The Art of Animal Character Design Hardcover – Jan 2007
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This is not the step-by-step instructional art book. However, it does contain a lot of practical tips and points to look out when drawing animals. He workflow is to observe, to think and then to draw. The emphasis is on thinking and he talks about his thought process for the sketches in the book.
His principle is to draw what the animal is doing and draw the character of the animal, rather than just drawing the animal. To quote from the book, it's to draw the 'verb', not the 'noun'. This is the repeating theme throughout the book, and it shows in his examples.
There are a lot of interesting and useful insights provided. For example, he talks about the need to lock down shapes to preserve design integrity so that the animal is still recognizable. There are also tips on how to improve believability through the application of gravity and forces. Other than just drawing animals, he would also caricature humans into their animal form based on their behaviour. There's also a section on creating imaginary animals.
This book is a very good resource to character designers. It's highly recommended.
(More pictures are available on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
I put it up there with Glenn Vilppu's series Vilppu Drawing Manual and the original FA course! Bravo!
The book itself, as a book, did not seem to be extremely well designed. I don't think there's anything blatantly wrong about it, but you can tell that the design of the pages was not what was important when creating this book. It's a very very minor detail that is barely noticeable next to the lovely artwork in the book.
This was worth every penny I spent on it.