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Perspective! for Comic Book Artists: How to Achieve a Professional Look in your Artwork Paperback – October 1, 1997


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Perspective! for Comic Book Artists: How to Achieve a Professional Look in your Artwork + Extreme Perspective! For Artists: Learn the Secrets of Curvilinear, Cylindrical, Fisheye, Isometric, and Other Amazing Systems that Will Make Your Drawings Pop Off the Page + Vanishing Point: Perspective for Comics from the Ground Up
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Watson-Guptill; 1st Printing edition (October 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823005674
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823005673
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 0.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,550 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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top reviewer
This perspective book is done in comic form, which is a very interesting touch and deviation to traditional perspective books.
Chris P
This is a book about perspective for comic book artists and it is itself, a comic!
Michael Robin Cooke

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Greg Banville on January 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
If you are a serious artist then you will probably have to study a few perspective books before you learn all you need to know about the subject. This book deserves to be in that collection. It covers the nuts and bolts of the correct methods for drawing in one, two and three point perspective and offers hints for shortcuts that you can use to build drawings with a perspective look, even if they are not technically accurate, when you have to work with a deadline.

What I like about the book is that it provides thorough context for understanding not just the how, but the reasons behind the perspective techniques. If you know the rules you can do it, but if you understand the context in depth you can make informed decisions about when to follow the painstaking rules and when to use the shortcuts.

The book is also written in a very approachable visual medium. Basically it is a comic book following in the tradition of Scott McCloud's "Understanding Comics".

The book also includes some facinating bits of trivia about 3 point perspective, when it was developed and why, and the lengths that some artists, like M. C. Escher, had to go to in order to properly employ it.

The book has two shortcomings. The first is a consequence of its comic format, there are a large number of pages which present more character development than is strictly necessary to get the information across. By contrast, most perspective books are very condensed, explaining as much as can be explained with illustrations and diagrams. This not only goes into detailed discussion of perspective, its uses and theory, but does so within the voice baloons of two characters.

The second shortcoming is one that I can't think of any other perspective book that treats, that is, it leaves out curvileniar or 5 point perspective, though apparently the author is aware of this kind of perspective, he tantalizes us by using it in a couple of illustrations in the book.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By "skunkbomb" on June 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
I found this book extremely helpful, in more ways the one. Instead of your usual text with diagram format, it has a refreshing comic book format. This means that examples are almost always right there, WITH the text that discusses it - so you can absorb what's being talked about with out having the "break concentration" and look for the relevant connection between explanation and example. Also, rather than discuss only the "terminology" and the like, I found the explanations were geared so that anyone who can read could understand them - without a dictionary being close to hand! I'd highly recommend picking up this book - to the beginners and pros alike! The gains from it's knowledge are definately worth the price.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Karma on July 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
A tome about comic perspective in comics form, this book helped me discover new principles in perspective and the REASON for these principle. Not just for your scenery, human bodies in perspective are also covered... but you had better know anatomy before hand. The reason for the missing star is because Chelsea uses two forms of curvilinear perspective, but suspiciously absent is the chapter ON curvilinear. Even with this oversight, Chelsea has written an engaging and fairly complete perspective guide. Look closely at the icecubes on page 131 and try to find the hidden pictures!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By BDC on November 25, 2004
Format: Paperback
Thorough explanation of perspective but at times it becomes "too thorough". Some things become too technical for the general reader.

At the same time, there's no section that deals with the really complex aspect of perspective - such as multiple perspectives in a single plane (for example, how do you draw a tilted boat on a beach?). Also, it doesn't deal much with putting people in perspective. Ok, so he does mention that you can use the horizon line but what if you're dealing with a single picture that has a person coming down a stairs, and another looking out a window, and another walking down the street? He doesn't explain how to draw them so that they look right. At least, he should have included how to tackle this issue.

For a book this thick, it's certainly lacking. This would be my only disappointment.

The only book I've seen that is much more helpful than David Chelsea's is the one written by Andrew Loomis (Successful Drawing, and Creative Drawing). But don't get me wrong. This isn't a bad book. It's quite useful but not that useful.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Griffen on July 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
David Chelsea has produced an informative and entertaining resource in this book. He's cleverly managed to sum up perspective lessons from numerous sources into one compendium for comic book artists, fans of the genre interested in learning how it's done, or even the casual artist.

After the opening chapters dealing with depth cues, the picture plane, the horizon and vanishing point, and the use of cubes in illustration, he divides the book up into several tutorials covering one-point perspective, two-point perspective, three-point perspective, the use of circles and ellipses in perspective and the human figure in perspective.

You can easily sit down with a sketch pad (I would also recommend some graph paper) and go through his lessons one by one to get a more hands-on approach (I intend to do this soon!). The three-point perspective lesson is very complex but worth the effort, especially for the burgeoning comic book artist. Three-point perspective, as Chelsea points out, allows the artist to render some pretty dynamic scenes.

When I first saw that the majority of the book was written in comic book form, I wasn't quite sure what to make of it. However, once I got into it, I found it to be very entertaining. I was learning the process of perspective illustration while enjoying the medium I love: sequential art!

I highly recommend Chelsea's book. Even if you never sit down and attempt to use his methods, it will help you get your head around the whole topic. He also provides several short cuts for those who want to achieve those dynamic perspective effects without doing all the tedious legwork.
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