1. Book Review ~ 21 Draw

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    Editor’s Note

    We asked 200 artists one question. ‘If I was a magic genie, and could make a book that would solve all of your art problems, what would that book be?’ We got many different answers, but after a while, we started to see similar patterns in their responses. Most common problems had to do with character design, movement, facial expressions & drawing hands. 21 Draw solves all of these problems.

    21 Draw is a book about character design, movement and expression drawn by over 100 amazing artists who have worked for Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks, Rockstar Games, Marvel, D.C Comics, Capcom and other giants of the entertainment and gaming industry.

    The Book Review

    21 Draw is the exact type of project that could only be conceived and delivered with today’s social media and crowd-funding backdrop. The Lounge was lucky enough to be contacted by Chris O’Hara about the project very early on. So, in May last year, once the project went live on Indiegogo we watched in anticipation how well it would be received. However, with the roster of phenomenal artist including Steve Rude, Ariel Olivetti, Kim Jung Gi, Artgerm, Loish, Phobes and many other industry giants attached to 21 Draw, we needn’t fret. In just one week the project raised $77,000. Over the course on May 2,337 backers raised $150,181, more than 3 times its original goal.

    The 21 Draw dream was to be both an artbook and a reference book. It focused on answering common artist problems. After surveying 200 artist, the recurring topics were a lack of good character references, action poses, drawing faces and (no surprise) drawing hands.

    Addressing this, the book is broken up by character type, for each character the artists produce two pages of headshots, turnarounds, action poses and hands. Included are common characters tropes such as adventurer, detective, hero, magician, pirate, princess and more, as well as quite a few not so common ones, like Kawai Tokyo girl. I enjoy this repetitive nature of the book, comparing how each illustrator manage the same brief. All artist, except Kim Jung Gi, whom the editor thought would be “cool” to give him a much looser brief, I think most of us would agree.

    As well as being categorised reference book, 21 Draw includes 13 tutorials, in which the artist explain their process from sketch to the final image. Including what medium and programmes they work in and a few neat tricks. I love going behind-the-curtain of such skilled illustrators. Out of all the tutorials, for me, the highlight was Steve Rude’s four pages. I would more than happily buy a full book of just those.

    Flicking through the book, just when you think you have had your fill of inspiration, it keeps going. Like a five-course-meal, with two deserts. 21 Draw is an achievement that not only collates an excellent array of talent, it is genuinely helpful. Even if it is just a springboard of inspiration, the quality and diversity of the illustrations; both in terms of style and subject, will undoubtedly earn 21 Draw a permanent space on your drawing desk.

    A follow-up book titled 21 Draw: Illustrators Guidebook is in the works which I am very excited to see what it has in store. You can find out more about that on their Facebook page.

    21 Draw
    Hardback or Paperback
    254 pages
    215 x 255mm