Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: How to Draw Animals (Dover How to Draw)
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on June 28, 2001
I'm an Ed Emberly fan, and as my children (and admittedly myself) have drawn so much out of his books, we've started to branch out to more sophisticated drawings. With the exception of Ed's, most "how-to" books pretty much "teach" in the same way: They give you a number of guides which are supposed to take you from simple shapes to the picture you're trying to arrive at.
It's apparent to me now, having revisited Emberly's work as an adult, and going back to books like this, which were tremendously frustrating to me as a child, that the key difference between a book like "How To Draw Animals" and "Ed Emberly's Drawing Book of Animals" is =not= the complexity of the final picture.
The key difference is the =gradient= between the guides.
In an Emberly book, each guide adds one or two very simple shapes to add--and tells you which shapes to add and often where (though it's usually obvious) and maybe even some explanatory text, etc., etc., whereas a book like this often gives you half-a-dozen shapes, and requires you to tweak the shapes you drew previously, all without a word of instruction or a different color or kind of line showing where the changes are.
Of course, these things are obvious to someone who already =can= draw, but very frustrating for those who can't.
Now, in my experience, most drawing books are like this, and you can't realistically buy them and be shocked when they all more-or-less take this approach, so I didn't really mark Ms. Soloff-Levy's book down for it.
Parents and teachers should pay close attention when buying these books for children. They all have different skill levels and the difference between ending up with a kid who gets frustrated and wants to throw the sketchbook away and ending up with one who enjoys drawing is, in a large part, going to depend on the adult's understanding of what skills a particular book requires.
For what it's worth, I'll continue to post my experiences here.
From a skill standpoint, I'd put this book after Ed Emberly's Big Red Drawing book. The shapes used are subtler than straight geometrics, but there are often only a few elements to a picture. And, thankfully, there are more than just three guides. (Some drawing books give you just three--or even two!--guides to go from nothing to a finished picture.)
I'd give it four stars but in some of the drawings, the guides don't match! I don't mean that a shape has to be tweaked or subtly altered, but simply that a leg in one guide is in a different position than the same leg in the next! Other than that, this book is recommended.
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on December 22, 2013
I bought this book along with "How to Draw Pets." There are similar animals in this book (monkey, rabbit, horse, mouse, sheep, pig, dog, cat) but are drawn with a different design. Most of the animals are farm or zoo related. The design of these animals are more simple than the animals in "How to Draw Pets." The difference is there is less focus on texture, i.e. fur/feather development. These drawings are more shape initiated than free-hand. Each project has 4 stages which build upon each other to complete the drawing. Dashed lines indicate lines to be erased due to overlapping. Practice page is include next to each project but the following project is on the back of the practice page. This is for my 6 year old grandson who I also bought a drawing pad to practice on. Tracing paper will help me overcome areas of difficulty. Good book for his age/ability level.
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on January 12, 2013
This book was a gift for my wife, who doodles cartoon animals and was interested in learning how to improve her technique. She loves it, as it does exactly what the title says; It shows you how to draw cartoon animals in a simple, step-by-step manner.
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on April 29, 2000
This book is very good for children. The children have not put it down. It teaches them how to draw basic animals and gives them a sense of accomplishment!
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on January 5, 2016
This is a very good book for beginner "artist". Bought for my 6 year old niece and she loves it. Simplifies the animals enough for her to draw but they still manage to have lots of character. Love that there is a blank page opposite to the instructions for practice. Plan to buy one for my son.
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on February 13, 2016
Very rudimentary. Is good for kids as they have no inhibitions. You must have good imagination to get full use of book. This review is for all volumes. Finally, all but the one on faces by this author are somewhat cartoony.
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on February 29, 2016
It was recommended to me by a friend whose kids really enjoyed this series of books. My kids love this book too. It's easy to follow. I am pretty happy, so I am ordering more from this author. The quality of paper is great - easy to erase.
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on May 11, 2016
I love these "How to Draw..." books. I bought the animals, faces, and people for my 6-year old daughter and 8-year old niece, and they really enjoy them. They're learning drawing techniques and are encouraged to keep practicing when they see how much their drawings have improved. It's super fun for them and I love that they're learning - worth every penny!
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on September 2, 2013
Our young artist-to-be- friend loves it, and the other drawing booms we got for her. Well done, nicely explained techniques even for the very young, because the graphics are so well drawn.
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on May 16, 2014
My 8 year old grand daughter loved this book and sent me many of her drawing for my refrigerator. I love them all and was surprised at how good they were.
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