Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Draw 50 Sea Creatures: The Step-by-Step Way to Draw Fish, Sharks, Mollusks, Dolphins, and More

Draw 50 Sea Creatures: The Step-by-Step Way to Draw Fish, Sharks, Mollusks, Dolphins, and More

Nonfiction
For ages 9 and up
Watson-Guptill, 2017   ISBN: 978-0399580178

Learning how to draw can be frustrating, especially when you look at the whole image that you want to capture. Where do you start? How do you start? For centuries, teachers of all kinds have been developing methods to teach novices how to draw, and for many of them mimicry is the foundation; copy other people’s methods first so that you learn how to translate what you see onto paper.

In this book Lee J. Ames uses an easy-to-follow, step-by-step method of teaching to show novice artists how to draw fifty creatures that can be found in seas and oceans around the world. In his introduction he advises his readers to take great care with the first step as it is the one that is often crucial. This first step, and the next, should be done with a light hand and he recommends that artists “watch the spaces between the lines, as well as the lines,” which is an important lesson to learn. He also recommends looking at the first few steps in a mirror, a process that often reveals flaws in the shapes.

Creating the initial shapes can be tricky at first because it isn’t easy to make the pencil go in the right direction. It is important not to be discouraged. With practice, creating smoother lines and neater shapes will become easier.

The writer/artist begins by showing us how to draw corals, an anemone, kelp, a feather star, a sea urchin, and a jellyfish. Then we move onto a sea horse and sea dragon, which are wonderful creatures to draw. Crustaceans and mollusks follow. Then there are mammals (like seals and whales), birds, turtles, lots of kinds of fish, sharks, and finally an octopus.

Artists can start at the beginning of the book and work their way through it to the end, or they can dip into the book here and there and choose the animals that appeal to them the most.

This book would be an excellent gift for a young or not so young artist.

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