It may sound odd to you Northern Hemispherites, equating festive frivolity with sharks, but where I come from, having a shark intrude on your Christmas relaxation time is a very real possibility. Provided you spend part of the Christmas break in the water. At the beach.
And of course, we all know that Sharknadoes could happen at any time.
Today I have a brief but shark-filled offering from the intriguingly named Arkady Roytman, from the publisher via Netgalley, that features everyone’s favourite ocean predator: How to Draw Sharks. Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:
With this step-by-step guide on how to create images of the marine world’s fierce predators, kids can learn to draw creatures from the top of the ocean’s food chain in just a few simple steps. This easy-to-follow book illustrates the use of basic geometric shapes to form 31 varieties of sharks, from the great white and the hammerhead to the tiger, bull, and saw sharks. Blank practice pages offer plenty of room to perfect your style.
I wouldn’t normally request such a book for review on this blog, as you loyal readers would well know, but for some reason I became enamoured of the slightly, not-very-inspiring-but-certainly-achievable image on the cover. So I thought “What the heck! Sharks have a place on the Shelf after all!” and requested it. And I even had a crack at drawing the cute little guy on the cover:
And it would have been remiss of me not to include witty speech bubbles.
The Great White of the cover turned out to be pretty simple to achieve and so I had a crack at some of the other, more obscure shark breeds. Here’s the Crested Bullhead shark:
See what I did there?
And here’s the mildly-anxious-looking bamboo shark…
…complete with a quote borrowed from Marvin the Paranoid Android.
To be honest, this isn’t the greatest step-by-step guide I’ve ever seen. Sure, there are four steps to each drawing, but the order of the steps is not immediately clear as they are not numbered. Similarly, there are quite a few alterations at each step and inexperienced or younger readers may find it tricky to follow the steps without getting frustrated. The first step for each drawing consists of a collection of basic shapes, which is easy enough, but subsequent steps include dashed lines and heavier lines that indicate line breaks or overlaps. The meanings of these line breaks and heavier lines is never clearly articulated however, so it is left to the individual to figure out their meanings (and how they will render them on paper). I will admit to having a bit of difficulty with the latter two drawings, but I got there in the end.
And I’m quite happy with the results.
One of the good things about the book is that apart from including a whole slew of obscure (to me) shark breeds, there are a range of different positions featured as well. This means that you aren’t just drawing all sharks face-on or side-on, but have a variety of options to pick from. Also, as there were some shark breeds here that I had never seen before, it encouraged me to actually do a bit of research and find out some more about these mysterious, toothy creatures.
Overall, I do feel that this is a pretty specific topic to base a drawing book around – I would have plumped for a “How to Draw Sea Creatures” title before I honed in on one specific species, ordinarily- but if you are a shark
obsessive lover you’ll go head over fin for this tome.
And it’s a good starting point for generating your own hilarious shark-based cartoons. (See above).
Until next time,