In Review: Perspective for Comic Artists

Perspective for Comic Artists by David Chelsea


By David Chelsea
Publisher: Watson-Guptill Publications Inc., US (October 1997)

The Book: Acclaimed artist and autobiographical cartoonist David Chelsea and his hollow-headed pupil Mug together explore the many aspects of perspective, the art of rendering the visual effect of distance on objects. In an entertaining, step-by-step comic strip format, David and Mug demonstrate basic concepts of perspective by constructing vivid, spectacular landscapes and architectural interiors. Though designed with the beginning artist is mind, Perspective! for Comic Book Artists will also be useful to working professionals looking to brush up on their skills.

The Review: None of us know everything but now and then there is a book or piece of advice that helps to clarify things, and for me, Perspective for Comic Artists, released a while back but which has recently attracted critcism from some quarters for wrongly perceived lacks in its content, is one of those books – and it is done in such a way that is almost like having a chat with a friend who knows more than you do.

There are a number of things an artist needs to know before working professionally: anatomy, colour theory and perspective. This book covers one of them very well and does it in the form of a comic.

1, 2 and 3 point perspective are covered clearly, accurately and in a tongue in cheek manner. The book shows you how to construct each one of these methods, provides you shortcuts, helps you understand the construction and even gives you templates to start you off.

I found it very helpful and from the point of view of this book you can draw anything by following these simple techniques you will be able to handle any subject, including foreshortening, which it covers from many points of view.

It does not assume that you are stupid or a genius and covers the subject in a way that any artist at any level can understand.

All in all, for me, it’s an excellent book for any artist wanting to work in the industry, whether that be comics, film or animation that helps to clarify a few points. A valuable addition to your library.

– Andrew Dodd

Andrew Dodd has worked as a cartoonist illustrator and animator for more than 20 years studying a multitude of skills in all areas of visual communication in films and storyboards, animations and special effects, compositing and 3D animation and gained a perspective on many subjects from analogue to digital. Check out his web site at:

Categories: Creating Comics, Features, Reviews

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