Archive for November, 2012

Framed Ink is a short book about narrative art, predominantly as regards storyboarding for film but also briefly touching on graphic novels. It’s a good book to flip through if you haven’t ever studied narrative art before, and if you have it is a succinct and visually intensive review. It reads quickly and gets to the point, focusing on the compositional elements of each still as well as on the movement of the camera throughout the sequence.

In my particular case, I enjoyed its brevity as I used it as a review of things I’d studied previously and thus I didn’t need all the “fluff.” However, if you’re looking for this to teach you how to draw narrative art, you’re better off getting a different book. Framed Ink gives you a few pointers, but it’s definitely not a “how to.”  The author’s purpose is to convey some basics of developing emotive compositions through what you do and do not draw or emphasize; lighting; camera work; etc but does not delve into too much detail as the author presumes that you are already working in the field on some level and are simply seeking to heighten your awareness of how you may better convey the story you are telling with your art. By the same token though, if you are already working in the field I don’t think this book is going to present you with anything groundbreaking or new. It lists some good tips to be sure, but if you’re already constantly working on storyboards and/or graphic novels you will naturally already employ the techniques mentioned. This book may suggest something to you in such a way that you wish to further explore that particular element, but overall I wouldn’t consider this to be “required reading” the same way I consider the books by James Gurney.

It was worth the time it took to read (which wasn’t long at all), and it will remain on my shelf as a reference to flip through, but I also definitely could have survived without it. You may wish to preview this book on Amazon to see if it’s right for you – if you’re newer to the art style this may be very valuable to you.