I have no artistic skill whatsoever, I will admit it. Even my stick figures look wrong. So everyone thought it would be best if I reviewed this book as everyone here has more talent than I do. So I took the book and followed it all the way through to the end.
First thought that went through my head as I looked at the cover was “Why are they teaching me to draw by using CGI characters?” Still don’t have an answer to that one; but I’m sure it has something to do with the number of fans “Star Wars” generates regardless of Jar Jar or slightly altered CGI-ed characters put into a kids cartoon. So on to the actual book.
You are given a good size eraser, 3 colored pencils that each end is a different color (6 colors total), a nice mechanical pencil, and a black marker. All of these are in a plastic button bag on the front of the book. Now here comes one problem I found with this book. The book stresses that you are to draw in it and make it your own. However there are times when where they ask you to draw is the left hand side of the book. Here is where you have to remember to push the plastic bag over behind the right side of the book so not to give you lumps (and yes it will even create an uneven surface if you remove all the items). Then don’t forget when you are finished to move the bag back to the other side. Not a huge deal; but just something to keep in mind.
As for what you learn. It walks you through very slowly and takes things in stages. You will trace characters to get the feel of the lines & shapes. Then you will learn how to do stick outlines, and then how to add shapes like circles on the joints. It teaches you about overlines, rough sketches, and how to add in the details. Everything you need is included such as the tracing paper. As you work through the book some images will have the beginning lines there that you work on top of; but when you get closer to the end you will have a finished image given and then a practice area to work with. And of course your final challenge is to put all of what you learned together and draw C-3PO & R2D2.
As I said earlier I did work all the way through this book, followed all the directions. It was fun and while by the end my C-3PO & R2D2 didn’t really look like they should I did notice that I was drawing better than I normally do. My stick figures look like they should and now I can put in the circles, triangles, and other shapes in so you can tell what I’m going for. While this book may appear at first to be a onetime use since you are drawing in it, really you can use it time and time again if you have some blank paper handy. If you are thinking about wanting to get into drawing and animation this book might give you a taste of what it is like. It won’t transform you into an animator overnight; but it can show you some of the basic skills and knowledge needed before you jump right in. It is priced around $17 so you may want to be sure if giving this as a gift they not only want to learn how to draw but are also Star Wars fans. If they aren’t look around they make books dealing with other subject matter like “How To Draw Funny”.