Sarah Eitelberg

Book Review: Foundations in Comic Book Art by John Paul Lowe

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I’ve read through many an instructional art book in my time. Flipping through pages and pages,  searching for that one sentence or even paragraph that would hold the secret to being a great artist. That one thing that would take my mediocre talent and transform into a flourishing unique art skill that people would want to pay me lots of money to use. Obviously I haven’t achieved that quiet yet but it did tell me what I like about art books and what I don’t like. Foundations in Comic Book Art is a book was chuck full of “like.”

Foundation in Comic Book Art

Foundations in Comic Book Art: Fundamental Tools and Techniques for Sequential Artists (SCAD Series)
By: John Paul Lowe
Publisher: Watson-Guptil
Release date: August 12, 2014

Want to learn more about creating comics? Pick up your own copy of Foundations in Comic Book Art: SCAD Creative Essentials (Fundamental Tools and Techniques for Sequential Artists).

John Paul Lowe’s informative and easy to follow instructions make me wish he was my art instructor through school. His outlook on art is refreshing; “talent is overrated.” You may be able to draw your favorite characters perfectly but if you can’t successfully draw them in a room, you can’t do much in comics. Lowe encourages students to work consistently and intelligently, as most self claimed artist that come through his classroom start off at the same skill level. Of course that always makes you feel better about your current skill level. Great illustrated examples of perspective drawing and form along with simple practice exercises help drive the instructions home, almost feels like you’re back in an art class.

One surprising thing about this art book was the integration of  digital art skills with more traditional art. Seems that digital art skills and programs such as Adobe Photoshop, are in instruction books of their own and not involved in drawing or inking reference books. Lowe gives us a basic overview on both in just one book. The first half talks about how to establish perspective and draw figure using traditional media, such as pen and paper. He shows a few different types of supplies he uses, which I always appreciate in art books. You would be surprised how many different brands of erasers there are in the world. Towards the end we switch to digital media, how to use different options in the program to do the drawing basics he just showed you. A couple different graphic editor programs are shown, again nice to see when you don’t know much about them. The whole book is full of  amazing examples of art from all types of media!

Clearly it’s safe to say this book won’t have Marvel or DC begging at your door overnight, but it gives a lot of great basic instruction to help set your journey to motion. Clearly written instructions and simple illustrated examples, this book will really help polish up those basic art skills that will be the foundation of your art. A great start of a soon to be large collection of art instructional books for any inspiring comic artist.

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