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4.7 out of 5 stars
How to Draw Animals (Perigee)
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 3 September 2008
This isn't your average, run-of-the-mill "draw a circle, then draw some lines, then draw some more lines and you've drawn a puppy" how-to book. It doesn't talk at length about brush strokes or what kind of pencil to use.

This book is something different. Instead, it *explains* how to draw animals so that you understand what you're doing and why. It gives tips for remembering proportions and anatomy (e.g. "[the distance between the eyes of a domestic cat is] 1 1/2 eye's width"). And it illustrates them with lots of examples Every one of the 120 pages is jam-packed with content: examples, explanations, tips and tricks.

Where it simplifies animals into basic shapes, it isn't to give you a step-by-step instruction to just copy the picture that's in the books. It's so that you understand what you're doing better; you get the bigger picture of what the animal's shape is -- and how it bends and moves and so on -- before adding the details.

It goes through each different part of the animal -- the feet, legs, ears, eyes, noses -- and gives examples from each different animal species in side-by-side comparison. This way, you can a) really see how contrasting different animal species are, b) learn to draw each part one by one in easy-to-digest chunks, and c) learn common themes and similarities between animals (which can greatly help in understanding how to draw them better).

It then spends a few pages for each species -- cats, lions, tigers, other felines, bears, horses and other equines, elephants, wolves, dogs and other canines, monkeys, etc. -- explaining how to draw that species in detail.

Throughout the book, it also includes wild, less common animals. At the end of the book, there are a few pages devoted to "odd and unusual animals", and also miscellaneous small animals. These last few pages are just examples of many different types of animal (not detailed explanations like the rest of the book), but after reading the rest of the book you will already understand the basics of drawing animals, so these references would be useful.

This book is great for beginners and advanced artists alike. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in learning to draw animals.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 25 January 1996
Jack seems to nail his outline very well with appropiate
thick and thin line. Excellent shading and good reference
for how to quickly draw fur. I've only used a couple of
his techinques but they seem to work for me espically the
first page of basic shapes to start drawing with. These
first pages made revisit the way I draw shoulder/arm and
upper thigh/leg. ALSO check out my favorite artist Rien
Poortvliet, a man who knows how to do it right.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 7 May 1998
This is a good, solid book for the beginning and intermediate animal/anthropomorphic animal artist. Hamm covers a solid range of mammals, including felines, horses, bears, and canines. The book is all on mammals, and covers some common points of mammal anatomy, as well as specifics. One of the art books I owe the most to.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 10 February 1998
I purchased this book for only ten dollars to improve my skills at animating animals. Of coarse, animating requires a large amount of drawings and an artist that can pump them out in a time efficient manner. So as a poor lowly student, I needed a book that would teach me fast. Jack Hamm's book was exactly what I needed. First of all, unlike most 'how to' art books, this one wasn't beefed up with alot of mumbo-jumbo text; but instead there are alot of informative serial drawings. This book is a definite two thumbs up on my list. For ten bucks you can't beat it!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 10 July 2009
If you draw or sculpture animals this is a very instructive book. The drawings are very good and have a natural expression. I have bought this book twice because the first one was stolen. So somebody else likes it too.
Best regards
Bente Bruun, Denmark
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 26 March 2009
Very usefull book-loads of technical info but covers everything from the basics upto trying different stances or even types of animal e.g. horses. Highly recommended for the more serious drawer.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 11 July 1999
Jack Hamm teaches in his books how to draw with DIFFERENT style not just one cramped "imitate me" style of drawing, writing, and instruction. He also points out things the beginning artist may not see at first! I love these books they have helped my art immensely!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 December 2011
This book was fantastic when it came to my art project due to doing it about lions and big cats it was perfect for the job due to having a lot of the big cat structures such as how they run, how to draw their face, their bone anatomy etc. I was very pleased when it come to working with this book, it was a very quick delivery which made it even better due to my project being on a timeline of only 8 weeks I had no time to waste really, I would recommend this book to anyone who loves animals and has a great ordeal of drawing them to create a better posture of the animal, VERY good for beginners.
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on 21 May 2012
If you want to buy a book that teaches your kids how to copy a cartoon picture of some poorly drawn animal you will find that in most other 'how to draw' books, but if you want to buy a book which teaches your kids how to really draw and build up the skills and confidence to do so - I think this book is the one to buy.

I don't say that lightly either - when I was about the age my daughter is now I was given a book called 'How to Draw Animals' - I loved it so much I became an avid sketcher, eventually I ended up a professional graphic artist. So when my 9 year old asked for a book to teach her how to draw animals I bought this one hoping it might be the one I had - however it was not the same book I had as a kid, but rather than this being a disappointment I was very impressed - if anything it kinda made me wish it was the book I had myself all those years back because it was even better than the one I remember.

Unlike a lot of these 'how to draw' books you get which are just teaching kids how to copy one image at a time, this books gets down to the key basics of drawing, showing how pictures are made up of shapes and shading. It gives the step by step to creating your own animal pictures with some confidence building studies as well as focusing on specific features from eyes to toes and everything in between. It has tonnes of examples for inspiration, crammed into the pages - this book could easily be 3 times as many pages considering the vast number of examples.

The book looks a bit dated (published 1983) the cover is a little uninspiring and the page layouts are old school, but don't be put off by the presentation as the content more than makes up for this in my opinion. I can't imagine any child (aged 9 to 90) could read this book and not be inspired to buy a pack of pencils and a sketchbook.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 21 June 1999
This book has excellent coverage of how to draw animals. Before this book, I couldn't draw a thing. Now, I can't stop drawing animals!
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