Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Younger Son’s First Attempt at Drawing Manga

While at the library the other day I had a list of books I wanted to scout out. I sent my husband to mind the kids while they explored in the children’s department.

Younger son picked out two ‘how to draw comics’ books. He decided one was too advanced and put it back. He borrowed the other one.

Today while we were ‘doing nothing’ my younger son decided to work on the comics. He pulled out his sketchbook and a regular pencil and began drawing. The book has three steps. Step one is just like a mannekin drawing. Step two shows the clothing drawn over that basic human form. Step three is colored in and all finished.

After he struggled a bit and was angry that the finished thing didn’t look the same I pointed out the reason was he was not erasing the extra lines. I also made the executive decision to let him use the drawing pencils. I took them out of their storage place and explained the different hardness levels of the pencils. He experimented and decided he really liked the soft B pencil. I then showed him three different erasers and how they work better than a regular pink eraser. I also advised him to try to draw more lightly with the pencil in the first sketches so it is easier to erase. He is resisting this.

He drew three figures then gave up. He actually stumbled on the eyes. He asked me to draw them for him and I said no. I took the book and said, “They must have taught you do to these eyes somewhere in here” and he said “no”. Well of course there were four pages of eyes there to practice. I explained that it is typical to do nothing but practice drawing eyes over and over and over to get better at doing them. He didn’t believe me. He also said something to the effect that he chose to skip all the beginning steps and to started in the middle of the book

He declared that he is a ‘bad drawer’. This is my precocious child with giftedness traits who is also a perfectionist. I have a hard time boosting up his morale and trying to get him to lower his standards for himself, but I’m trying. In reality I think he did an excellent job at drawing these anime style people for a child who is 7.5 years old.

The book he is using is this one: “Manga Mania: How to Draw Japanese Comics” by Christopher Hart. While looking it over I decided the drawings of the females are a bit too sexy for my taste for my seven year old to be drawing. So far he is sticking to the boys and men. I also see that the robots and mechanical monsters are unbelievable and that will interest my older son for sure.

(A few months ago I bought, with resistance, my first ever “Dummies” book: “Manga for Dummies” which teaches how to draw manga and give a lot more info. I hope I can find the time to do a full review on that book which for us is worthy of owning.)

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