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Art Instruction

The Evolution of The Mouse

Needless to say there have been many, many books over the years (official and otherwise) showing you how to draw your favorite characters from Disney Animation. This latest book from the famous Walter Foster art how-to series takes a little different tack: How the look of Mickey Mouse and some of the most well-known Disney characters has evolved over time since they were first created. “A collection of vintage artwork from the Disney archives reveals early designs, sketches, and poses of Mickey Mouse as well as other classic characters such as Minnie Mouse and Donald Duck. Learn to Draw Mickey Mouse & Friends Through the Decades creates the opportunity for an artistic celebration of the world’s most beloved mouse, by bringing together a collection of step-by-step projects and inspirational illustrations for rendering these timeless characters as they originally appeared. Featuring 128 pages of art instruction material, this title makes a covetable collector’s item for any loyal Disney enthusiast or aspiring artists interested in learning to draw in classic cartoon style.” Learn to Draw Mickey Mouse & Friends Through the Decades (whew, long title!) is coming next year to Amazon and other sellers.

image c. 2014 Walter Foster Publishing

image c. 2014 Walter Foster Publishing

Dragons of Steel … and Gold

Christina Yen is an anthropomorphic and fantasy artist who creates works under the name Sixth Leaf Clover. One of her specialties is dragons, variously anthro and not, and especially those of a “metallic” variety. Therefore it’s especially apt that she has released an art tutorial book called Metallic Dragons. In it you will find not only instructions for drawing dragons in various forms, but also coloring instructions (in both digital and traditional forms) for making your dragons look like silver, or gold, or steel, or what have you. She has also released a portfolio book of her artwork entitled Sixth Leaf Clover — The Art of Christina Yen. Both of her books are available in trade paperback on her art web site — and of course, so are a collection of prints, 3D works, and other fancies, including a 2013 calendar.

image c. 2013 Christina M. Yen


Draw with a Child-Like Imagination

Here’s one of those titles we’re likely to notice: Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals by Carla Sonheim. It’s available on Amazon in paperback from Quarry Books. This new book applies Ms. Sonheim’s interesting theories about teaching adults to draw to the idea of drawing animals. Here’s how the publisher describes it: “Rediscover a more child-like approach to creating with Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals! Through fun and creative exercises, Carla Sonheim teaches you to draw a variety of fun animals and creatures, including: Dogs – Birds – Elephants – Fish – Cats – Rabbits – Fluffalumps – and many others! You’ll also find a variety of unique mixed-media techniques to help you bring your creatures to life, resulting in a unique finished art piece. Improve your drawing skills, expand your creativity, and learn new art techniques–and have loads of fun doing it!”

And with that, we wish you all a Happy New Year! Thank  you for making us part of your Internet experience in 2013!

image c. 2012 Quarry Books

Back with More Art Instruction!

Lindsay Cibos and Jared Hodges are the creators of the Ursa Major Award-winning how-to book, Draw Furries. Fresh off that success, they now return with Draw More Furries: How to Create Anthropomorphic Fantasy Creatures, coming this Thanksgiving in paperback from Impact.  “The authors of Draw Furries bring you more of the best step-by-step lessons for creating anthropomorphic characters. You’ll learn everything from furry anatomy, facial expressions and poses to costumes, coloring and settings! You’ll also learn how to create characters that convey the various personalities and spirits of the animals they resemble. Draw More Furries is packed with 20 new furries, ‘scalies’, and mythological creatures with lessons covering everything from drawing mouths and muzzles to paws, feathers and fur. The anthropomorphic creatures you can create with these easy-to-learn lessons are limitless!” Pre-order it at Barnes & Noble.

image c. 2012 Impact


Join the Zoo

Animator Chris Ayers became well-known for his Daily Zoo project, in which he drew one new animal character every day for a year — therapy while he recovered from a life-threatening illness.  Two Daily Zoo books have been released so far… but his latest book takes a different tack. My Daily Zoo is a softcover book featuring over 96 pages of interactive black & white drawing exercises where you unleash your creativity and draw new cartoon animals. You can find out more about Chris, his inspiring story, and his works at his web site.

image c. 2012 Chris Ayers

More Art Instruction

There never seems to be enough of these, and frankly that’s just fine with us! The Explorer’s Guide to Drawing Fantasy Creatures is a new hardcover art instruction book, written and illustrated by Emily Fiegenschuh. She holds a degree from Ringling College of Art & Design, and in the past she’s illustrated numerous Dungeons & Dragons rulebooks for Wizards of the Coast. Now her new book (published by F + W Media) guides the would-be fantasy artist through not only rendering fantastic creatures of myth, legend, and nightmare, but also breathing life into the finished pictures. According to the publisher’s notes, the book includes: “25 step-by-step demonstrations for creating a bevy of beasts that roam air, land and sea; important basics of drawing, proportion and perspective to help you bring believability to your creatures; instruction for adding living, breating color to finished sketches; and expert tips on finding inspiration, developing personalities, designing costumes and more”. It’s on the shelves now.

image c. 2011 Emily Fiegenschuh

Drawing Fantastic Furries

Christopher Hart is a name well-known among those learning to draw: He’s put out several books of how to draw cartoon characters and characters for animation in the past. But now, he’s trying something pretty new.  His new book is called Drawing Fantastic Furries: The Ultimate Guide to Drawing Anthropomorphic Characters. That’s a pretty big claim, whot? Well here’s how the publishers describe it on Amazon: “What Is A Furry? A furry is an anthropomorphic being—an animal with human characteristics. Furries have fascinated artists going back thousands of years and as seen in the influx of animal/human characters into popular culture, interest today is at an all time high. And now for the first time all in one volume, you’ll be able to take the next step to the outer limits of your imagination with the ultimate guide to drawing your own furries—Christopher Hart’s Drawing Fantastic Furries. After a basic lesson in the fundamentals of comparative human and animal anatomies, you’ll learn how to draw an entire menagerie of furry species, ranging from the adorable and charming super-cute furries to the seductive and super-popular glamorous furries to the warriors, wizards, vampires, and demons of the furry occult and fantasy realms.” The book is available this week in paperback from Watson-Guptill. The cover certainly grabs attention!


image c. 2011 Christopher Hart

Andreas Deja’s Animal Sketchbook

Andreas Deja is a very well-known animator who has worked for Disney animation for 30 years now. He’s known for animating characters like Gaston from Beauty & the Beast and Lilo from Lilo and Stitch, but furry fans probably know him best as the lead animator of Scar in The Lion King. Now Andreas has taken his particular affinity for drawing and animating animals (which he said Lion King was his first opportunity to do as much as he likes to!) and collected together some of his best sketch work into A Different Stripe: Andreas Deja’s Animal Sketchbook (in soft-cover, from Stuart Ng Books).  In it he not only discusses his methods of drawing animals (both realistic and anthropomorphic) but also the advice and guidance he received over the years from such animators and teachers as Ken Hultgren and Marc Davis.

New from Antarctic Press

Three new titles of varying furry-fan interest are coming the March from Antarctic Press. First up: He’s a chip off the old… well, you’ll find out. Chip is a brand-new full-color miniseries by Boneyard and Far West creator Richard Moore. Chip is a young gargoyle on a farm in upstate New York, who’s determined to convince his elders that he can be a big, scary defender of the night like them. Trouble is, Chip is only 4 inches tall! On the non-fiction side of things there’s the new  instructional trade paperback, How to Draw Magic and Fantasy by Fred Perry, Ben Dunn, and David Hutchinson — three names you should know if you follow Antarctic Press or furry comics in general. And finally, there’s Twilit, a new black & white comic book series by Robby Bevard and J.L. Anderson. Hmmm, we’ll let the publishers describe it: “When the vampires on campus would rather bake in their weed than drink blood, life is pretty mellow. Well, except for the occasional scraps with the werewolves, but as long as they vacuum up afterward, the vamps are cool with it. What’s worse is the furry fan down the hall who’s convinced he’s a werewolf, but isn’t.” You read it here folks.