songwind's review against another edition

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This book seems like it's going to be invaluable to me as I work on getting my drawing chops back. It is easy to understand, and gives practical examples of the techniques and concepts presented.

The only gripe I had was that the sections on multi-point perspective, and floor plans, could have been easier to understand. To be fair, they are not simple concepts. I think that some practice and re-reading will clear up my remaining confusion.

f18's review against another edition

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challenging informative medium-paced


From the preface:

You have in your hands the first book on perspective written specifically for the 
comic book illustrator... for comic book illustrators, who are faced with the job of filling 
frame after frame, usually in a hurry, it often means resorting to one's 

Which had me hopeful this would be a book mainly involving tips on how to eyeball perspective in a way that looks convincing. My bad, looking through the illustrations first could have proven this wrong, as many fall into the trap (pointed out in the book itself!) of having inappropriate FOV and thus while perhaps technically "correct," looking distorted.

But yeah no, this is a pretty standard book on horizon line / vanishing point perspective for traditional (aka not digital) technical drawings. Maybe it was groundbreaking in 1997, I'm not sure. The information is interesting and there are some good rules of thumb scattered throughout, but its not significantly different than any other perspective book I've used. The methods included are simply too complex and time-consuming to use for most working artists, and perspective grids (which Chelsea teaches as a time-saver) are able to be generated with much more usability and diversity via digital programs now.

Not the practical book on perspective from imagination it is touted as being.

In additon to that... it tries to be funny. Which... really doesn't land well. The race stereotyping and swastika joke were especially cringe-inducing, but it also has about the same percentage of men either nude or in skintight clothing as it does women NOT nude or in skintight clothing (hint: that breakdown isn't 50/50) as well as your standard post-renaissance and post-enlightenment essentialism.  I also shouldn't have to be marking a how-to art book as including sexual content... and yet this includes a panel with a little visual joke about armpit fetishism. If this book included tips on finding visual reference there could have been a non-sexualized point about looking for unusual bodyparts and positions in pornography... but that's not what it was. Not a big deal, just... yeah.

Anyway, back to the drawing board... damnit that's a pun.

By the way, if you're looking for a book on architectural/concept drawing in perspective, Scott Robertson's How to Draw is more in depth and an overall less fraught reading experience.

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seamus_j's review against another edition

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Pretty amazing book, goes well beyond most tutorials found in other books. Most impressively, although he does not actually cover curvilinear perspective in this book, he steps up a foundational knowledge for learning it by debunking common myths about parallel lines and the horizon when drawing conic sections. If that made no sense, just know that if you ever want to do really wild perspective drawings (like the Earth from an airplane or the ceiling and floor of a room in the same picture), you will not have to unlearn any bad practices from reading this book.

rowanoats's review against another edition

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Let's get one thing straight: this book is not for comic book artists.

I first read this ten years ago and, judging by the rating I gave it, I loved it. Re-reading it now, on my tenth year as a professional published comic book artist, I'm not really sure why I loved it.

Ignoring comic book sins such as breaking the 180 rule, the multitude of perspective errors and the barrage of bad jokes (some of which have aged extremely poorly) this book just isn't helpful. While it's thick in theoretical knowledge, it lacks practical application and although it's presented as a comic the author never actually talks about how you're supposed to use any of the techniques he presents. Why there are no exercises at the end of every chapter is truly a mystery.

Overall, I'm left thinking the author of this book is really good at technical drawings and not very good at teaching. The techniques are better suited for architects and engineers who don't have access to CAD than overworked comic artists who're just trying to make this dang house look right before deadline tonight.

joemcduck's review against another edition

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This book's format makes perspective drawing so much more accessible than it might otherwise be. Chelsea uses the medium of comics to its full potential: the visual format allows for plenty of examples, so that both the concepts of binocular vision and the task of translating them into drawing are covered very well. The dialog allows for tracing all the thought processes involved. And it's fun and engaging.

It also lives up to repeat readings as refresher courses, or shelfside access when you want to look up a particular technique.