Shojo Fashion Manga Art School by Irene Flores

9/10 This wonderful book contains steps and instructions for how to draw in a typical manga style.

When Irene created the first Shojo Fashion Manga Art School book she knew that there weren't that many books on manga basic drawing out there on sale in the shops, let alone basic art guides. There were no books on how the reader could render realistic clothing, and she thought it would be a good idea to do another with a little help from her friend, Krisanne McSpadden.

In Shojo Fashion Manga Art School Year 2, they have composed a manga style how-to-draw basic clothing looks, fashions and styles. There is plenty of information on school clothes, work clothes, casual, going out, school uniforms and even prom suits for the boys and dresses for the girls. There are hundreds of step-by-step pieces of art that the budding artist or amateur can copy and adjust for their own reference.

Irene and Krisanne have done as best they could to create something for the keeper shelf that readers can continue using at any time and can inspire as well as be ideal for if anyone wants to compose their own drawings for special occasions. You don't have to be artistically inclined either, drawing is all about observation and technique so following the step-by-step instructions in this book is the only way to enjoy it and that is the keyword - enjoyment can be gained from using this book whether you are a beginner or prolific artist who wants to get into either fashion or manga drawing, though getting the first book in this series would be a good idea first.

As there are many ways to draw, there are also patterns that can make any dress or shirt look great. One of the excellent tutorials in here is on how to create a monotone plaid pattern, and with this basic knowledge it can be used to create such patterns as hounds tooth. There are other patterns to choose from if you want to draw them, and adding a decorative bead pattern onto a dress and start in basic pencil, ending in a complete picture that is easy to colour in is as fun as it sounds.

There are several chapters that will give you an idea of what to expect:

  • Around the Home
  • Hanging Out
  • Prom
  • Weddings
  • School Uniforms
  • Work Clothes
  • Sports and Seasonal

There are also several things you will need on your shopping list before you even start; surface paper or card etc., pencils, pens and markers, ruler, eraser, putty rubber, French curve, and drafting templates. If you are serious about your work, then you will have to get your hands on a scanner, sketch book and Adobe Photoshop.

Shojo Fashion Manga Art School Year 2 is a great accompaniment to the first book, and one of the nice touches to it is its age progression of characters from children to puberty, teens, young adults and older age characters. Irene and Krisanne give readers the know how to be able to draw all these characters using the basic structures, and tutorials on clothing. I found this to be a very useful book that can be for those who want to get into manga fashion. If you have ever wondered how to draw collars on men's shirts, there are open collars, straight, spread or button-down, and these two will show you how to get it onto paper, or Photoshop. All you have to do is follow the instructions, start with the basics and the rest will come to you naturally.

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