Home > Categories > Books > Reference > Drawing Shortcuts - 2nd Edition review
Developing quick drawing skills using today's technology.
This book is about putting your design ideas on paper for others to enjoy. Recent developments in computer rendering technology have put amazing new tools in the hands of designers. But for communicating emotion and character, there is simply no replacement for good old-fashioned hand drawing. Jim Leggitt's Drawing Shortcuts gives you an ingeniously simple drawing approach that joins traditional hand-drawing techniques with the latest 2D and 3D digital technology.
In this new edition of his popular book, architect and teacher Jim Leggitt, FAIA, introduces you to the fundamentals of drawing - such as drawing types, media options, composition, colour, shading, hatching and perspective - and then explains how to incorporate the most current digital technologies into your work.
Whether you draw for pleasure or professionally, let this book show you how to utilise technology on your own terms - and communicate your designs with a timeless magic that's all your own.
I have never been good at drawing... an undiagnosed optical ailment long ago prevented me from learning the skill in my school days, and later attempt have been, shall we say, less than successful now that RSI/OOS has become a constant companion. To that end, this book was always going to be more of a 'book of interest' than a 'training guide' for me... or so I thought...
With the latest iteration of Adobe's Creative Suite - CS5 - containing the ability to draw in 1-point, 2-point or 3-point perspective using Illustrator CS5, this book suddenly became a lot more likely to get some regular usage, though perhaps less in the 'actually hand-drawn' and more in the 'apparently hand-drawn' style, thanks to many new drawing tools that give a far more 'organic' feel to otherwise too-rigid artwork.
Full of great tips, tricks and warnings for those wanting to improve their drawing skills, as well as reference to many industry-standard modelling, drawing and rendering packages, such as Google SketchUp and Photoshop, as well as covering a huge range of physical media such as pencil, markers, paints and the various mylars and papers useful for getting the very best results. It also explains the pros and cons of various physical and online sources for reference images.
The results achievable by careful study and application of the techniques outlined in this book are nothing short of astounding. As a self-confessed "can't draw to save myself" skill-level person, I found the book daunting at first read-through, but after trying some of the techniques I feel there is hope for me yet. it still feels a little like cheating, tracing outlines then hand-drawing in new details, colours and alterations, but I guess you take your benefits from where you can find them these days.
Overall, and astounding book. The price would put it out of the 'casual user' range and firmly in the pockets of those who can make the very best use of it, but anyone serious about getting a better grasp of the advanced techniques and how to blend classical and modern resources into a new hybrid skill would be smart to give this book serious consideration. A small investment now could have some very lucrative pay-offs in future contract work. I would have liked to have seen more in the subsidiary extras, such as links to resource websites, a companion CD/DVD with some raw files and/or projects to work through, but as it stands, still an excellent resource in itself.
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