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The Drawing Lesson: A Graphic Novel That…
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The Drawing Lesson: A Graphic Novel That Teaches You How to Draw

by Mark Crilley

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This is a fun graphic novel that really does teach you drawing techniques. The author's note at the beginning says that all young artists should have mentors, but sadly that is not always an option, so he wrote this book as a way to get kids started with drawing and show them what a mentor relationship can look like. I really enjoyed the book and I have a handful of students that I know will love it! This book is on the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award nominee list for the 2017/18 school year and I know that the majority of my 4th and 5th graders will be reading it. ( )
  Tessa.Johnson | Apr 5, 2017 |
I am a self taught folk artist. As a kid, I loved to draw, but my art teacher in school didn't like my style and told me I had no talent. If she'd taken the time to work with me , instead of stifling my creative yearnings, the paths I chose in life might have been different. Instead, at nearly 60, I got my first art lessons along with David, from Becky, courtesy of Mark Crilley. It's been a lot of fun. Just in time, too-- my coloring book comes out in October from Tor Books. Imagine if I'd had Becky's help in the creation of that.

Thank you blogging for books and publisher for sending me my copy of this graphic book. ( )
  bookczuk | Aug 28, 2016 |
THE DRAWING LESSON by Mark Crilley is a wonderful approach to learning to draw. A graphic novel combined with an art tutorial, the author/illustrator does a fantastic job weaving his drawing lessons into the story of David and Becky and the time they spend together. David is a young boy who desperately wants to learn to draw well. Becky is an artist who isn’t looking to be an art teacher, but who can’t resist David’s eagerness and his talent.

Crilley’s drawings throughout the novel are simple, but effective. The characters' emotions shine through, and the story is well developed despite how basic the narrative is. David and Becky aren’t overly complicated artistic figures, and that allows the real star of this book to shine: the art lessons. As Becky teaches David the basics of drawing, their relationship grows along with his skill, and the lessons broaden to show the reader how to navigate life as well as how to complete a drawing: patience; recognizing mistakes and correcting them; and putting time into what you love are highlighted. These are important lessons for readers of all ages, but particularly Crilley’s target age group.

As for the drawing lessons themselves … I can’t rave enough about them. I haven’t seriously tried to draw in over 25 years (though my sitting-in-a-meeting doodles have a fan base), but if I’m reviewing a book on how to draw, I don’t feel I can do it justice without trying to follow along with the book’s lessons. Crilley does an AMAZING job teaching the techniques necessary to draw and draw well. As I did each exercise with the most rudimentary of tools (a mechanical pencil and my college ruled notebook), I produced sketches that had my children dazzled—something that it’s not easy to do. Those same children have artistic talent, and I look forward to giving this book to them to see what they can do with it. I’ll also be sharing it with any kids on my gift buying list, and I’ll be recommending it to anyone who will listen.

I can’t stress enough how awesome I found this book to be. Be sure to check it out, and check out Mark’s YouTube channel too. He’s generous with his instruction there as well, and he obviously finds joy in helping others find their inner artist.

My thanks to the publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. ( )
  kalky | Aug 2, 2016 |
This is just what I needed. I read “The Drawing Lesson” in pretty much one sitting and will be reading it again and again. I draw birds and stuff – mostly birds. Like everyone else, I want to develop my own style, but I also needed more info on some of the basics in visual art. For example, what author Mark Crilley calls “negative space” (this is probably the common term in professional art), which is like the pieces of the picture that don’t really have interesting details yet hold the whole drawing together. One thing that makes this such a helpful book is how it summarizes each lesson and builds upon all previous lessons.

I am becoming more interested in graphic novels as a form, too – a major reason for my interest in this particular book. The story is simple and relatable, and again I’ll use the word: helpful. This is what you would want from a mentor. Becky doesn’t just teach David whatever he thinks he wants to be able to draw, but gives him something specific to do, until he gets it right, then he can use that however he wants. She tells him why it’s ok to draw what you see, and how you can also draw what you don’t see. Being able to see where you need improvements is of high importance, and she almost forces him to work through these revisions. David practically stalks Becky – not ok! – but Becky can see that he really does want to learn, and that he is doing his homework, incorporating her advice. Because each chapter is in a different setting, this helped me remember each lesson; having something to relate to makes it easier to access from memory, so that it doesn’t all blur together. Not just for the title, this is similar in some ways to Victor Wooten’s “The Music Lesson,” and is an excellent book for learning how to draw.

Note: I received a free copy of this title through BloggingForBooks in exchange for an honest review. For more reviews, follow my blog at http://matt-stats.blogspot.com/ ( )
  MattCembrola | Jul 22, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385346336, Paperback)

Read This Comic and Start Drawing Today

For the first time ever, drawing instructor and graphic novelist Mark Crilley brings his easy-to-follow artistic instruction to aspiring artists in the form of a comic book, providing you with a one-of-a-kind how-to experience. In The Drawing Lesson, you’ll meet David—a young boy who wants nothing more than to learn how to draw. Luckily for David, he’s just met Becky—his helpful drawing mentor. Page by page, Becky teaches David (and you!) about the essential fundamentals that artists need in order to master drawing, all in a unique visual format. In panel after panel, Crilley provides lessons on shading, negative space, creating compositions, and more, with accompanying exercises that you can try for yourself. Are you ready to start your drawing lesson today?

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 05 Jul 2016 21:04:51 -0400)

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