Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Book Review - Doodletopia: Cartoons by Christopher Hart

Book Synopsis
An interactive doodle book from a best-selling art instruction author and cartoon master that pairs illustrating insights with drawing, designing, and coloring activities for aspiring artists.

Welcome to Doodletopia! Your first stop in this paradise of creativity? The world of cartoons. Your tour guide Christopher Hart is ready to introduce you to the interactive, artistic possibilities of creating your own exciting, hilarious, off-the-wall cartoon characters, gags, and more.

Unlike other doodle books that leave you stranded, with no help at all, Doodletopia: Cartoons pairs fun doodle-based activities with the sort of insightful (and laugh-out-loud funny) advice and tips that countless readers have come to expect from cartooning master Christopher Hart. For the first time ever, you can pick up your pencils, pens, markers, or crayons, and draw, doodle, or color right on the same page as the author.

From finishing cartoon faces to selecting costumes to completing wacky cartoon scenes, the opportunities for creative expression are endless. So what are you waiting for? Open up and start doodling!

My Review
As a little girl, I loved to draw and doodle.  I still will randomly doodle on the edge of a page.  When I read about Doodletopia Cartoons:  Draw, Design and Color Your Own Super Fun Cartoon Creations by Christopher Hart, I was very eager to read and try this book.

Doodletopia Cartoons is a nice sized book - 8.5" x 11".  It contains the following:

Warm Up
Fill in the Silhouette
Draw the Other Half
Select Different Expressions
Choose and Design the Animals
Dress Up Your Cartoons
Finish the Funny Couples
Write in Cartoon Calligraphy
Draw Ridiculous Inventions
Complete the Cartoons

The introduction teaches the principles of the eye line and the center line, in order to place features evenly on cartoon faces.  I found this very helpful!

Then the book shows some simple cartoon characters, with a step by step drawing (including both pictures and text) and a blank page for you to use.  For instance, a penguin is pictured.  You can either draw the penguin exactly as seen or you can use the blank pages for your own creative inspiration - i.e. your own penguin design.    

The next section of the book is Fill in the Silhouette.  This was one of my favorite parts of the book!   You have a finished sketch, and then a silhouette that you can use to copy the picture or create your own drawing.  The silhouette includes feature perspective lines to make the drawing easier.

Draw the Other Half is exactly what it sounds like -- you see a finished picture, and then find a half finished illustration that you can complete.

Select Different Expressions teaches you how to be creative drawing cartoon character expressions.  (This was fun!)

One of my other favorite chapters was Choose and Design the Animals.  You see two finished animals, i.e. a dog or a ferret, and then have the outline to draw these animals yourself.  The dog, by the way, looks like a dachshund or dachshund - beagle mix (super cute!).

Dress Up Your Cartoons sparks creativity for costume design for your cartoon creations.  I loved drawing clothes as a little girl, so this was great fun!

Finish the Funny Couples features a finished cartoon character alongside an outline -- you can fill in the outline with your own character!

Write in Cartoon Calligraphy lets you learn how to make your own cartoon fonts.   This was fun for me, as lettering is another of my natural doodles.

Draw Ridiculous Inventions focuses on silly machines you can create in cartoon format.

Complete the Cartoons encourages creative thinking by including one finished picture (small) on a page -- and you can fill in the rest of the story with your doodles!

This is such a very fun book!   You can use pencils for traditional sketching or colored pencils.  (I think crayons or markers could also be used, although I have not tested markers to see if they color through the pages).

Very highly recommended for anyone who likes to doodle!
I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

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