Cover image for The drawing lesson : a graphic novel that teaches you how to draw
The drawing lesson : a graphic novel that teaches you how to draw
First Edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Watson-Guptill, c2016.
Physical Description:
137 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm
The meeting -- Drawing what you see -- Shading -- Beginning with a loose sketch -- Understanding light and shadow -- Using negative space -- Checking proportions -- Simplifying things -- Creating a composition -- Bringing it all together -- Moving on.


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book J 741.2 CRI 0 1

On Order



With over 10 million views and growing, Mark Crilley's YouTube drawing instruction videos have an enormous worldwide legion of fans and have been featured on sites such as Yahoo News and Reddit. In addition, Crilley is an accomplished graphic novelist. Now for the first time, he pairs both strengths resulting in a one-of-a-kind art instruction experience. Through the story of aspiring, overeager young artist-in-the-making David and his helpful, but often flustered mentor, Becky, readers gain a grounding in the basics of drawing and rendering, along with a helping of laughs and poignant entertainment. Each lesson builds off the previous, with sidebars at the end of each chapter that direct readers to tackle some of the very same drawing exercises that David has just completed. The sequential art format provides the perfect vehicle for these step-by-step lessons, and the Pixar-esque approach to the surrounding characters and story ensures an enjoyable experience that readers will want to revisit again and again.

Author Notes

MARK CRILLEY is the author of Mastering Manga, Mastering Manga 2 , and The Realism Challenge , as well as several manga novels, including the Akiko, Miki Falls, Billy Clikk, and Brody's Ghost series. Since being selected for Entertainment Weekly's "It List" in 1998, Crilley has published nearly twenty books and developed a massive Internet following for his drawing demonstration videos, earning him a spot as one of the top 25 Most Subscribed to Gurus on YouTube. His books have been featured in USA Today , the New York Daily News , and Disney Adventures magazine, as well as on CNN Headline News.

Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

This instructional book offers thorough and practical lessons in drawing. The instruction is solid, covering proportion, shading, loose sketching, self-criticism, drawing shadows, and negative space. Each chapter features a drawing assignment. But the narrative framing the lessons is odd: David, a kid, approaches Becky, an artist, in a park and demands drawing lessons from her. Becky obliges, but David becomes insistent for more lessons and slowly infiltrates all aspects of her life to make these lessons happen. Becky protests and makes clear that David is crossing boundaries, but she eventually relents. This creates a sometimes antagonistic dynamic between the characters that seems at odds with what the book is trying to accomplish, not to mention the message of male privilege. The ending attempts to displace the gender concerns but feels creepy. Aside from how to draw, the ultimate lesson might be that kids shouldn't chat up strangers in a park. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4 Up-David is awed by an older student who can draw cars, and he wants to be able to do the same. When he asks Becky, an artist drawing in the park, for a quick lesson, the small request turns into an entire summer of progressive tutorials that readers are encouraged to emulate and practice. What could have been a series of instructions enhanced with dialogue and humor instead features a full story that's heartfelt and quite moving. The book contains illustrations rendered in shaded, sepia-tone pencil overlaid with crisp, computer-created dialogue balloons, and as Becky talks about framing and realism, negative space, and lighting, readers start to notice the intriguing choices Crilley has made in his storytelling. The focus is on drawing, not graphic narrative, but as readers see and analyze the way Becky-and, by extension, Crilley-is encouraging them, the balance between cartooning and realism begins to leap out. The dynamic between David's impetuous enthusiasm and Becky's caustic reserve pays off in a way that might be surprising, considering Crilley's frequent use of caricature. This title supports rereading and careful examination of the author's impeccable technique and the implied storytelling lessons he doesn't make explicit. VERDICT An artful balance of character and technique, of observed human moments and carefully pitched instruction, that will appeal to students with artistic aspirations.-Benjamin Russell, Belmont High School, NH © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

This 144-page book delivers exactly what it promises: a graphic novel that teaches readers to draw.It is indeed a novel, in that it tells the story in pictures of David, a blond, white boy around 12 who's seized with a strong desire to learn to draw, and a young dark-haired, light-skinned artist, Becky, whom he meets on a park bench and persuades to give him drawing lessons. After some badgering, she agrees to teach himwith limits and with honest critiques of his early attempts. It becomes clear that beyond just teaching him technique, she is teaching him life lessons. He has to be satisfied with slow progress, learning discipline, and constant self-evaluation. "Seeing what's wrong with your drawing is 90 percent of the battle. If you can't see what's wrong, you can't fix it." Once David has learned to respect Becky's boundaries and she becomes more engaged with her enthusiastic student, they make great progress. They take sketching trips to the museum, the park, and the beach, and David's drawing continues to improve. Proportion, negative space, perspective, lighting, and other drawing basics are covered concisely and informatively, so a student could easily follow the clear drawings to benefit from Becky's lessons. Crilley develops his characters fully, making this a true novel and not simply a narrated drawing lesson.An original and accessible way to learn to draw. (Graphic nonfiction. 10-14) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Library Journal Review

Crilley is the author of the how-to books Mastering Manga and The Realism Challenge, the graphic novel series "Miki Falls" and "Brody's Ghost," as well as a host of popular instructional YouTube videos. So a graphic novel that teaches readers how to draw is a natural next step. When David sees Becky drawing in the park, his youthful eagerness wins her over, and she agrees to give him a lesson in illustration. Despite her misgivings, she continues to teach him, eventually covering the basics of sketching. The format works surprisingly well; the narrative is often funny and unexpectedly poignant, while the tutorials are impressively clear and easy for readers to implement. Sidebars at the end of each chapter offer readers practice assignments. Verdict Crilley's artwork provides a clean base that lets David's etchings shine and stands on its own with shorthand characterizations. A great pick for juveniles and young teens looking to learn the craft of drawing.-E.W. Genovese, Andrew Bayne Memorial Lib., Pittsburgh © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Chapter One: The Meeting   2 Chapter Two: Drawing What You See   11 Chapter Three: Shading   27 Chapter Four: Beginning With A Loose Sketch   40 Chapter Five: Understanding Light and Shadow   54 Chapter Six: Using Negative Space   68 Chapter Seven: Checking Proportions   78 Chapter Eight: Simplifying Things   87 Chapter Nine: Creating A Composition   98 Chapter Ten: Bringing It All Together   110 Chapter Eleven: Moving On   126 Epilogue   134 My goal with this book is to give you the next best thing: some sense of what it's like to meet a drawing expert and to have a series of lessons at his or her side. There's no shortage of instructional art books in the world; I've made a few of them myself. But I wanted to see if crucial lessons about drawing could be woven into an actual narrative. So, I set out to create a story that would give you vicariously the experience of having a mentor--one that can make you feel as if you are the one having your mistakes corrected, as if you are being told what to do and how to do it. So, please turn the page, meet young David, and follow him on his drawing journey. I hope his story gives you some sense of what it's like to have a drawing mentor. Mentors are not always gentle, and they certainly aren't there just to be your personal cheerleader. But a mentor can truly change the way you see the world, and in so doing change your life altogether. Excerpted from The Drawing Mentor: An Illustrated Story That Teaches You How to Draw by Mark Crilley All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.