Paperback, 160 pages
Published September 9th 2014 by Ten Speed Press
Format reviewed: Finished copy via publisher
Prehistoric Pencil Power!
Even though they lived some 65 million years ago, dinosaurs and other prehistoric reptiles continue to rule today. From movies to comics and cartoons, these ancient, giant beasts are everywhere you turn. Of course, who wants to just read about or watch these dinos when you can learn how to use pencils, pens, markers, and more to draw your very own?
Cartoonist James Silvani combines easy-to-follow art exercises with the latest, greatest dino-facts to help you create fun and cool dinosaur doodles all by yourself. With lessons on old favorites like T-rex and stegosaurus, as well as lesser-known (but still awesome) creatures like the massive argentinosaurus,Draw-a-Saurus has everything the dinosaur fan could ever ask for (outside of their very own pet dino!).
You know you've fallen in love with a book when you've been given a book to review - Sorry, Jess! Sorry, Natalie! - and you can't put it down long enough to review it, until several months later.
That was pretty much my experience with Draw-A-Saurus. I've been sitting on my review for awhile now, since I've just been having too much fun playing around with the book, and really getting to know how James Silvani's work. This is definitely a book that I think readers will want to own for themselves, but should also immediately put on their holiday shopping lists for all of the artists in their lives.
Silvani has created a wonderfully easy step-by-step book on how to draw a wide range of dinosaurs, ranging from the ever-popular T-Rex, to lesser known dinosaurs. Silvani follows an easy-to-undestand model using geometric shapes, and builds upon them for each step.
The instructions are shared with readers in a way that will not only encourage the artistic novice, but will also be a great refresher for more seasoned artists. I've taken art classes for years, and I found myself following along with Silvani's instructions with anticipation and appreciation.
Outside of the drawings, Silvani makes it a point to include some interesting facts about dinosaurs that will delight even the most knowledgable of dinosaur-enthsuiasts, and make for even more detailed drawings, or "fine tuning."
Best of all, with each page and each new dinosaur project, Silvani's helped reenergize my love of drawing. He's helped remind me that there's wonderful humor and joy in learning the steps of a new project, and it's a lesson that I'm sure other readers will absolutely love as well.
If you're looking for a perfect gift this holiday season for either a budding young artist, or an old cartoonist hand, this is it. With so many drawings to choose from, and Silvani's wonderful instructions, there's no way that the artist in your life won't enjoy this book.
As for me, I'm going to go back to drawing dinosaurs now!
About the author:
JAMES SILVANI is an artist and illustrator and has drawn characters for Disney, Warner Bros., Dreamworks, Lucasfilm, and Marvel Comics. Currently he is a comic book illustrator for titles like Disney’s Mickey Mouse, DuckTales, Darkwing Duck, and The Muppets. Silvani has drawn dinosaurs and other prehistoric beasts since childhood, and now puts those skills to use in art workshops at libraries, schools, and comic book conventions. Silvani is a resident of Kihei, Hawaii.