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Modern Cartooning Paperback – 19 Apr 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Watson-Guptill (19 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823007146
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823007141
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 1.1 x 27.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 64,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Christopher Hart is the world's bestselling author of drawing and cartooning books. His books have sold more than 3.1 million English-language copies and have been translated into 20 languages. Renowned for up-to-the-minute content and easy-to-follow steps, all of Hart's books have become staples for a new generation of aspiring artists and professionals.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Zoll on 23 Sep 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great buy for beginners, gives easy steps into the head build, body types & face expressions
I love to draw but needed some help with a modern cartoon look for my projects :D
(just remember to take your time with art, greatness does not come with speedy doodles ;D
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mrs Lesley Kingston on 24 May 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is great as a beginner learning to teach my self to draw this book is great and easy to follow
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By Zack on 1 May 2014
Format: Paperback
I just got this in the post after reading all the 5 star reviews and I must say its fantastic. I wanted to draw modern cartoons and I have not been able to do this before but the book is beautifully setout so its easy to follow and to learn fast.The author makes it really fun too! I recommend this book to anyone from beginners like me to more advance who want to improve their cartoon skills really quickly.
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By Mick C on 28 Jan 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A well laid out and useful book. Really well explained techniques with good examples to follow and practice with. Well worth a look
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 23 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A great introduction to modern cartooning 17 Aug 2014
By David Gordon Ducker - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Modern Cartooning is as suggested by most reviewers a beginner's book. The confusion seems to be which beginner. I would suggest there are five types of beginners when it comes to drawing: 1) the three/four year who is exploring the use of crayons on paper and walls, 2) the ten year old who likes to draw people, pets, houses, cars and trees, etc., 3) the junior high or high school student who is thinking about a career in art because family and friends are constantly complementing them on their art, 4) the college art student developing an interested in comics and animation, 5) the 30, 40 or 50 year olds who never went beyond high school art but wants to explore their creativity by drawing and painting. If you like to draw and fit into one of the last three categories of beginners then this book is for you.

The problem for the ten year old is less the drawings and more the reading level of Chris's written instructions. I suspect that younger beginners such as the ten year old would end up just looking at the pictures and hopefully doing the step-by-step drawings. They would be better off with one of Chris's good step-by-step drawing books, such his books "The Cartoonist's Big Book of Drawing Animals". However, if they have their heart set on Modern Cartooning and have a parent willing to work together it just might work. If the parent reads and discusses Chris's written instructions and both draw the cartoons, it could be a very positive experience. This all assumes the parent is confident enough in their own drawing skills.

Drawing is really about observation. It requires the ability to judge shapes and their placement. Is the body large enough? Is the head positioned correctly? Are the eyes too large, too far apart, or too high or low on the face? Chris's step-by-step drawings are a great help in developing these observational skills. The step-by-step drawings are large, clear and simple enough that each step is easy to follow. It is hard to say how easy or difficult you will find it to draw the cartoons. I'd say they are very easy, but then I've been drawing for more than 60 years and am confident enough is my own drawing skills that I teach kids art. I think these are great drawings for a beginner, the shapes are clear and the steps logical and complete. As long as you follow the steps in order and not just attempt to copy the finished cartoon you should be successful. Remember you will need to practice and draw each cartoon over and over again. You won't become a cartoonist by just reading the book. But repeatedly drawing of each cartoon and reading Chris's comments should result in a noticeable improvements in your cartooning skills.

Cartooning is all about the observation of people and their foibles. Chris is a great cartoonist because he combines both keen observation with a quirky sense of humor. The stereotypical characters he creates are instantly recognizable and outrageously funny. Chris is an excellent teacher for beginners because of his willingness to not only explain what to draw but also point out why. One of the great strengths of Chris's teaching style is he goes beyond just showing what to do. He also shows the design process by including a number of rough drafts that led up to the character's design. This is reinforced in Chris's videos were he is constantly erasing and redrawing while explaining all his reasoning for the changes.

Chris covers the basic of character design, starting with the face. A large part of the book deals with the modification of the face and body to get more individuality from the characters. These changes are mostly quite simple, such as making the body taller than the legs. Chris is the expert at taking such simple changes and creating new, unique, but easily recognizable cartoons types. Chris at one point takes this to an extreme and demonstrates how to create an entire cartoon from a single shape. There is a good mix of ages - from babies to seniors, as well as attention paid to both sexes and difference in body types. The emphasis is constantly on creating something new, unique and fun. There is a steady stream of ways to modify the character. This should be encouragement to go back and take now familiar toons and create something new. After each new concept is introduce Chris has a series of step-by-step drawings that illustrate the new ideas. There is a lot here and the beginner cartoonist will benefit from repeated reading and study of Chris's suggestions as they draw and then adapt each character to create something uniquely their own.

As mention Chris has a YouTube channel. These step-by-step videos greatly enhance the value of Chris's books such as Modern Cartooning. Similar cartoons are constructed from basic shapes and then refined while you watch. The entire time Chris is explaining and demonstrating the drawing process. Even kids who might find Modern Cartooning a too difficult read would be able to enjoy these videos and draw the cartoon characters. Chris's channel is suitable for student cartoonist of all ages.

Recommend, both the book, Modern Cartooning and Chris's YouTube channel.

I am a retired school teacher and potter. My work can be seen at I teach kids art classes and summer art camps that usually include drawing, painting, paper mâché and clay. I make good use of Chris's many how-to-draw art books in my teaching and in my own work.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Excellent explanations of "why" and "how" to create character in your cartoons 12 Sep 2014
By Pea-Jay - Published on
Format: Paperback
I just finished going through my copy of Modern Cartooning by Christopher Hart. I have several cartooning books in my library and one other by Mr. Hart. What I like most about his books, and this one in particular, is how he describes for you how to make a character. You're not just drawing when you follow along with this book, although you could just go through it and copy his drawings for practice. If you really apply what he's instructing you, you can create all kinds of characters and stories with those characters. He explains why the eye should be tilted a certain way, or that the eyebrow placement can change the whole character with just a few strokes of the pencil or stylus. When you're creating a drawing, the most important goal you can have is to make something interesting and original. Mr. Hart's book helps you do that. This is the kind of book every cartoonist should have, even if they're an experienced artist. Gotta' go! I need to do some drawing!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Great Resource for Cartooning 10 Sep 2014
By Treefox - Published on
Format: Paperback
Christopher Hart is among my long-time favorite authors. Modern Cartoons is a nicely designed book. I always appreciate authors who pay attention to the small details in the design of their books. The use of color and graphics in addition to the artwork is a nice touch. Chris’ drawing tips in Modern Cartooning are practical and helpful. He really captures the feel of today's cartoons in this book. And the end result of the cartoons are nicely inked and colored. I had a good time reading and learning from this book. I always learn something new whenever I look at his books. Modern Cartooning a great addition to my cartooning library.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Chris Has Done It again! 1 May 2013
By Nicci - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So about a month after the book came out, I received it in the mail. When I opened it I was greeted with Chris' humor. The steps in this book, like many others, were easy to follow. It's a great buy for anyone who's into cartooning.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Review: Modern Cartooning, By Christopher Hart 5 Jun 2014
By Josh Ralls - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Not long ago, I blogged about Christopher Hart and his blog, “Chris Hart Books.” Christopher Hart is a very talented artist and author. He’s got a book out now, titled Modern Cartooning. As it says on the cover, it features “essential techniques for drawing today’s popular cartoons (Hart, cover).” Being an artist and an aspiring cartoonist, I find this book very fun and interesting. I’ve checked out one of his previous cartooning books at the library before, Cartooning for the Beginner. That book was very helpful to me, especially since I was working on a new comic strip. This book, Modern Cartooning, expands on cartooning, and teaches more things that I never knew before, and is a great guide for my cartooning. It’s very insightful, and it’s easy to understand. It’s great for someone who wants to sharpen their cartooning skills, as well as someone who is just starting out learning to draw cartoons.

One of the things that’s great for a beginner is, as I said, it’s easy to understand. It’s not overwhelming. Christopher Hart takes you step by step, through the book. He focuses on different parts of the character per section. There are nine sections, 10 counting the index. He starts with the head and the face, working towards angles, and the body, and more. He talks about different shapes for the head and it’s features, and different shapes for the body. It’s very interesting to see the shapes you can use for the head, the types of eyes, the body types. There are a variety of parts of the character that can define them in different, exciting, and humorous ways.

Christopher Hart’s style for cartooning, which he displays in this book, is simple and stylish. That, along with the humor he conveys in the book makes the book an entertaining lesson in cartooning. You won’t be bored when reading it and practicing the lessons in it. I personally really enjoy the illustrations and Christopher Hart’s lively attitude. For me, if I can read a book for an hour or more at a time, it’s a very entertaining read, and that’s what this book is.

Modern Cartooning, by Christopher Hart, is a great book for someone who wants to get into cartooning, whether just for the fun of it or as a profession. Reading this book has made me think about my cartooning. It’s got me thinking about simplifying my cartoon style some more, and making my cartoons, especially my comic strip, more animated. I very much recommend this book to anyone who wants to pursue cartooning. It’s a great read, and Christopher Hart is a great teacher! Modern Cartooning is out right now, and I recommending going and buying it (Hart).

Works Cited

Hart, Christopher. Modern Cartooning. New York. Watson-Guptill Publications. 2013. Print.
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