Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Doodletopia Cartoons by Christopher Hart

I admit that I often a judge a book by its cover and when I saw the cover of Hart's Doodletopia Cartoons, I knew it would be a winner!  I loved the whimsy and simplicity of his drawings and couldn't wait to explore the byline's promise: "Draw, Design, and Color Your Own Super-Fun Cartoon Creations."  Now who wouldn't want to do that?!

Hart's doodles are present on nearly every page of this 160 page book. It opens with a letter of introduction from the author to his reader along with two guidelines to keep in mind as one begins to draw.  The first chapter, Warm Up offers step by step instructions for 7 drawings. Steps are very incremental and easy to follow with a space right inside the book to copy Hart's models. The next chapter features silhouettes: the outlines of faces, animals or a building and Hart explains how to complete the interior details.  Chapter 3 is a fun next step in the process--Hart created half of a picture and the reader is provided space to complete the mirror image.

The next chapter focuses on the selection of expressions. Multiple outlines are provided along with examples of how to convey different emotions.  Great lesson on how much eyes and mouth can communicate. I love the narrative from the author throughout. It's like he carries on a conversation with his readers explaining as he teaches new concepts.

In Chapter 5, Hart shows how you can draw two different animals using the same basic shape.  What a great way to help think creatively. With the included 9 outlines, readers will learn how to make 18 animals! Space is built right into the book for the reader to immediately try out what the author demonstrates so clearly.  Chapter 6 moves into dressing your cartoon with clothing and accessories as well as including background detail to complement the character. I especially like the super hero and heroine models.

Chapter 7 features twosomes with one person drawn and the outline of a second person that the reader gets to finish. Chapter 8 gives some help with creating fabulous lettering to really make your words stand out! After that, the reader is given ideas for creating ridiculous inventions. Hart provides some suggestions and the beginning of a contraption but leaves the final product entirely up to the artist. The last chapter finishes things off with a story starter of sorts and a cartoon scene to complete. A great way to apply everything learned in the whole book.

I confess I had not heard of Christopher Hart prior to reviewing this book. In searching around online, however, I was amazed at all the wonderful resources he has made available!  I'm very impressed with his willingness to share his expertise. I discovered he has a YouTube channel with free how to draw videos--how awesome is that?!?  I look forward to watching some of those with my kids.

The author's website will give you information on all the how to books Hart has written and his FAQ page  allows fans a place to pose questions on just about anything. Makes one feel as though you are sitting in on an interview with him.  Hart's Facebook page is another fabulous resource where you can catch weekly drawing tips and other great information and discussions. Mr. Hart seems like a very down to earth person willing to interact with fans and budding artists. How refreshing!

I appreciated that the drawings are very family-friendly. the aliens not too scary and the women not too busty.  Hart really makes drawing look fun and easy.  I highly recommend this book for any child whether they think they can draw or not.  This is a book even adults would enjoy for some doodle time!

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of Doodletopia Cartoons from Blogging for Books for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.

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