Top 5 Art Books for Artists - Ed’s Magical Holiday Christmas Gift List ~ What'cha Reading?

Top 5 Art Books for Artists – Ed’s Magical Holiday Christmas Gift List


T’was two months til Christmas,
Not a tree was in sight,

So I settled in for the evening,
For a John Carpenter movie night.

As I dozed off on the couch,
Wrapped in a dream-filled peaceful bliss,

Chuck Suffel wakes me up,

Christmas gift list….you say!!!
Dear Jesus…..forgive the man his zeal!!!!!!!!

But damn him, I was in the middle of a dream…..
In bed with my “wife”….Jessica Biel…

“I need artist’s books, dude”, Chuck says,
“….and you know a little something about that”.

Give me five books for the list,
A paragraph for each…..STAT!!!!

So here’s a list of the books,
Among my personal “Top Fives”,

Now please, Chuck, don’t wake me up again,
Until Santa arrives….

9780615272818Figure Drawing: Design and Invention – Michael Hampton (2009)

Although George Bridgman’s and Burne Hogarth’s anatomy books are often cited in interviews by top artists in the fields of comic and fantasy art, I’ve recently discovered Michael Hampton’s gem of book. It’s a comprehensive breakdown of the human body as well as being beautifully rendered. Not that Hogarth’s book isn’t……I just find it way too over-rendered and it asks the reader to process too much information. Hampton’s book simplifies the human structure by explaining the different muscles and their functions. He even “color codes” each muscle so the reader can easily follow how the different forms connect to each other. And it gives each body part its own chapter. Learning anatomy is one of the most daunting challenges for the beginning artist and this book goes a long way in making it less of a hurdle.




The DC Comics Guide to Creating Comics: Inside the Art of Visual Storytelling – Carl Potts (2013)

I reviewed this book early this month and I still find it one of the best books on the subject of creating comics, especially since it was written by an artist who is also an editor. I singled this book out for the information it conveys on panels and the various “do’s and dont’s” regarding an artist’s approach to them. It also has invaluable section where three distinct artists shows us how they each handle the same scripted page.




dc-comics-guide-to-digitally-drawing-comicsThe DC Comics Guide to Digitally Drawing Comics – Freddie H. Williams II (2009)

DC scores again with this invaluable book for those who choose the digital route in creating comics. Even those artists who favor the traditional method of pencils and inks cannot overlook the deadline saving tools this book provides. From working with layers, templates, paths, and perspective grids, this book gives you a collection of entry level tutorials that one will be able to apply with regards to the industry’s top computer graphics software. Digital is the wave of the future, and this book gives the beginning artist a smooth ride.





Comic & Fantasy Artist’s Photo Reference: Colossal Collection of Action Poses – Buddy Scalera (2011)

The title says it all. This book provides photos of every conceivable pose that can be  found in any comic book on the stands. The models provide the pose and artists including  Amanda Connor, William Tucci, Jamal Igle, and Sean Chen depict how they’re used in their panels.





fe6d3df4021432e033606e96c1292ce1ImagineFX: Fantasy & Sci-Fi Digital Art Magazine

This is actually a magazine subscription recommendation from a title that is produced in the United Kingdom. I find this magazine on the stands and although it is pricey ( as it is an import ), it is definitely worth it. It contains tutorials and articles by digital artists worldwide. Some of these articles have been put in a collection that the ImagineFX imprint releases in book form. You can get the subscription in print form or as a digital download to your iPad or other tablets.



All the books listed have links to their amazon listing. They can also be purchased through the What’cha Reading Amazon Webstore. We get a small cut of every sale made through our store…

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