21 February 2013

The Artful Readers Club for February

Framed Ink: Drawing and Composition for Visual Storytellers 

by Marcos Mateu-Mestre

The bell and round shapes are basic designs Marcos suggests when designing characters for a graphic novel. The small thumbnails are ways he suggests creating a composition.

In short: I recommend this book for anyone interested in storyboard art and any artist who likes to find inspiration in far out places.

Composition happens sometimes naturally in the same way some cooks can just throw ingredients together and create a fantastic meal...however, it's rare. Composition when worked just right, makes all visual art better.  
In Framed Ink Marcos Mateu-Mestre shows the reader why.

Most art practitioners are aware of the golden mean or the golden ratio and Marcos utilizes this theory a lot. It's a sure thing in design, but it's also been overused to the point of predictability. The short hand for the golden mean, without all the complex equations is the rule of thirds.

The bit I found the most useful in Marcos' book is his visual demonstration of how a camera moves through an image. This concept could be applied to any visual idea. It's simply a matter of stepping into a composition in one's sketching and exploring from different angles. Marcos' sketches and diagrams make this idea much simpler than it seems. 

Thumbnail sketching is a very useful tool. Marcos' way of creating thumbnail sketches is to break down an idea to the simplest shapes. His play with hard verses soft form is common practice in animation character development however, Marcos also demonstrates why this practice works for storytelling. The angles he comes up with by using this technique are beautiful, interesting and engaging.

I recommend this book for anyone interested in storyboard art and any artist who likes to find inspiration in far out places.


  1. Great to read a review of a 'how to' book. The artwork you have done really does show us quite a few ideas in one go. I am not confident with a pencil in my hand, ink, stamps and paints for me. Will be adding this book to my wish list. Thanks for great artwork a review.

  2. Now this is interesting! :)
    Thanks for the positive review and your fun Art. Not sure if it's meant to be but it did make me smile this morning! ♥

  3. Thanks for the interesting review, sounds like you learned a lot from this book. I like your art, what will your graphic novel be about?

  4. Great review, sounds like it defintately sparked your interest and resonated with you. I love how to books that are actually helpful, many are not. I often totally forget to 'set up' the rule of thirds but then i find that I have done it automatically anyway. Once you get into the habit of using it you are able to spot photos and artwork where it hasnt been used and something, just doesn't look right. Before I knew about the rule of thirds it would bug me that certain artwork didn't look right but I didn't know why. Of course like everything, it all makes sense once you know lol

  5. A very positive review about a subject little known to me. Your drawing is very eyecatching and strong.

    Janet xx

  6. I love the sound of this book Kelly... another to add to my wishlist... and your artwork is wonderful... beautifully inspired piece...

    Jenny ♥

  7. I think I would find this book interesting since I've never study art in an academic manner. Your piece is a good intro to how complex these theories, or rules, are but also shows why they work. I would love to be able to sketch like this!

  8. I am going to go and hunt out this book as it sounds interesting... I love all that academic stuff... reminds of being back in art school ... and your artwork is fab... like really fab... and loved finding your blog... I know I will be back to visit and explore your work often...
    T xx

  9. Sounds like a very educational book. Love your sketch! :)

  10. Loving your artwork, sounds like an interesting and educational book to expand your knowledge.

  11. Great review and so pleased the book was useful to you.
    Loved your sketches too.

  12. Sounds like a book I need to add to my ever growing list. Love your artwork. Thanks for sharing. Michelle V.

  13. I'm glad you enjoyed this book, and it sounds interesting! The artwork does remind me of the sketches people make for storyboards :) Great job!

  14. Interesting book and I really like your art work.
    Whilst not an artist, I do use the "rule of three" in my scrapbooking so will add this book to my ever growing pile of "to be read" books.
    Thanks for the review.
    Hugs xx

  15. Loving your art. I can't draw to save my life so it sounds like a book I would definitely have to give a go.

  16. Firstly - I like how you did that 'in short' review and then went into more detail. This is a book I haven't heard of but it does sound really interesting. One for me to ponder about and perhaps add to my wishlist I think.

    I do like your artwork too - it has a slight manga feel to it - I can't confess to know much about that except that my eldest is interested in drawing in that style which is why I thought it looked like that... sorry but a bit of a ramble there - I hope it came across as the intended compliment :D