- Author : Danica Davidson
- Illustration : Rena Saiya
- Publisher : Skyhorse Publishing
- Published : June 2022
As the popularity of manga increases all over the world, it has become a big part of lots of people’s childhoods. While most of them simply feel excited to read their favorite stories, others are inspired to be like their favorite mangaka. They too want to be a manga artist and draw iconic characters like Goku and Naruto.
That is pretty much one of the main reasons why “How to draw manga” books have become some of the most popular drawing guides in the world. And now, there’s a new one coming that promises to offer something quirky and different from other manga drawing guide books. It’s called Chalk Art Manga: A Step-by-Step Guide, and here’s our review of it!
About Chalk Art Manga: A Step-by-Step Guide
Most professional manga artists in Japan would use ink and specialized papers for their manuscripts, but there are also those who prefer to do their illustrations using digital tools. However, the most common way for regular people to create manga-style drawings is by using a simple pen and paper.
But if you want to try something different, then there is another approach to drawing manga that you might not have thought about before, which is using chalk as your brush, and the nearby pavement as your canvas. The skill to do that properly is what this book has to offer.
Another perfect demographic for this book is little kids. Children tend to love making big drawings. Chalk and a sidewalk is the great way for them to draw anything they want no matter how big it might be. And unlike paint or pen, chalk is super easy to clean up afterwards. If that sounds like something that your child might love to do, then this book will help them improve their skill by introducing creative ways to draw with colored chalks.
1. Simple, Clear, And Easy To Understand Guides
This book was carefully created to ensure everybody who reads it can properly understand the technique of drawing manga with chalk, be it on a board or on the pavement. You might think drawing is the same no matter what tools you use or where you draw, but that couldn’t be further than the truth.
There are challenges and limitations involved with creating proper manga characters with something as brittle and powdery as chalk. Not only that, but the hard and uneven surface of a pavement can also prove to be an obstacle that prevents you from creating your masterpiece.
This book lays out the drawing techniques and exercises with clear illustrations and a brief text blurb explaining what you have to do in any given step: how to use the chalk properly, why you should smudge the chalk, which part you should highlight with the white chalk, and many other techniques.
What makes it even better is the fact that the exercises are designed to get harder and more intricate as you progress through the book. You start with a simple pink heart, but as you learn and practice more, you’ll end up creating highly detailed ninjas and Harajuku girls. And as long as you pay attention to each step, you’ll be able to do it perfectly. That is only possible thanks to the simple, clear, and easy to understand guides.
2. Enjoy The Limitation
Unlike drawings on paper or canvas, drawings made using chalk on a pavement outside of your house will not last for a long time. They might even disappear mere hours after you finish them. Not only that, but drawing intricate manga characters on the side of the road also has tons of inherent challenges, such as wind, passerby, and obviously, rain.
So why draw in this peculiar way if you can simply draw your favorite characters with a pen and paper in the comfort of your room? The reason is simply because there are benefits in creating art in this sort of restrictive way. All of the aforementioned obstacles will force your mind to find the best solution in order to create and finish your art, which in turn will also help with your decision making ability.
Even more than that, in a world that is obsessed with longevity and creating something permanent, there’s a beauty in crafting a short-lived art that will only be there for a fleeting moment. If you miss it, it's gone. You create your art knowing that only a certain amount of people will be able to see it, and that is what makes it rare and special. So rather than getting discouraged by it, you should enjoy the limitations instead.
1. You Have Zero Drawing Skills
This book won’t teach you about how to draw like a manga artist. What it will teach you, however, is how to draw manga with chalk. This statement indicates that the skill that this book offers to you is drawing manga in a unique/different way, which is using chalk on a pavement. This means if you have no drawing skills whatsoever, it’ll be difficult to learn from this book properly.
Sure, everybody should be able to follow the steps presented in the early parts of this book. Even the most artless person can draw pink hearts and cute sushi. But as you move on to some of the more complex ones, such as the aforementioned ninjas and Harajuku girls, that’s when you’ll struggle.
Even the book itself begins the first step of every exercise by asking you to create the design on paper first. Which means that if you lack the basic drawing skills, you won’t even be able to move on past the first step. Even if you manage to create one thanks to the steps provided in this book, you won’t be able to create any original drawings other than what you see in this book.
The reason is simply because you don’t know how to draw a face properly, you don’t know the correct anatomy of a body, you don’t know how to draw believable hair, and so on and so forth. So it’ll be a lot better if you learn some basic drawing skills first. That is, of course, if you want to draw proper manga characters like the ones shown in the book. If you simply want to doodle with chalk, then this limitation doesn't apply to you.
Chalk Art Manga: A Step-By-Step Guide by Danica Davidson and Rena Saiya offers a fun and unique approach to create manga-style drawings. It lays out the steps and guidelines in a concise and easy to understand manner, and it also teaches you about the tools and techniques in a clear and simple way.
Sure, there will be limitations in creating art with chalk on a pavement, but that is also part of the benefit and the beauty of this technique that you should fully embrace. That being said, this book will work a lot better if you already have decent drawing skills to begin with. If not, then you might struggle to follow some of the more complex exercises.
Are you interested in drawing your favorite manga characters with chalk? Or maybe you are simply intrigued with the unique approach presented in this book? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.