Book Review: Force: Character Design from Life Drawing

Force: Character Design from Life Drawing

Force: Character Design from Life Drawing is the second book that deals with life drawing by Mike Mattesi, the first being Force: Dynamic Life Drawing for Animators. This book also talks about character design.

The first part builds on the concepts he has taught in the previous book, which are the handling of force, space and shapes of characters. It's presented in the similar style, sketches with tips. For those who like the first book, you would probably like this one too.

The second part on character design. In addition to the sketches provided by Mike Mattesi, he has invited other character designers to contribute their work and thoughts. Photos of models are provided to them who then create their own style of work. Each artist then describes their characters in terms of acting and emotions, showing how they try to get ideas across to readers.

The guest artists are Rik Maki, Stephen Silver, Dean Yeagle, Jake Kazdal, Griselda Sastrawinata, Patrick Morgan, Ragnar, Erin Leong, Marc Perry, Teddy Newton, Steph Laberis, John Nenarez, Mike Daley, Phil Rynda and Deanna Marsigliese. They provide plenty of insights into their personal style, be it the cutout collages of Pixar artist Teddy Newton or the simple cartoon caricatures of Marc Perry.

At the end, there are also sections that talk about giving characters to architecture and animals. They are rather brief, but interesting nevertheless. For animal character designs, you can check out The Art of Animal Character Design for even more tips.

There's no one way to how character designs are done. The approach of this book is to give plenty of ideas to get you started. This book is for anyone who's looking to put more edge and style into their own characters.

Force: Character Design from Life Drawing is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | JP | CN) and Book Depository

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