Book Review: The Art and Feel of Making it Real

The Art and Feel of Making it Real: Gesture Drawing for the Animation and Entertainment Industry

Here's the description at the back of the book:

This book will help to explain how to design and capture the essence of life through the knowledge of gesture drawing, increase observation skills and use basic design principles that will help fuel the power of your imagination...all of which are important and necessary skills to have in the animation and entertainment industry! This book applies to animators, storyboard artists, visual development artists, concept designers, and any person interested in the animation and entertainment industry. From hobbyists to industry professionals...this is the book that will help you create successful images with a strong focus on storytelling skills.

About the author:

Mark McDonnell is a top designer working in the Animation and Entertainment Industries that has worked in a wide variety of skill sets such as Character Design, Layout Design, Look Development, Graphic Design, and as an Instructor. He is currently instructing studio employees at The Walt Disney Company. He has worked for a wide range of studios that include: Walt Disney Feature, Disney Toon Studios, Walt Disney Television Animation, Pixar, Miramax, Fox, H.I.T. Entertainment, New Line, Mattel, Sony, Legendary Pictures, The Jim Henson Company, Big Idea Inc. and many more.

The Art and Feel of Making it Real: Gesture Drawing for the Animation and Entertainment Industry is a book looking to give people tips on gesture drawing. This is not a book teaching anatomy.

Gesture drawing is more of observation and most importantly to put meaning and story into a pose. The subjects covered in the book includes using good silhouette, defining form and volume, using perspective aids, adding props and backgrounds, color linking, different mediums and others. All these are tips and things to look out for. The lessons come with lots of self drawn examples from Mark McDonnell himself.

There are numerous spelling mistakes in the book, of which the most uncool is probably to misspell the name of Walt Stanchfield, especially so when he's referred to as the inspiration.

Overall, the book provides really practical tips, although at times, I wished the book would talk more about posture of people in different emotions.

If you're looking to read more on gesture drawing, be sure to grab Drawn to Life by Walt Stanchfield as well. There are two volumes with a total of over 800 pages on more gesture drawing tips. And maybe Will Eisner's Expressive Anatomy for Comics and Narrative also.

More of his work is available at markmcdonnell.blogspot.com

The Art and Feel of Making it Real: Gesture Drawing for the Animation and Entertainment Industry is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK)

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Here are direct links to the book:
Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk

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