kittyocean: I give this book a 5 out of 10! (5)
[personal profile] kittyocean
Title: Zo teken je een Dinosaurus, een pterosaurus en andere voorhistorische dieren (Seriously, who made up that title?! O.o)
Original title: Let's draw Dinosaurs
Author: Bruce Robertson (art), Sue Pinkus (text)
Language: Dutch
Series: Not mentioned, but I have another one that has the same layout and format.
Format: Paperback
Pages: 143
Publisher: Gaade
Year published: original 1990, my edition 1994
ISBN number: 90601755549
Topic of the book: How to draw (Dinosaurs)
Reason for reading: I believe it's my 3rd How to draw book and I loved Dinosaurs as a kid
Recommended: Not really....

Back cover text:

Dutch:
“Maak kennis met de verbazingwekkende prehistorische reuzedieren. Ontmoet de ongelooflijke sterke tyrannosaurus, de diplodocus met de lange staart en de gehoornde triceratops. Ontdek hoe je ze tot leven brengt met potlood, viltstift, krijt of verf.
Dit boek verklapt je de geheimen hoe je makkelijk een dinosaurus en al die andere dieren kunt tekenen. Ook staat er in dit boek wat je allemaal kunt doen met je tekeningen als ze klaar zijn.”

English:
“Meet the amazing prehistoric giant-animals. Meet the incredibly strong tyrannosaurs, the diplodocus with its long tail and the horned triceratops. Discover how you can make them come to life with pencil, marker, crayon or paint.
This book reveals the secrets how easy you can draw a dinosaur and all those other animals. It even mentions in this book what you can do with your art when they are done.”



Comments on the back cover text:

I've never read the backside before and actually... it's not representative. There's no step-by-step of the Diplodocus or Triceratops, then again, the back cover only states you meet them, not how to draw them. There are dinosaurs who look a lot like them, so I guess you can still use it if you want to draw them. The backcover probably only mentioned those dinosaurs because most people know them. There is a step-by-step of the Tyrannosaurus though.

The back cover could do with an extra drawing, though XD It looks so empty!


First paragraph/page:

*images of dinosaurs*

Dutch:
“Dit zijn details van tekeningen die in dit boek voorkomen. Kun je de bladzijden vinden waarop de tekeningen zijn afgebeeld?”

English:
“These are details of images that appear in this book. Can you find the pages with these images?”

Comments on the first paragraph:

It's an attempt to appeal a younger audience. 'Look, a scavenger hunt!' Even as a kid, those things rarely appealed to me. Just get the book started! However, ironically enough, it is representative for the rest of the book. Because the How-to-draw section is still far away....

Review:
Content:

This book has 4 chapters: 'The Dinosaurs', 'Ready to go', 'Drawing Dinosaurs is not hard!' and 'Your collection of dinosaurs'.

The Dinosaurs:

The first thing you get is a 'lecture' about dinosaurs: when did they live, where did they live.... An obligated course filled with theory you must plough through if you want to get to the practise part. It is, however, easily written, so it does read well. To be honest, it's actually quite intresting as well...
I just dislike the human figures in the book. Their clothes are so old-fashioned XD. They look like they all live in the 80's! (and since this book is made in 1990, that's no surprise XD)

Ready to go

Okay, I'm ready! Throw those step-by-step's at me!!... Or, maybe not. We first get a crash-course on drawing techniques, the right place to draw and materials. There are valuable tips in there and some 'Well duh' tips are tips I never thought of. Like: don't pick a sheet that's too big so you can't reach the other side. It's 'well duh', but it's also 'Eh, ya, makes sense!'
It's quite a big section, though.

Drawing Dinosaurs is not hard!

Finally, at page 46, we start with drawing!... Well, almost. You first see a few different techniques: 'circles, triangles and ovals', 'stick figures', 'skeletons' and 'cans'. Then you get a 'connect the dots' page. Seriously, most of the readers are not 4 years old. And why the image of a mother trying to teach her kid how to walk, while there's a triceratops breathing in her neck?!
On the following pages, the earlier techniques are elaborated. So, where's the how to draw?

Your collection of dinosaurs

We're at page 64 now. And still no how-to. Finally, at page 73, we start with the step-by-steps. And when we finally started with the dinosaurs, things already get interrupted by a Megatherium. My guess a late-dino-era or even ice-age creature, considering the fur. I could look it up, but too lazy. Anyway, it's no dino. Neither is the Smilodon or Mammuthus Primigenius (Mammoth). I thought this was a Dinosaur-how-to-draw?
After the hairy animals we get dinosaurs again, but the drawing technique is not consistent. They usually use the 'Circle, triangle, line', but the stick figures are also being used. For the Brachiosaurus (I want to sound fancy, that's why I'm saying all those names XP) they use the 'everything-is-a-can' technique. They do sometimes pick intresting points of views, but it's usually the sideview.
On the last page you are encouraged to create your own dinosaurs. Some look good, some look plain silly. I just have no idea who 'Ryozo' is, who is named in the text...

Writing style:

The writing style is good. The public (young children) is kept in mind and the lines are not too long. It's good reading and they do their best to put down the names phonetically behind the real name.

Art:

The art is good, but it reminds me more of drawings, not of illustrations. I know illustrations are drawings, but I mean that these drawings are not 'alive'. They are static, flat and in black and white, as if you're looking at drawing in a biology book. Even with the shading and texture, the drawings remain flat.
The artist is very good at drawing dinosaurs. They may not be photo-like, but the artist does give me an impression of being 'in the field'. Those drawings have their charm – they would look great in books that have to look very old, like journals or those very old science books.

Conclusion:

The artist is good, but being a good artist does not mean a succesful how-to-draw book. More than half of the book is filled with information about extinct animals. The part that is about how-to-draw is inconsistent and sometimes seems to miss steps. It's usually easy to follow till the second-last or last step, but then the jump to the final result... that one is too big. Details like drawing the face/head are muffled away, like that is unimportant. A shame.
I don't consider this the best book ever. If you need to draw dinosaurs, this book might be handy as a starting guide. I don't know any other dinosaur-drawing-books that have this level of realism, though. Then again, the dinosaurs are extinct. If you keep the bones in mind, there's not much you can do wrong ^_^'.

Rereadability:
I would re-read this book when I'm going to create creatures and dinosaurs, but to be honest... I don't recommend it. It's just not for me. Why still use it? It could add a touch of realism to my creature-art. And I could use that ^_^'.

People have asked me to add more art to these reviews :). Since I'm not really into scanning pages (maybe later on...) I made a quick drawing with the help of this book. So, here you go: a drawing.


Dinosaur by *kittyocean on deviantART


To be honest... I haven't improved much over the years ^_^'. I guess I have to practise a LOT more!

Date: May 31st, 2012 19:42 (UTC)
moonplanet: Mildred from the Worst Witch tv series (worstwitch-drawing)
From: [personal profile] moonplanet
Your comments on how it took the book so long to get to the how-to-draw sections were funny XD
Maybe it shouldn't have been marketed as a how-to-draw book but more as an information book on dinosaurs including some how-to-draw steps?

Someone on DA who can draw dinosaurs really well, I think: http://himmapaan.deviantart.com/gallery/27374124

Date: May 31st, 2012 19:47 (UTC)
moonplanet: Mildred from the Worst Witch tv series (worstwitch-drawing)
From: [personal profile] moonplanet
He :) Yes, I thought it was the same style, the way you described it sounded like that.

The Dutch titles seems to cover the actual content a bit more, because it's not only dinosaurs...

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