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

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An instructional art book in narrative graphic novel form that uses the tale of one aspiring young artist and his reluctant mentor to impart easy-to-follow lessons on the fundamentals of drawing. With over 10 million views and growing, Mark Crilley's YouTube drawing instruction videos have an enormous worldwide legion of fans and have been featured on sites such as Yahoo Ne An instructional art book in narrative graphic novel form that uses the tale of one aspiring young artist and his reluctant mentor to impart easy-to-follow lessons on the fundamentals of drawing. With over 10 million views and growing, Mark Crilley's YouTube drawing instruction videos have an enormous worldwide legion of fans and have been featured on sites such as Yahoo News and Reddit. In addition, Crilley is an accomplished graphic novelist. Now for the first time, he pairs both strengths resulting in a one-of-a-kind art instruction experience. Through the story of aspiring, overeager young artist-in-the-making David and his helpful, but often flustered mentor, Becky, readers gain a grounding in the basics of drawing and rendering, along with a helping of laughs and poignant entertainment. Each lesson builds off the previous, with sidebars at the end of each chapter that direct readers to tackle some of the very same drawing exercises that David has just completed. The sequential art format provides the perfect vehicle for these step-by-step lessons, and the Pixar-esque approach to the surrounding characters and story ensures an enjoyable experience that readers will want to revisit again and again.


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An instructional art book in narrative graphic novel form that uses the tale of one aspiring young artist and his reluctant mentor to impart easy-to-follow lessons on the fundamentals of drawing. With over 10 million views and growing, Mark Crilley's YouTube drawing instruction videos have an enormous worldwide legion of fans and have been featured on sites such as Yahoo Ne An instructional art book in narrative graphic novel form that uses the tale of one aspiring young artist and his reluctant mentor to impart easy-to-follow lessons on the fundamentals of drawing. With over 10 million views and growing, Mark Crilley's YouTube drawing instruction videos have an enormous worldwide legion of fans and have been featured on sites such as Yahoo News and Reddit. In addition, Crilley is an accomplished graphic novelist. Now for the first time, he pairs both strengths resulting in a one-of-a-kind art instruction experience. Through the story of aspiring, overeager young artist-in-the-making David and his helpful, but often flustered mentor, Becky, readers gain a grounding in the basics of drawing and rendering, along with a helping of laughs and poignant entertainment. Each lesson builds off the previous, with sidebars at the end of each chapter that direct readers to tackle some of the very same drawing exercises that David has just completed. The sequential art format provides the perfect vehicle for these step-by-step lessons, and the Pixar-esque approach to the surrounding characters and story ensures an enjoyable experience that readers will want to revisit again and again.

30 review for The Drawing Lesson: A Graphic Novel That Teaches You How to Draw

  1. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    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 B 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.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lada

    The interpersonal dynamics were weird, but the drawing instruction was great.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth A

    This graphic novel has an interesting premise. Can you take the basics of how to draw, and incorporate them into a story? This book shows that you can. It's a cute story of a young boy who has a passion for drawing, and along the way the reader learns along with him the fundamentals of drawing. This would make a good introduction for young artists.

  4. 4 out of 5

    DaNae

    Now I feel like I could draw anything. A book that does what it does, elegantly. A how to draw book coupled with and engaging story.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Michael Galdamez

    Only every once in a while do you come across a book as innovative as this. I have loved drawing for as long as I can remember, making little comic books and copying pictures of characters I loved as a kid (example, my bazillion drawings of Sonic the Hedgehog). I heard about Mark Crilley around 2013 and instantly loved his teaching style. His books and videos have helped me in several ways, so when I heard about this book, I knew I had to read it. Mark Crilley really shows off his talent for teach Only every once in a while do you come across a book as innovative as this. I have loved drawing for as long as I can remember, making little comic books and copying pictures of characters I loved as a kid (example, my bazillion drawings of Sonic the Hedgehog). I heard about Mark Crilley around 2013 and instantly loved his teaching style. His books and videos have helped me in several ways, so when I heard about this book, I knew I had to read it. Mark Crilley really shows off his talent for teaching, drawing, and writing in The Drawing Lesson. The story, art, and tips are all expertly executed. I think I was most surprised by the story. The two characters, David, a young aspiring artist, and Becky, a middle-aged experienced artist are both very enjoyable to watch interact with each other and see how much David progresses in his ability to draw. David's devotion inspired me. I wanted that to be me. Ultimately, the story is both very fun and real (although, sometimes it would be a little concerning if it was real, like David finding where Becky lives and his semi-stalking her for more lessons. Love it.). Becky's tips throughout the book are extremely helpful, taking basic concepts about shapes, lines, shadows, and even empty spaces, and making it all easy to understand, and most importantly, possible to accomplish. Crilley says in the introduction to the book that its main purpose is to basically turn you into your own mentor. You will be the one to point out your flaws. You will be the one who knows what it's supposed to look like. And you will be the one to force yourself to do it right. I would highly recommend this to any artist no matter where they are in their journey. There's plenty here to enjoy. So here's to picking up that pencil, and pad of paper (and eraser) more often!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kat Ice

    This was such a great graphic novel and way to learn to draw. Of course you wont have someone to say how well or not your doing but it was still amazingly drawn and written!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dena (Batch of Books)

    What a brilliant way to teach drawing! This isn't like your typical art books for kids where you learn how to draw a horse, a dog, or a lion. It's a graphic novel with a story about David, a boy that wants to learn how to draw. He meets Becky, who reluctantly gives him several drawing lessons and teaches him about proportions, shading, and negative space, among other things. After each lesson, there is a challenge for the reader to complete. I love the approach this book takes. I love the way it What a brilliant way to teach drawing! This isn't like your typical art books for kids where you learn how to draw a horse, a dog, or a lion. It's a graphic novel with a story about David, a boy that wants to learn how to draw. He meets Becky, who reluctantly gives him several drawing lessons and teaches him about proportions, shading, and negative space, among other things. After each lesson, there is a challenge for the reader to complete. I love the approach this book takes. I love the way it doesn't follow the same format as other art instruction books. It's informative and well planned out. The art instruction is well written and because it's completely illustrated, easy to understand. While this isn't a comprehensive book about drawing (things like perspective and concave lines aren't addressed), it's a fantastic starting point. Kids and adults that are jumping into the fray will find this helpful and entertaining guidance. It's very similar to a real art lesson where the teacher instructs, corrects, and critiques your work. Highly recommended for budding artists ages 8 and up (Miss K loves it!) Content: Clean Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My blog: Batch of Books

  8. 5 out of 5

    Stewart Tame

    Another descriptive title. A young boy, David, who really wants to learn how to draw, by chance encounters Becky, a young woman who agrees to teach him. Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of drawing basics, and ends with suggested exercises for readers to try. I'll confess that I didn't actually try any of these myself, but they seem sound enough. I'm content with my passable doodling skills, and feel no burning desire to better them--seems like it would cut into my reading time, for one Another descriptive title. A young boy, David, who really wants to learn how to draw, by chance encounters Becky, a young woman who agrees to teach him. Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of drawing basics, and ends with suggested exercises for readers to try. I'll confess that I didn't actually try any of these myself, but they seem sound enough. I'm content with my passable doodling skills, and feel no burning desire to better them--seems like it would cut into my reading time, for one thing--but I would think anyone who followed Crilley's suggested lessons would see a marked increase in the quality of their drawing skills. I like the idea of telling the drawing lessons in comics form. I've been a fan of Crilley's work since the beginning of his Akiko series many years ago. There's a warmth and simplicity to his style that I find appealing, and he's good with slightly exasperated characters. I liked the relationship between David and Becky, how she finds him annoyingly over enthusiastic at first, but warms to him over the course of the lessons. This was a fun book and an interesting concept as well. Recommended!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    I was very impressed with this new approach to drawing lessons. Fresh and different there is a lot to learn. There are several "Chapters" touching on subjects such as: Shading, Using Negative Space, Checking Proportions, Simplifying Things, and more. Seeing the examples and poor David's frustration at constantly having to redraw lines, helps me feel a little more normal in my artwork. I love the interaction between teacher and student. David's eagerness to learn and study...And his teacher's gui I was very impressed with this new approach to drawing lessons. Fresh and different there is a lot to learn. There are several "Chapters" touching on subjects such as: Shading, Using Negative Space, Checking Proportions, Simplifying Things, and more. Seeing the examples and poor David's frustration at constantly having to redraw lines, helps me feel a little more normal in my artwork. I love the interaction between teacher and student. David's eagerness to learn and study...And his teacher's guiding hand, bringing him back to earth. I recommend this book for those who have a basic concept of drawing, but would like to learn more. Have fun with it, and remember, art is NOT like math! I received a free copy of The Drawing Lesson through Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Renae McBrian

    I received this book from Penguin Random House (via Blogging for Books) in exchange for an honest review. This book is actually pretty cool. I'm artistically challenged and this book starts with the very basics and work its way through some rudimentary drawing skills in a way that my brain can process. I can't say that it actually worked, because I'm pretty sure the ever-learning-to-draw ship has sailed, but I'm keeping it around for my kids for later.

  11. 5 out of 5

    B.A. Williamson

    WHOAH! a good plot, and really solid lessons in art technique and more importantly, mindset. I want 30 of these for my classroom.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    Despite the fact that I am well into adulthood, I never felt like I got much past kindergarten level regarding art. I felt totally at home jumping into all things theatrical, but put a drawing pencil in my hand– and I felt woefully underprepared. So when I saw the title of Mark Crilley’s book THE DRAWING LESSON, and the fact that it was a graphic novel, I was intrigued. Perhaps I could learn something about drawing in an easy, fun way. The book did not disappoint. It provides a bunch of lessons a Despite the fact that I am well into adulthood, I never felt like I got much past kindergarten level regarding art. I felt totally at home jumping into all things theatrical, but put a drawing pencil in my hand– and I felt woefully underprepared. So when I saw the title of Mark Crilley’s book THE DRAWING LESSON, and the fact that it was a graphic novel, I was intrigued. Perhaps I could learn something about drawing in an easy, fun way. The book did not disappoint. It provides a bunch of lessons about skills to think about and develop when drawing, with one focused lesson per chapter. These lessons include shading, negative space, creating a composition, checking proportions, and others. This is all taught within the graphic novel plot of a little boy eagerly seeking lessons from an artist name Becky whom he meets by chance. The plot mostly serves as a medium for the lessons to be taught to the boy (and the reader), but it is still a touching little story. This book would be a great gift for a kid, but honestly– it’s great for anyone who wants to draw but feels intimidated by how much they don’t know. Mark Crilley’s passion for the subject and compassion for the reader are highly evident in this whimsically drawn and educational graphic novel.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*

    Crilley, Mark The Drawing Lesson : A Graphic Novel That Teaches You How to Draw, 167 pages. GRAPHIC NOVEL Watson-Guptill, 2016. $19. Langage: G (0 swears, 0 ‘f’) Mature Content: G Violence: G Davis loves to draw but admits he isn't very good. One day, while in the park, he watches a woman drawing and convinces her to give him a drawing lesson. The lessons continue (despite her attempts to avoid him) and David gets better and better. He learns about shading, sketching, light and shadow, using neg Crilley, Mark The Drawing Lesson : A Graphic Novel That Teaches You How to Draw, 167 pages. GRAPHIC NOVEL Watson-Guptill, 2016. $19. Langage: G (0 swears, 0 ‘f’) Mature Content: G Violence: G Davis loves to draw but admits he isn't very good. One day, while in the park, he watches a woman drawing and convinces her to give him a drawing lesson. The lessons continue (despite her attempts to avoid him) and David gets better and better. He learns about shading, sketching, light and shadow, using negative space, proportions, compositions and many other techniques artists use. This book really is a drawing lesson. Although it is set up as a story about a boy finding a mentor, it's really a step by step instruction book teaching you how to draw. At the conclusion of each lesson, the reader is invited to try what they have just learned. So simple, this book is inspiring. In the artist's forward, Crilley talk about needing mentors, and that some people don't have access to them - this book does the trick. David is young - he talks about a 5th grade friend who can draw a Ferrari. Elementary or middle school students will love this. EL, MS - ESSENTIAL Lisa Librarian https://kissthebook.blogspot.com/2018...

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Davis loves to draw but admits he isn't very good. One day, while in the park, he watches a woman drawing and convinces her to give him a drawing lesson. The lessons continue (despite her attempts to avoid him) and David gets better and better. He learns about shading, sketching, light and shadow, using negative space, proportions, compositions and many other techniques artists use. This book really is a drawing lesson. Although it is set up as a story about a boy finding a mentor, it's really a Davis loves to draw but admits he isn't very good. One day, while in the park, he watches a woman drawing and convinces her to give him a drawing lesson. The lessons continue (despite her attempts to avoid him) and David gets better and better. He learns about shading, sketching, light and shadow, using negative space, proportions, compositions and many other techniques artists use. This book really is a drawing lesson. Although it is set up as a story about a boy finding a mentor, it's really a step by step instruction book teaching you how to draw. At the conclusion of each lesson, the reader is invited to try what they have just learned. So simple, this book is inspiring. In the artist's forward, Crilley talk about needing mentors, and that some people don't have access to them - this book does the trick. David is young - he talks about a 5th grade friend who can draw a Ferrari. Elementary or middle school students will love this. Cross posted to http://kissthebook.blogspot.com CHECK IT OUT!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Myra

    Graphic novel by well-known graphic novelist Mark Crilley. I have to admit a high degree of skepticism when I picked up this graphic novel claiming to teach drawing, especially after a very quick flip-through at the library. I was pleasantly surprised and pleased once I read it. Is this a comprehensive how-to guide on drawing from A to Z? No. Many topics are not even addressed (for example, foreshortening, perspective, different media, etc.). But this book does a really good job at teaching some Graphic novel by well-known graphic novelist Mark Crilley. I have to admit a high degree of skepticism when I picked up this graphic novel claiming to teach drawing, especially after a very quick flip-through at the library. I was pleasantly surprised and pleased once I read it. Is this a comprehensive how-to guide on drawing from A to Z? No. Many topics are not even addressed (for example, foreshortening, perspective, different media, etc.). But this book does a really good job at teaching some of the basics - being observant, using negative space, using reference points, shading, etc. And the style of the book makes it very non-threatening and approachable. I will note that both of the characters in the book rather annoyed me, David in particular. They are both a bit moody and over-dramatic.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Venkatesh-Prasad

    I got this for my kids and they are really liking it; of course, I too finished it in one sitting :) The comic format makes the exposition enticing to kids. The embedded instruction is very accessible as it uses simple language and concepts (w/ very little or no math and technical jargon). While chapters cover topics such as proportion, shading, and composition, they do so at a basic level. The end of each chapter has short exercises. That said, it is not a book to master drawing skills, which r I got this for my kids and they are really liking it; of course, I too finished it in one sitting :) The comic format makes the exposition enticing to kids. The embedded instruction is very accessible as it uses simple language and concepts (w/ very little or no math and technical jargon). While chapters cover topics such as proportion, shading, and composition, they do so at a basic level. The end of each chapter has short exercises. That said, it is not a book to master drawing skills, which requires loads of practice. This is an excellent introduction to drawing; specifically, pre-teen kids.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Niki

    "The Drawing Lesson" is a creative graphic novel that provides drawing instruction. It is both non-fiction and fiction! Young aspiring artist, David, meets Becky in the park one day and pesters her into giving him drawing lessons. The details of the drawing lessons re included, so the reader is also receiving the mentor's instructions. I think the dynamics between David and Becky are a bit odd, but overall this is a great graphic novel. I recommend this book for classroom and school libraries ser "The Drawing Lesson" is a creative graphic novel that provides drawing instruction. It is both non-fiction and fiction! Young aspiring artist, David, meets Becky in the park one day and pesters her into giving him drawing lessons. The details of the drawing lessons re included, so the reader is also receiving the mentor's instructions. I think the dynamics between David and Becky are a bit odd, but overall this is a great graphic novel. I recommend this book for classroom and school libraries serving students grades 3 through 8. (Perhaps adults too!) I also think it would be a great book for children who are interested in drawing to personally own.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Deltora

    man I wish I'd found this book when I was a kid. as someone who struggled with reading, I always gravitated towards graphic novels and comic books, less words and so many visual aides. and a lot of kids, including myself, who read stuff like that, often dream of drawing their own. so finding this, an easy to read graphic novel that actually teaches you how to draw? this is fantastic. if there is a child in your life(or adult) that is interested in learning to draw but all those think "drawing foe man I wish I'd found this book when I was a kid. as someone who struggled with reading, I always gravitated towards graphic novels and comic books, less words and so many visual aides. and a lot of kids, including myself, who read stuff like that, often dream of drawing their own. so finding this, an easy to read graphic novel that actually teaches you how to draw? this is fantastic. if there is a child in your life(or adult) that is interested in learning to draw but all those think "drawing foe dummies" books are a bit intimidating, tell them about this book, maybe this is what they've been looking for.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kristie Gerber

    I'm not a huge fan of graphic novels, but I enjoyed this one. It is a very fast read. It took less than an hour to read the story, but if you paused to practice the art techniques being taught, you would spend more time on it. I thought the story was fun and and the art instruction was simple and interesting. I'm not really an artist, but I might actually try some techniques discussed to see what I can do.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sherri

    Great introduction to drawing for kids. I got this for my son who loves comics and who loves to draw. It covers all the basics of drawing in a way kids will understand. The novel itself is a wonderful example of beautiful shapes, lines, and composition. The overall plot isn’t very dynamic, but that isn’t the point of the book so the story line was a bit boring but easy to follow.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Adriana

    What a cute way to convey basic drawing principles for burgeoning artists! There's an actual story that comes full circle to go along with the basic principles that each chapter covers. Crilley does an excellent job of distilling the basics of drawing and explaining them in clear, easy to understand terms. I particularly liked how each chapter ends with a task for the reader to complete and practice what the chapter taught.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Brian Clopper

    Picture perfect drawing book for the young cartoonist. Crilley’s art is engaging and lesson progress naturally. If I had this when I was ten or eleven, I would’ve had it by my side all summer and drawing up a storm. A great gift idea for a son, daughter, niece, nephew, grandson, or granddaughter who has the drawing bug.

  23. 4 out of 5

    M

    This was such a fun comic I flew through and I already learned so much as an amateur artist, I can already see my shading improve! The comic itself helps guide you through everything step by step on how to get to be the best you can be at art while also telling the story of young David with a fantastic conclusion.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    Cute and instructive, with interesting lessons and a sweet story. However, I wish that 1) the style of the comic was different from the characters' drawing style, because it's pretty confusing to figure out what's "real" and what's "drawn" in the book, and 2) the little kid was less immature and annoying so that the plot could develop beyond a simple story.

  25. 4 out of 5

    STEVEN J DEROSA

    Excellent and entertaining! what an enjoyable way to learn a lot of the fundamentals of drawing! Very cleverly done, very informative. I think I learn more here than long textbooks on the subject.

  26. 4 out of 5

    malrubius

    Fun book for kids who like to draw (like me -- I'm an old kid). Covers the basics and should get kids more interested in improving their skills. Kid in the book has an interesting relationship with a strange woman, but that shouldn't bother kids reading it.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    If you ever wanted to just have a couple of quick lessons that teach you the basics of how to draw this graphic novel is for you. Not only does it have a sweet story, but it gives you drawing lessons as you read.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mrs. Downs

    If you ever wanted to just have a couple of quick lessons that teach you the basics of how to draw this graphic novel is for you. Not only does it have a sweet story, but it gives you drawing lessons as you read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

    This is such a cute and fun drawing book/graphic novel! The lessons seem solid--similar to Drawing from the Right Side of the Brain, but really fun and entertaining. Now the true test will be whether or not it helps me to get better at drawing! 😜

  30. 4 out of 5

    Hanseul Lee

    As a student who is not taking Visual Arts from next year due to my poor drawing skill, I really liked this book in terms of teaching the basics of drawing with the kind explanation. I might have chose Visual Arts for next year's art course if I read this book for about a year earlier...

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