Book Review: Manga Art

Manga Art Mark Crilley Book Review by Ellie Dashwood

Book Quick Facts

Title: Manga Art
Author: Mark Crilley
Rating: ★★★★


Have you ever looked at a piece of art and wondered what inspired the artist to create it? What technique did they use? What materials?

Manga Art by Mark Crilley fulfills an inquisitive art lover’s dreams of getting a behind the scenes look at the artistic process. In this large format, colorfully illustrated book, a talented artist breaks down his process over and over again for the benefit of his readers. While Japanese Manga provides the primary inspiration for all the drawings featured, they also have a flavor unique to the artist and a very western feeling.

Before I first opened Manga Art, I imagined that it was a how to draw, tutorial type book. Always trying to improve my art, I was quite excited. However, within the first few pages of reading, I quickly realized that my expectations were entirely wrong. This book does not detail how to create art line by line but rather thought by thought.

At first, I was a bit disappointed to find that it was not a basic how to manual. Yet, I discovered that its true nature as an “inspirational and technique” guide provided me with great insight. The way Crilley explains the materials he uses for each piece really opened my eyes to the wonderful world of mixed media art. I appreciated how he explained why he used markers for this bit or re-colored this other bit in photoshop.

The way Crilley explains the materials he uses for each piece really opened my eyes to the wonderful world of mixed media art.

While some thumbnail roughs accompanied the finished artwork, I wished we could have seen more of the illustrations at different stages of development. For example, I would have liked to have seen what his art looked like before and after he took it into Photoshop. Yet, I still think the few thumbnails that were included did help me better grasp Crilley’s process from beginning to end–even though my imagination had to fill in most of it.

Recommendation: If you’re looking for a bird’s eye overview of a fabulous illustrator’s process then you’ll delight in Manga Art. If you’re searing for a basic, line by line tutorial guide, look elsewhere.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Manga Art by Mark Crilley Review by Ellie DashwoodManga Art by Mark Crilley Review by Ellie Dashwood

Ellie Dashwood

Hi! I'm Ellie Dashwood. Blogger. Youtuber. Classic literature lover. Illustrator of beautiful things. Thank you so much for visiting my blog!

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Hi! My name is Ellie Dashwood and I am an artist, illustrator and photographer who lives in beautiful Southern Utah.Welcome to my blog where I post about art, life and literature!

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