Modern Cartooning: Essential Techniques for Drawing Today's Popular Cartoons by Christopher Hart is technically an adult book. But it is SO easy to use you don't even have to know how to read to follow Hart's step-bystep instructions. However, readers will definitely benefit from Hart's extensive knowledge and straightforward style. Hart is the author of over 150 how to draw books for kids and adults and he has a series of "how to" videos on YouTube for the serious illustrator. I got this book with my eight-year-old in mind. He loves to draw and he loves to watch cartoons. And, if he's anything like his older brother, his interest in drawing will taper off in a few years and I want to do whatever I can to prevent that from happening. The word "modern" in the title means that the characters in Hart's book look like those your kids are seeing on shows like Phineas and Ferb and Fairly Odd Parents.
Hart breaks his book into nine sections, beginning with the basic head shape, above, moving on to facial features. My son needed a picture of his family for school and, rather than force me to scrounge up a photograph of all five of us, I suggested he draw us as cartoons. He had a blast flipping through Modern Cartooning: Essential Techniques for Drawing Today's Popular Cartoons and finding and drawing the characters that look most like his siblings and parents. Hart goes on to cover facial expressions and "Moving Beyond the Basic Head Shape" with sections that cover "Small Changes - Big Results," and "Adding Extreme Visual Effects," which are really fun to explore.
Hart covers body types (including the elusive "rubbery torso" and "dorky dad") and details like shoes, stances and using clothing to define body shape. A final chapter takes artists to the next level, showing how to create a scene as well as how to draw in a style that has an edge to it, making things look stylish. Modern Cartooning: Essential Techniques for Drawing Today's Popular Cartoons is definitely a book you can give to a seven or eight-year-old and know that it will be used for years to come. Or, maybe you really do have a budding artist on your hands and Christopher Hart's books will be the first step down the road to a job with Pixar!
Source: Review Copy