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The goal of this project is to remaster the original book for home printers, then condense its collection of drawing tutorials into a single colorful poster in limited edition (up to 100).
What to Draw and How to Draw it is a beginners drawing book authored in 1913 by E.G. Lutz, who published several essays on the art of cartoon animation (reportedly showing the way to a 19 years old Walt Disney) and many booklets like this one, for kids or novice artists.
This cute little volume is still fun to explore after over a century from its creation: the old school style is fascinating, and even if you might not become a master by doing these exercises, they are so simple and rewarding that for one thing they are a great pastime. Moreover, you would still train your eyes and steady your hand just by tracing the figures.
The book is now in the public domain and freely available in PDF format.
But unless you enjoy copying from a screen, you will have to waste a lot of paper and ink, because the original format is weird, and the yellowed background will be rendered as gray on most printers. You might want to look for a hard copy version; the best quality editions cost up to 25 bucks... would you scribble over these?
To say the truth, even the original had no space for you. Most pages are cramped with figures, enough that it was necessary to number the steps to avoid confusion:
The Remastered PDF versions
As a graphic designer I knew that something could be done to make things clearer, so I started working to restore the images, removing the background and captions (they will appear in an index of drawings at the beginning of the book), distributing and aligning the figures to use all the available area on regular copy paper (download a sample PDF):
This way, the entire book will fit in just 20 pages like the above (10 if printed on both sides) with a 75% saving of materials and time. This part of the project is complete, and is available here in the "Compact PDF" reward tiers. What about the upcoming "Improved PDF" version?
The goal is to further rework the images to improve readability, and to make room for compositions that you will be able to complete directly on the printed pages:
As you can see, the lines to be drawn for each new step will be in color, then become black in the next one. The first step for each subject will be displayed by itself on the right side of the page, with the completed drawing only hinted, never shown: that will be up to you!
In order to preserve the readability improvement on black & white printers, the colors used will be bright enough to be printed as gray. Please click here to download a sample PDF.
The Whole Book in One Poster
All the tutorials in the book have up to 7 steps, so it will be possible to encode them by using a rainbow-like sequence of colors, skipping yellow (which is too bright for our purpose), and displaying the final touches in gray. Similarly to painting by numbers, you'll draw by colors!
The final result will be modern and inspiring, both in the classroom or in your kids' room.
You will also get a print of the Black and White version, for the grown-ups who appreciate this style as home decor, or enjoy coloring books to relax:
The plan is to print the posters on 250 gsm heavy paper, sized 700 by 500 mm (that is 27.56 by 19.68 inches) in a run of maximum 100 copies to honor this month's Kickstarter prompt.
Since also the PDF for the Black and White poster is available as a reward, each print will be numbered and signed as original. Moreover, the PDF of the Color version won't be released.
Backers who choose to get the posters will of course get all the PDF versions (Compact, Improved, Black and White poster). You will receive the Compact and the Black and White poster PDFs soon after the end of the campaign, but you'll have to wait for the Improved version, and for the Color poster to be completed, printed, and sent.
Risks and challenges
I am a professional designer with previous experience on 4 successful crowdfunding campaigns (search for Glow-in-the-dark Constellation Dice: bit.ly/deluxepreorders).
I must admit that being a busy perfectionist might take a toll on deadlines, but the results are usually appreciated. Anyway, over half of the work on the book is done, and I plan to complete another tranche while the campaign is live, while hoping to hit the goal.
Anyway you will receive the first batch of PDFs soon after the end of the campaign, and be regularly updated on what's going on afterwards.
That's all, folks!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (23 days)