokQDj

"Cartooning: The Ultimate Character Design Book" by Chris Hart  http://amzn.to/TtkOhd

"Creating Characters with Personality" by Tom Bancroft   http://amzn.to/TtkW0k
#11 - November 28, 2012, 09:35 AM

Danyelle

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Cool thread! My daughter wants to be an animator or illustrator, so if any of you have recommendations for young people (she's 12), please give them.  I'd be particularly interested in books that explain the difference between drawing and illustrating, or getting "story" into art.  We're giving her one of the Scott McCloud books for Christmas--the one called Making Comics.

Mark Crilley has an excellent book if she's interested in Manga: Mastering Manga with Mark Crilley. He has two graphic novel series out, and has a youtube channel that is awesome. He mostly does Manga, but he also has a few lessons on realistic art. Lately, he's been showing--the best you can on a youtube tutorial--perspective and how to shade (w/pencil for grayscale).
#12 - November 28, 2012, 02:39 PM

Thanks for the tips!
#13 - November 28, 2012, 05:04 PM

stacebee

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In college our textbook for life drawing was Drawing from Life by Clint Brown (great for learning anatomy) and a friend of mine suggested Tony White's The Animator's Workbook.  I own and love Writing With Pictures by Uri Shulevitz !
#14 - November 29, 2012, 07:07 AM

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James Gurney (Dinotopia) has a list on his blog of animation resources that DreamWorks recommends. He also has a ton of other info on his blog and site if you have time to look around. Here's the link to the DreamWorks post:
http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/2012/11/dreamworks-animation-resources.html

A book I really love for facial expressions, but that isn't necessarily a how to book is: Manga Moods by Saori Takarai. It shows how one artist represents moods and expressions in the manga style. There's a second edition called Manga Moods, Too that has conversations. I don't have that one yet, but will soon!
#15 - November 30, 2012, 09:12 AM
Site - http://sruble.com
Twitter - http://twitter.com/StephanieRuble

picture book: EWE AND AYE (Disney-Hyperion)

Jacqueline Buffinet

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Mark Crilley is one of the internet instructors I have perused. I recommend him also. Will Terry has some really good tutorials on how to paint digitally. You have to pay for them but it's worth it. I learned a great deal of my digital painting techniques from him.

Another book title that I highly recommend is Dynamic Wrinkles And Drapery by Burne Hogarth.
#16 - December 03, 2012, 10:22 AM

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Dani Jones posted a list of her recommended books in her updated FAQ's today that include:

-- The Human Machine by George Bridgman for figure drawing (I concur and also suggest the Loomis books...can sometimes find free PDF's online, or you can buy the recent reprints which are very well done)
-- Nuts & Bolts by Charles Hively for art business
-- The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Children’s Books by Harold Underdown
-- Making Comics by Scott McCloud.
-- animation “art of” books for inspiration (I have a lot of these, too)

She recommends checking out ImagineFX magazine for digital painting inspiration and techniques; it's a magazine I highly recommend as well.
Visit her site for more recommendations and answers to FAQ's about her illustration work here:  http://danidraws.com/faq

- t
#17 - December 07, 2012, 06:39 AM

OddBerryCreations

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I have the Preston Blair Cartoon Animation but are there any good 'How To...' create cartoon characters?  :grin3
#18 - December 08, 2012, 11:22 PM

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If you're looking to develop more skills in drawing cartoon characters, I'd suggest checking out the Disney "How to draw 'insert-Disney-character-here' " books, if the "Art of" books are too costly for you at the moment or unavailable from your local library. 

I've used those as reference as well when I was developing licensed art for Disney consumer products through my in-house job with a toy manufacturer.  Disney's styleguides were awesome, but in order to really get a feel for the character...going back to the basic building blocks of the characters...the "how to draw" books provided quick and simple lessons to really capture the character art for form and turnarounds.  Also there are individual lessons on drawing thru, gesture studies and so on.  Then you take those building blocks and develop your own style and characters. 

- t



#19 - December 09, 2012, 09:10 AM

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Coming back to this thread to mention another really good one that just turned up on the new shelf at my library: The Complete Guide to Figure Drawing for Comics and Graphic Novels, by Daniel Cooney. It walks you through anatomy, facial expressions, ways in which cartoon figures tend to be stylized, drawing the clothed figure, special problems like foreshortening, camera angles, backgrounds, etc. The only thing it doesn't really mention is color, but for everything else, it's great!
#20 - February 09, 2013, 05:03 PM

For those working in pen and ink:
"Rendering in Pen and Ink" by Arthur L. Guptill,  "Drawing with Pen and Ink" by Carl Glassford (this is one of the Walter Foster Artist's Library Series mentioned earlier), "The Technical Pen" by Gary Simmons, "Robert Lawson Illustrator" by, Helen L. Jones - this is not so much a 'how to book' but shows examples by a master. I find help in looking at another's work, don't you? Lastly, Claudia Nice has a number of books on Drawing with Pen and Ink and also Watercolor.
#21 - October 16, 2013, 09:46 AM

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What an awesome post! I'd like to add "Understanding Comics" by Scott McCloud (sorry if that's already on this thread somewhere.)

Sarah Baker
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#22 - November 20, 2013, 11:07 AM

Got a few to add.

Mostly online stuff. But it helped me a lot as a student. In the end, it's all just rigorous hard work.

Rockwell on Rockwell... How Norman Rockwell creates
http://www.amazon.com/Rockwell-How-Make-Picture/dp/082302380X

Helpful tips here
http://theartcenter.blogspot.com/

Ren and Stimpy creator wrote a bunch of teachings. It is pretty much art school.
http://johnkcurriculum.blogspot.com/

Ken Hultgren is my favorite when it comes to drawing animal lessons
http://drwbook02.narod.ru/cover.html

Also here is a free illustration magazine. All in PDFs! They got some cool work
http://www.ilustrarmagazine.com/

I'll keep ya'll posted if I remember more :coffee3:
#23 - December 21, 2013, 12:28 AM

AnaDavila

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Thank you for sharing these resources!
#24 - February 20, 2014, 01:44 PM

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I'd like to add "Paint with the Watercolor Masters", by Jonathan Stephenson

Thanks for the excellent recommendations!

Hugs! :)
#25 - September 01, 2015, 02:40 PM

ANYTHING by James Gurney is worth every penny- it's basically what you should have learned in art school about color, light and fantasy, but didn't.
#26 - September 03, 2015, 09:04 AM
www.corndogart.com  View my portfolio and download corresponding critical thinking lessons.
Twitter: @corndogart.com

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A great book Understanding Comics by Scott Mccloud. In cartoon format  and very useful for issues like creating a sense of place, etc. also the one by Martin Salisbury is very helpful for the whole process of creating a picturebook.
#27 - December 17, 2015, 11:56 AM

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I've got a book out the library atm - ''Illustrating Children's Books'' by Martin Ursell. It's full of useful mini projects that I've found a helpful of generating ideas etc.
#28 - March 21, 2017, 08:19 AM

For oil painters, I am currently reading "The Oil Painting Book" by Bill Creevy, and it is fantastic! The section on glazing and scumbling is especially really good.
#29 - April 01, 2017, 12:18 PM

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If you create artwork for publishers that is realistic, I highly recommend  these 2 books and they are, must have in your library.   "imaginative realism"  and "color and light"   both by the illustrator James Gurney.

if you do a cartoony these still may be of assistance.

Wesley Lowe illustrator
#30 - April 13, 2017, 08:52 AM

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