Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Drawing Club by Bob Kato : Book Review

The Drawing Club: Master the Art of Drawing Characters from Life by Bob Kato will help you change the way you think about drawing characters in 2D.  This is not just a book for professional artists but for anyone who is looking for inspiration and to benefit from the great advice offered in this book.

I was lucky enough to attend the Artist panel at Comic Con this year

Bob Kato  Karl Gnass  Mark McDonnell and  Dan Cooper
and get a chance to ask questions and talk to Karl Gnass,

Mark McDonnell,  Dan Cooper and

Mark McDonnell and Dan Cooper
Bob Kato.  I had a chance to listen to Bob Kato speak at the San Diego Comic Con 2014 show after

his panel presentation.  He talked about how at the Drawing Club the artists are given the opportunity to view and draw a costumed person while getting a chance to continuously develop their story telling skills.  For those who cannot attend one of the Drawing Club session, this book is a good opportunity to learn from such a gifted artist.

The Drawing Club: Master the Art of Drawing Characters from Life is not one of those "how to draw books".  The author wrote this for artists who can already draw and want to build on their skills.  He does not specify the skill level but offers great direction for even the inspiring artist to be able to gain some great insight on how to translate life from 3d to the paper (2D).  I especially love that the book includes a gallery of images from different artists that clearly displays how these different artists' personal perception allows for the character to develop their own unique personalities.

This is not a “step-by-step” drawing book but more of an inspirational book. Bob Kato provides some really interesting exercises in the book to help the artist develop confidence through the exercises by trying new things or looking at a project with a different point of view.  The book is set up to help the artist learn how to work outside their comfort zone to translate their character from 3d onto the paper and tell a story through their drawings.   

From reading this book I learned that if I want a drawing to evoke feelings and tell a story with my drawings then that can be achieved with style.  The book taught me the importance of using lines to show the mood of the character. If the character is angry, then I want to draw it angry but I also need the lines in my drawing to be crisp and sharp to evoke that emotion when the viewer sees my drawings.  

One of my biggest passions in life is going to costumed events and taking photographs of people at these events in their elaborate costumes; I am looking to branch out and start sketching from my photos.  While I don’t have the time to get out and sketch from life, I am looking forward to using the inspirations from this book to develop my personal style and try to start sketching from the photos that I have taken.

The Drawing Club book is an amazing inside peek into an aspect of the Hollywood World; many of the artists who attend are working professionals who just come to the drawing club to practice.  Don't let that daunt you.   You don’t have to be a professional to enjoy the experience of drawing people from real life and this book gives wonderful insight as to how to apply style, lines, and other aspects to your drawings.  The Drawing Club book is about drawing from life and learning to think differently so you can develop your own voice when drawing your character onto paper.  The book goes into how style, lines, atmosphere, anatomy, inspiration, and working outside your own comfort zone is helpful in developing your improvisational skills to tell a story with your drawings. 

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