Awesome Aussie Things to Draw, by Louis Shea

There is no shortage of how to draw books on the market, but that doesn’t eman there isn’t roomf or another one. Awesome Aussie Things to Draw!will appeal to young artists and animal lovers because of its focus, as the name suggests, on Australian icons.

Artist Louis Shea guides the reader through simple steps to draw a range of familiar Australian things. There are plenty of animals – including a dolphin, a kangaroo, and a kookaburra – as well as other familiar Australian sights ad objects such as a breaking wave, a tractor and a tree. There are also two ‘bonus’ landmarks, in the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

This non drawer reviewer had a go at a few of the activities and produced a passable dolphin and an almost recognisable wave. I’m sure with repeated practise I could have been even more successful, and a child who is keen on drawing would achieve satisfying results fairly easily.

Awesome Aussie Things to Draw! would make a great gift for a primary aged child.

Awesome Aussie Things to Draw!

Awesome Aussie Things to Draw! by Louis Shea
Scholastic 2011
ISBN 9781741695489

This book can be purchased in good bookstores or online from Fishpond . Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.

How to Draw Dangerous Beasts, by Marc McBride

Marc McBride’s animals are well known to book lovers and to budding artists. This new collection of beasts is as fantastic as his mythical beasts. All the animals in this collection are real, although there is some license used for the ‘nastiness’ of some. Each opening offers a staged drawing plan and a picture of the completed animal. The cover and most pages are bordered with a very toothy, very scaly, scary-eyed crocodile pattern. There are colour pages to suggest colours for each beast, but they are just as scary in black and white. How to Draw Dangerous Beastsis a large portrait format paperback, sturdy enough to withstand repeated openings and drawings-from.

In the introduction, McBride recalls his earliest ‘ultimate animal’, made from the best bits of many animals. It had strength, speed, protection, intelligence and more. But although others loved his drawing, some also pointed out things he hadn’t considered. The introduction also details the materials he uses for best effect. He continues to draw his beasts, imaginary and real, and to give them presence. Monster- and beast-loving children who enjoy drawing will find plenty of material here to extend their monster menageries. Recommended for competent drawers who love all things wild.

How to Draw Dangerous Beasts

How to Draw Dangerous Beasts, Marc McBride
Scholastic 2010
ISBN: 9781741694017

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author

This book can be purchased in good bookstores, or online from Fishpond.

Monster Book of Drawing, by Marc McBride

If there is a budding artist at your house, especially one with a love of fantasy, the Monster Book of Drawingis well worth a look.

Combining three previous how to draw titles – Monster Battles, Dangerous Beasts and Mythical Creatures in one spiral bound hardcover volume, there are dozens of real animals, and fantastical creatures and monsters, to be drawn by following step by step instructions.

Creator Marc McBride has illustrated a range of children’s books, including the Deltora Quest series, and whilst youngsters may not be able to perfectly replicate the beasts on offer, they’ll have fun trying and will learn illustrative techniques along the way.

Monster Book of Drawing, by Marc McBride
Scholastic, 2010
ISBN 9781741696967

This book can be purchased in good bookstores or online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.

How to Draw Mythical Creatures, by Marc McBride

As the residents of the mythical lost city of Atlantis will tell you, it is never pleasant to experience a sinking feeling. This is especially true when that sinking feeling Is experienced while looking at a drawing that has taken many hours to complete. Perhaps your drawing bears little resemblance to your original idea, or maybe it looks flat and lifeless, or maybe you just ran out of space on the page. I hope that this book will help you avoid making those mistakes by showing you how to plan your drawings.

How to Draw Mythical Creatures introduces a collection of well-known and lesser-known mythical creatures and then shows step-by-step instructions for drawing them. The creatures are grouped into three broad categories: Peaceful; Fierce and Very Dangerous. Extras at the end include Monster Lettering and a collection of Mythical Creature types as they might appear and behave at school. Each creature is briefly described and the completed illustration shown before the planning stages are revealed. Pages are framed with Creature Celtic borders.

Marc McBride’s illustrations first received widespread attention when they accompanied Emily Rodda’s ‘Deltora Quest’ series and continued with his follow-up books which include ‘Deltora Quest Book of Monsters’, ‘How to Draw Deltora Dragons’ and ‘How to Draw Deltora Monsters’. Like these others, ‘How to Draw Mythical Creatures’ is rich in detail and colour. Young readers and artists will be familiar with many of the mythical creatures and will enjoy recreating them. There’s enough of an explanation for readers who are less familiar with the creatures to intrigue them and perhaps encourage further research and reading. Recommended for primary-readers and anyone who loves mythology and drawing.

How to Draw Mythical Creatures Mark McBride
Scholastic 2010
ISBN: 9781741694000

How to Draw Mythical Creatures

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author

This book can be purchased online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.

The Crazy Creatures Drawing Book, by Robert Ainsworth

Kids love to draw and this little spiral-bound offering from Robert Ainsworth encourages them to do just that. While other drawing books on the market show children how to draw everyday things such as cars, animals or even their favourite characters, this one encourages them to make up their own creations by using their imaginations to give life to crazy creatures.

Step-by-step, readers are shown how to take a simple shape and, by adding arms, legs, heads, facial features, movement lines and more, give it a unique personality. There are loads of examples and extra hints to take the illustrations to fully-fleshed cartoon figures.

This offering will be lots of fun for primary aged children, even those who think they are not good at art. Even this reviewer found herself doodling!

The Crazy Creatures Drawing Book, by Robert Ainsworth
Scholastic, 2005


How to Draw Deltora Monsters, by Marc McBride, with Emily Rodda

Emily Roda’s Deltora Quest series has been one of the most popular children’s book series in recent years. Australian children have eagerly awaited each new installment and only recently seen the ending of Lief’s quest.

A wonderful feature of all the books in the series has been the delightful cover illustrations of the talented Marc McBride. Now McBride offers young fans an insight into how the various Deltora pictures have been created, with a step-by-step guide to drawing the fantastical creatures from the series. As well as dragons, there is the fearsome knight Gorl, the gentle muddlers, the slug-like Glus, the viscious Vraal and more.

Detailed instructions for how to draw each beast begin with basic shapes which are then built on until the beast is complete and ready for colour. Variations in posture and action are suggested, along with tips to make the illustration complete. The closing pages of the book show how to create a single full colour scene.

How to Draw Deltora Monsters will delight Deltora fans, especially those already endowed with artistic talents. The detail of the original illustrations means that their recreation is not simple – even with McBride’s detailed instructions. That said, the book holds interest even for those (like this reviewer) too awed to even attempt the drawing exercises, as a fascinating look at the process of creating true masterpieces.

How to Draw Deltora Monsters, by Marc Mc Bride
Scholastic, 2004