Fashion Design is a surprising addition to the latest d'artiste series of artbooks.
When I think of fashion design, images of models with flamboyant clothing appear in my mind. The illustrations featured in the book certainly match the level of flamboyance, even more with the element of fantasy.
This book is focused on the technical aspect of creating art digitally. It's not one that goes into conceptualization of designs. There's nothing on the different types of material or how to choose them - they are not be too relevant in this book anyway.
The artists featured are Alessia Zambonin, Annie Stegg, Lois van Baarle and Anne Pogoda. Alessia Zambonin was a fashion design teacher who's now teaching design. The others are concept artists who deal more with character designs.
Alessia Zambonin's two tutorials are on creating realistic fabric effects, using Photoshop in this case. You'll learn to deal with denim details on jeans like how you can draw the stitching. There are also helpful tips on applying patterns onto clothing, and getting them to follow the folds.
Annie Stegg's tutorials are collaborations with Anne Pogoda on character design with tips on drawing different types of clothing.
Lois van Baarle's first tutorial is on using shape, movement and silhouette to create portraits. Basically getting the character to pose in a more visually appealing manner. Her second tutorial is on using accessories to enhance a portrait, in this case it's a beautiful pair of exotic earrings that seem heavy and painful to wear.
Of the three artists, I like the art of Lois van Baarle more. There's a certain warming and inviting colour combination that she uses. Her fashion design belong to the less wild spectrum involving mainly just layers of one-piece clothing. There's a distinct lack of ornaments like buttons, chains, belts, etc. She draws mainly girls though. Oh, the examples in the book are mainly girls.
The rest of the non-tutorial pages are filled with illustrations from the invited artists. They are all accompanied by commentary from the three artists. However, the commentary don't really talk about fashion design. There's a strange inclusion of a mecha robot and the commentary was about the 'textures, lighting, details with so few well-placed brush strokes'. What would be better is to have the original artists talk about the inspiration behind why they dress their characters in that way.
I find this artbook to be peculiar when it comes to the coverage on fashion design. I attribute it to the lack of some sort of structure. There's no checklist of things to consider and it dives straight into the rendering of fabric. I thought the part of posing figures would be better presented earlier....more
This is the second Andrew Loomis book that publisher Titan Books has reprinted. Just like Figure Drawing for All It's Worth, this is a large format hardcover with a dust jacket. The production quality is excellent and it's a faithful reprint of the original content.
There are 5 parts to the book. The first 4 parts covers the drawing of head for men, women, babies, kids and teenagers. The last part is on drawing hands. The instructions are insightful and simple to follow. Illustrated examples are beautiful.
The book for the blog Urban Sketchers is finally out. I managed to get mine early at Basheer bookstore. While I was at the bookstore, I met my sketcher friends, with the books in their hands. Mine was the last copy on the shelf yesterday. The book should be in stock in February 2012.
Urban sketchers is a community of sketchers who share their sketches online. There are groups in various countries. I'm a follower of the main blog. I find it very interesting to be reading about places around the world, getting to know the streets through the eyes of people living or traveling there.
This book is 320 pages thick. For the price, it's a terrific bargain. There are over 500 sketches featured from artists all around the globe. The styles are incredibly varied, ranging from pencil sketches to watercolour paintings. Each artist has a personal style, and each sketch has a story to tell. Some of the artists are so good they should publish their own books. Gerard Michel is one of them.
There are three sections in the book. The first is the introduction on urban sketching. The second section showcases the different places drawn. That's the bulk of the book. And the third provides inspiration on where and what you can draw.
The location drawings are accompanied by artist profiles and drawing tips. I like the short stories on the sketches. Florian Afflerbach and his friends were drawing in Venice when the flood came and soak their feet. Nina Johansson documented the demolition of a public bath house, and the protest against the demolition.
Artist Joao Catarino has a sentiment that I share: Drawing everywhere is like traveling all the time. Sketching is one way to get the holiday mood all the time. I can look back at my sketches and remember vividly the places visited. I cannot say the same for travel photos I've taken. The experience is richer when you're not looking but studying a place. I wish I had started sketching earlier.
It's quite fascinating to see the use of watercolour for painting portraits and figures where there's little room for error. Mary Whyte's watercolour paintings are beautiful, there's realism and you can still see the characteristics of watercolour. However, this is not really a portrait and figure drawing watercolour book. I was misled by the title to buy this book.
While all the examples showcase portrait and figure paintings, the lessons covers general watercolour topics. There are chapters on tools, techniques, understanding values, composition, colours and drawing. All these are very similar to topics in books by other watercolour artists. What's different here is you get to read Mary Whyte's perspective on these subjects, and the short demonstrations that show you how she paints. The paintings tips are all good, but you might have already read them elsewhere.
She does try to relate what's taught back to how you can use them for portraits, but not much. The part of mixing skin colour takes only 3 pages. She lists the colours she uses, highlights points to take note of, and there's a quick 3-step demonstration. That's all for colour mixing for skin.
I'm surprised and disappointed that there's nothing on painting specifics like eyes, lips, ears and hair etc. There's also nothing much on clothing, especially on how she deals with intricate fabric textures because I see them a lot in her paintings.
There's a section on working with models. I found the information there interesting, particularly on the reasons why they are posed a certain way to highlight certain aspects.
As a general watercolour book, it's quite good and you get insight into Mary Whyte's process. However, I was expecting much more for a book with a title on portraits. So I won't recommend this if you're looking to learn portraits with watercolours. ...more
Weiye Yin is a concept artist with over ten years of experience. He draws a variety of subjects but this book focuses on scene design, creating believable backgrounds that serve as a backdrop for stories in games and films.
The book is split into three parts. First is the introduction to scene design and how it differs from just painting background art. Second part looks at the principles and procedures. Third is a collection of demonstrations that look at how a few scenes are developed, namely Landscape, Environment, Urban Architecture, Atmosphere and Still Life.
It is a good introductory guide to scene design. You get tips on dealing with composition, lighting, colours, adding details, effects, doing drafts and even on dealing with clients.
The step-by-step demonstrations talks in depth about the conceptualization process, the considerations when handling different types of projects. Two of the case studies presents some tips on using 3DS Max for scene designs. Most, if not all, the examples are digital paintings, some with the use of 3D software.
It's more recommended to intermediate and advanced artist who already know the basics of painting and want to apply that knowledge to a different field. ...more
The Ar Tonelico Visual Book is the English edition of the Japanese one アルトネリコ ビジュアルブック 蒼天楽土 released in 2010. So Udon has b (More pictures on my blog)
The Ar Tonelico Visual Book is the English edition of the Japanese one アルトネリコ ビジュアルブック 蒼天楽土 released in 2010. So Udon has been quite fast in bringing this Englished translated edition out.
It collects artwork from the three game series including Ar tonelico, Ar tonelico II and Ar tonelico Qoga. This is the first time I've heard of the game and seen its artwork. The content inside are arranged into three chapters for the splash art, character designs and the interview.
The art is beautiful. The character designs come with the character profiles. The designs are the finished versions so there aren't any concept sketches. There are plenty of characters and they are drawn in very typical Japanese style, in this case I think it's more towards the Shoujo manga (少女漫画) style except with more elaborate fantasy costumes. There are also costume designs for the female characters at different levels.
The background artworks are great but many pieces are packed into a 2-page spread that appears before the chapters. So each piece is rather small.
The lengthy interview at the back is with producer Astunori Kawachi and director Akira Tsuchiya. They talk about the concept of the story, the game and the music.
The binding of the book looks alright, the glue not very flexible so I would recommend caution as with other paperback artbooks published by Udon.
Because of the style of the art, this book should appeal more to fans of the game....more
I bought this book to help with my outdoor sketches.
The book is roughly divided into three parts. The first talks about the materials. The examples featured mainly uses pencils, ink and watercolour. The second part looks at drawing small subjects like bricks, tiling, textures. The last part explores various building styles.
The coverage on perspective is very basic. There are the usual 1, 2 and 3 point perspective all covered in 6 pages. I was expecting more from a book on buildings. There aren't any tips on dealing with tricky perspective, like drawing buildings with vanishing points off the paper.
There are plenty of drawing tips accompanying the examples. Those are helpful and the techniques are easy to follow.
The downside of the book is it doesn't teach you how to observe proportions, and the examples are mostly on observational drawings. Those with basic drawing knowledge would gain more from this book....more
Tomer Hanuka was born in Israel, studied art and lives in USA.
It's hard to miss the bright pink clothed cover on any bookshelf. The book is a large format 104-page hardcover. Overkill collects mainly his commercial works with a handful of personal pieces. He has done work for Playboy magazine so there are some sex themed illustrations included.
His illustrations are highly imaginative, at times psychedelic. Most revolve around dark subject matter. The first illustration in the book shows an old baby something being born out of someone's mouth.
Many of his work feature strong juxtaposition, either through imagery or the use of colours. His colour palette is quite arresting, particularly for pieces that use strong complementary colours. He doesn't use much gradient for his colours so they look very manga style. I had actually thought he was a Japanese artist because of his colouring. And his composition is masterful....more
Alex Ross' third art book has as much impact as Mythology and Rough Justice. However, it's a little different from those two books.
It features art for the lesser known superheroes (to me) from Dynamite. Most of the characters are new to me, like those from Project Superpowers, Kirby: Genesis. There's also The Torch, Bionic Man, Green Hornet, Flash Gordon Zeitgeist, The Shadow and even Voltron (yes, that Voltron). There are sketches, designs, layouts, pencils, panels and plenty of covers.
Having gotten used to seeing DC superheroes like Superman and Batman from Alex Ross, I wasn't expecting a whole new cast of characters in the book. The art for Kirby: Genesis is quite radical with the wild costumes and unfamiliar colour palette.
The bulk of the book features completely new art so there's no duplication with the earlier art books. This one's a 328-page hardcover. Many illustrations come with short commentary from Alex Ross. The art is fantastic, very typical of Alex Ross' style of realism and lighting.
This is another impressive art book for those who can't get enough of Alex Ross. ...more
In the Wilds is a collection of rural drawings by Nigel Peake.
The style here is characterized by intricate line work and watercolour drawings. It's interesting to see how lines are used especially when there's no overlapping or hatching involved. There's a very textural feel to all the pieces and the colours are great.
Dave Stevens: The Complete Sketchbook Collection is another quality art book from IDW. It's a large format hardcover art bo (More pictures on my blog)
Dave Stevens: The Complete Sketchbook Collection is another quality art book from IDW. It's a large format hardcover art book with 256 pages.
There are lots of pin-up style art, nude studies, coloured pencil sketches, blue pencil sketches, ink over pencils, some comic panels and his Rocketeer artworks. Some are really quick pose sketches, some nicely shaded portraits and a few coloured pieces which look finished. For the inked works, you can see they are off-black, not processed and have a trace of blue beneath.
His gesture drawings are nice. All the characters have lively poses. There are only a few pieces of cover art and I like the composition for those.
It's a wonderful art book recommended to fans of Dave Stevens.
I wished I had reviewed this earlier because as I'm writing this, the book is already out of stock on Amazon US. You can still get it from the third party merchants there though (at a higher price). It's still available at other stores so you've to act fast to grab them....more
I love looking at workspace of other artists, designers and creators. There's something intimate about people and their wor (More pictures on my blog)
I love looking at workspace of other artists, designers and creators. There's something intimate about people and their workspace.
Where They Create is a large 288-page hardcover book. On the cover is pasted a photo of a workspace, and each book would feature a different photo. The copy I have has a cat sleeping on a desk.
This is a wonderful book that invites us to these places, the offices, studios or even workshops. The idea of this book actually came from a blog by the same name. In this book, 32 studios are selected to be featured.
The pages are filled with beautiful photos taken by Paul Barbera. The photos together with the interviews are nicely laid out in a way to reflect the random nature of the workspace featured.
Each photo reveals the nature of the work that's being done, and the people working there. You can see what strange items that sit on shelves or pasted to walls, the furniture in the rooms, the kitchen, the people and the atmosphere of the workspace. Looking at them reminds me of those beautifully composed Ikea showroom photos, except here they are filled with life.
This is a captivating book. There's a sense of fascination when looking at the photos. Highly recommended....more
Singapore: A Walking Tour is a travel guidebook that's slightly different from usual ones - this one uses sketches to illus (More pictures on my blog)
Singapore: A Walking Tour is a travel guidebook that's slightly different from usual ones - this one uses sketches to illustrate places instead of photos.
The chapters are all walks around the city area. The area has many tall modern buildings, but the book focuses more on the old buildings that have been conserved to remember the history of the place. Of course there are more modern buildings as well.
There's a map at the start of each chapter with a list of buildings you can see along the route. Each building has interesting snippets of information that I don't even know, and I live in Singapore.
The beautiful sketches are drawn by Gregory Byrne Bracken. The sketches are line work with no washes but they are very fine and detailed. The artist is an architect and it shows in the sketches through the nice composition, perspective and details. He manages to capture the essence of the place very well.
As a travel guidebook for Singapore, I'll highly recommend this. Get this if you want to walk the streets, understand Singapore better, check out the less touristy but significant places....more
In Portraits of the Prairie, he goes to Webster County, Nebraska, where American novelist Willa Cather spent her childhood and found inspiration for her stories. Cather's elegant prose provides the starting point for Schilling to recreate what the writer might have seen. Schilling also provides short commentary on the places he visited, and sometimes on his watercolour paintings.
The art is gorgeous. The essence of the American prairie is wonderfully captured, together with the creeks, dusty roads, houses and buildings, the clouds and sky.
This is a beautiful book. The text and art work well together. Those familiar with Carther's stories will probably get more insight and appreciation....more
The Art of Epic Mickey is a good example of what happens when Disney goes wild. Epic Mickey, the Wii game, is unlike other (More pictures on my blog)
The Art of Epic Mickey is a good example of what happens when Disney goes wild. Epic Mickey, the Wii game, is unlike other Disney creation. It's a take on dark fantasy, with Mickey as the lead.
It's a 160-page hardcover book published by Disney Editions. The concept art features character designs, environment art and scene illustrations.
Character designs are wonderfully weird. You can see the cyborg versions of Goofy and Donald Duck or the strange ships made of Snow White's dwarfs. Some of the designs are influenced by the Misfit toys in Toy Story.
I'm intrigued mainly by the background art for the dystopian world created by the forgotten Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. The setting is bleak, the houses that are always leaning towards you and the various strange places. The art direction is unexpected and a surprise coming from Disney. It reminds me of how classic fairy tales are twisted in Shrek and the re-imagined world of Alice in Wonderland in Alice: Madness Returns.
The book also talks at length on the game production. It's interesting to read especially on the challenges of fitting the Mickey Mouse as a character into the game. There's also a lot on how they came up with the ideas for characters, the story and the setting.
This art book should appeal to fans of the game and artists into twisted dark fantasy art, albeit retaining strong influence to cartoon style in some areas....more
The watercolour art shown in the book isn't the usual watercolour style. If there's traditional and non-traditional style, (More pictures on my blog)
The watercolour art shown in the book isn't the usual watercolour style. If there's traditional and non-traditional style, she would belong to very non-traditional. Her style is more towards to the experimental side, especially her techniques.
Jenny Wheatley doesn't claim to be a purist. Her work in watercolour doesn't follow the conventional approach. She often combines watercolour with other media, like gouache or even collage. She even gives her style a name called mark-making which is unnecessary.
There really isn't any particular piece in the book that really catches my eye. Even if it grabs my attention, it's often for the wrong reasons. The collage with paper cutouts don't work well with watercolour. Her glazing has the effect of looking like crayons sometimes. She doesn't follow any particular colour theory when colouring so colours can be a bit chaotic at times. There are no white space in her paintings, not that it's a bad thing, but I'm saying that to emphasis the non-traditional nature of her work.
Much of her art are created on location and from reference, but with her style, they sort of lose the presence of the place.
Even if you want to try out more experimental watercolour techniques, I'll recommend that you should look at the pages before buying the book, or at least check out her website to get an idea of what to expect....more
JM Ken Niimura, of Japanese and Spanish origin, is an artist whose work has appeared in numerous publicity campaigns and wo (More pictures on my blog)
JM Ken Niimura, of Japanese and Spanish origin, is an artist whose work has appeared in numerous publicity campaigns and won several prizes. He has illustrated for the graphic novel I Kill Giants.
ZERO is a 96-page paperback size art book that collects the beautiful illustrations of JM Ken Niimura. There are personal works as well as work for events, magazines and other publication. All from 2007-2009.
The book is published by Image Comics and they have given it some special but simple treatment. There are circular holes cut out from the front and back cover to review portions of art behind them.
Much of the illustrations featured are in manga style, with strong colours and dynamic poses. I like his use of colours which are predominantly red and green, and their close tints. He makes the colours work well against one another. Besides the manga style, there are also more cartoon-like drawings with more simple and loose strokes.
At the back of the book are some nude figure drawings of a slender lady with long hair. I love their poses. The compositions are particularly nice, and that can be said about the other pieces.
It's a charming art book. I wish there were more art but it's certainly worth the money....more
This book exceeded all my expectations, and it certainly befits the Harry Potter film saga.
This is a large format 532-page hardcover. It's so huge and hefty so you can't really hold it for reading without resting it on something, like your lap. The cover is beautifully designed with an embossed title and a window looking at Hogwarts.
There are three parts to the book. The first is "The Making of Harry Potter" and covers the complete film making process of all the seven Harry Potter titles. The second is "The Art of Harry Potter" and that covers the characters, locations, creatures and artifacts. The third is the epilogue. It took me several days to finish reading.
I want to make special mention on the layout of the content which is beautiful and thoughtful. All the stunning photos and art are published at high resolution. On some pages, there are illustrations or patterns printed on a thin gloss that gives the page a slight shine as you flip over. The text is set on light cream coloured paper. There's an illustrated drop cap that starts every chapter, and every section in the chapter ends with a nice symbol. Even the choice of typography used is excellent.
The first part featuring the film production stories are a joy to read. It starts right at the beginning, from getting the copyright to make the films, to casting and filming right to the last day. There are lots of interesting details to read about, such as interactions between the actors and film crew, how the stage and props are made and the challenges and considerations of filming.
You read about how the children were like deers in the headlight on their first day of filming. There were extensive laughing, constant looking into the camera. As you read along towards the last film, you know how much they have grown as actors.
The writing is wonderful. The author Bob McBabely is a master at weaving the stories, controlling the flow and transition from one section to another. There's a part where Emma Watson admits to having a crush on Tom Felton and in the next sentence Tom Felton says,"Poor Emma. Of course I knew; it was obvious. But I never mentioned it.". There amount of research and interviews done must be incredible. Every film crew mentioned are given introductions and a thorough background on what they do.
The stories on set designs are really interesting. You can find out how sets are constructed, like Hogswarts and all the different rooms and secret locations. I thought the underwater scene in Goblet of Fire was totally CGI but it turned out that Daniel Radcliffe actually had to swim, while holding his breath, and act in a water tank. And of course, there are details on how that water tank was built, with heaters, bacteria-killing UV lights, and the little things that don't cross our minds.
The second part of the book is sort of like the encyclopaedic look at the characters, locations and artifacts. There are staff commentary on everything. You can look into the different classrooms of professors, read The Daily Prophet, check out The Weasleys' tent at the Quidditch World Cup, marvel at the different broomstick designs, etc. Amazing and detailed photos of the sets fill the pages.
There are concept art in the book as well, and they are great. There are designs for Dobby, dragons, props, environment art, etc. This is the only book where you can see them because there aren't any Harry Potter art books.
This book is highly recommended to fans of the Harry Potter films. It gives a new sense of appreciation for the film and the people who worked behind the scenes. It's something you'll want to make the magic last a bit longer.
Compared to Harry Potter Film Wizardry
Harry Potter Film Wizardry is like a condensed version of Page to Screen. Much of the content in terms of text and photos are duplicated. There are some information and photos that are not included in Page to Screen though. That book is designed like a scrapbook with little goodies — booklets, stickers, maps, even Harry's letter of acceptance to Hogwarts, etc - attached to the pages. The layout is nice, magazine-like.
If you're just looking to get one book, then there's no doubt about choosing Harry Potter Page to Screen. If you're the true blue Harry Potter fan, then of course you'll want both books....more
There are 42 interesting daily exercises aimed at giving you ideas on what to draw, and encourages encourage exploration and experimentation. Some involves drawing simple subjects around the house, some encourages you to draw outdoors, drawing the nature or people at a cafe.
The instructions are minimal but give you a good starting point to generate more ideas on things you can draw. The exercises require you to find a subject to draw, something you can see and use a reference, and not on conjuring ideas from imagination. The drawing style you can use are suggested by the exercises. We're not talking about realistic representational drawings but more on the loose and expressive.
It's important to note that this is a mixed media book. There are lessons that require different materials, like charcoal, watercolour, crayon, bamboo pen, etc. If you don't already have them, it might be difficult to follow along. A lesson that requires using watercolour can't really be substituted with other materials without losing the point of the lesson.
This is not a book for beginners with absolutely no idea on how to draw. You can be asked to draw portraits, and that requires observation skills that are taught not in the book. However, it's a fine book to pair with beginner drawing books.
The ending gallery features the work of artists from Studio 1482, which author Veronica Lawlor is part of. Other artists includes Despina Georgiadis, Eddie Peña, Dominick Santise, Kati Nawrocki, Greg Betza, Michele Bedigian and Margaret Hurst.
I'll recommend this book to those who want to keep their mind creative, and those who just want to have fun drawing....more
That must be the first moving cover art I've posted. I grabbed that off Scott Campbell's blog. His new art book called Amaz (More pictures on my blog)
That must be the first moving cover art I've posted. I grabbed that off Scott Campbell's blog. His new art book called Amazing Everything: The Art of Scott C. is now available.
Collected within the pages are beautiful watercolour illustrations of all things cute and funny. You'll see references to pop culture, like the cult tree with iconic movie characters. Some are single panel of cuteness, like flying cavemen, stacked up sandwiched tanks. His larger pieces of work are more elaborate, like the home slices with silhouettes of objects, such as a tank, with a network of tunnels with amusing characters living inside.
I like his use of watercolours that gives his work a very textured look. The colours are pastel, sometimes going to the earthly tones.
The book's 128 pages, hardcover.
This is an imaginative and amusing book. Recommended to those who like cute stuff and pop culture....more
Here's the art book for the MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic, a game from BioWare and LucasArts.
The book collects mainly character designs, environment art, and some spaceship designs. It's also a making-of book that explains at length on the production of a game with scope this big. I like reading insightful productions stories. The remaining text serve as commentary on the concept art.
The art is sci-fi art, of course, for the Star Wars universe. For the character designs, you can see some design clues that are distinctly Star Wars, such as armor and helmet. Sometimes they are also quite different. What you can see are the eight character classes with their few costumes and sometimes weapons. Creature and spaceship designs aren't a lot.
The main draw of the book would be the environment art for the different locations and planets. They are beautiful and gives a nice idea of the place, although I'm not sure if they are the actual place the game characters can run on.
The downside of the book is layout. There are pockets of space on pages which can really be used to pack more art. Text represents a substantial portion of the book, but is interesting to read so it's alright. As a MMORPG, I was expecting a lot more character designs, a whole lot more. There's a nice amount but somehow I don't feel like the universe is very populated. I'm comparing this to the other video game art book The Art and Making of Star Wars Force Unleashed which feels packed in every sense.
I've checked out the website for Star Wars: The Old Republic and there are lots of concept art there. Last time I check, it's over 160 pieces. There many on the website that's not even in the book. Maybe that's why the book can feel sparse at times. Some of the artwork in the book, especially the ones on spaceships are the more detailed pieces but they are printed too small. If you download the high resolution artwork from the website, they are several times bigger than the ones in the book!
This book is mixed bag. It's has good production stories but ruined by bad layout and seemingly incomplete selection of artwork....more
Alien Vault is the movie companion to the masterpiece of Ridley Scott.
The 176-page book comes in a nice slipcase. The pages are filled with photos, artwork and some printed artefacts like Ridley Scott's annotated storyboards and other interesting stuff enclosed in vellum envelopes.
As for the content, much of the visual content were actually released in a much earlier book called The Book of Alien, just that the presentation is different. Some of the set photos are the same, as with Chris Foss' design for the Nostromo spaceship, Moebius design for the spacesuits, etc.
Alien Vault focuses on the movie production. The interviews and stories are interesting to read, especially when movies made nowadays are prone to using CGI for special effects. There are lots of insights to movie making and you can find out the little camera tricks they use. The content layout is organized, the artwork and set photos are great.
It makes more sense to get this if you've don't have the earlier book or the Alien DVDs with extras, or just new to Alien....more
This art book is wonderfully whimsical, just like the crazy fairytale world created by DreamWorks. It also made me realize (More pictures on my blog)
This art book is wonderfully whimsical, just like the crazy fairytale world created by DreamWorks. It also made me realize one thing. The only thing cuter than Puss in Boots is kitten Puss in Boots.
The first image that blew me away is on page 2. It's the one with Puss and Humpty Alexander Dumpty (awesome name) lying on the grass on a lazy afternoon, looking at a giant goose made of cloud floating so casually in the sky. It's a beautiful yet simple image that says so much about the friendship between a cat and an egg.
The concept art in this book are not just stunning, they tell stories.
DreamWorks have given classic fairytales more twists than imaginable. All these are told in beautifully composed scene paintings, filled with so much details inviting you to investigate further. You can marvel at the Mexican and Spanish inspired neighbourhood Puss and Humpty grew up it, check out the bars and the amusing wanted posters, find out the secrets of fairytale characters and more.
There are lots of character designs, location drawings, and interesting commentary from the artists. Sketches, colourscripts, storyboards, but the best are the scene paintings. The other piece which I like is one of Humpty in prison with his shell defaced with childish graffiti. That's a heart wrenching scene and the artist totally nailed it.
This is a fun and entertaining book with well executed ideas. Highly recommended....more
The Art of Pixar is a gorgeous book that represents the humble beginnings of an animation studio that is now loved by fans (More pictures on my blog)
The Art of Pixar is a gorgeous book that represents the humble beginnings of an animation studio that is now loved by fans worldwide.
The first colorscript was drawn by Ralph Eggleston for Toy Story. That was in 1993 and it had enchanted John Lasseter, Steve Jobs and the rest of the then little studio. Today, many years and films later, it's nice to see that Pixar is still creating them, using them to communicate the emotional arc of their stories.
Collected within the 320 pages of this beautiful book are the colorscripts up to the latest movie Cars 2. Also included are the colorscripts for the many animated shorts that, if I'm not wrong, are all appearing in this book for the first time. The 100 over pages at the back are for selected pieces of art, one printed per page. These are the work from the last 25 years.
It's quite cool to see the artistic styles used by different artists to create the colorscripts. I love the pastel ones by Ralph Eggleston and Dominique R. Louis. The vector style art of Lou Romano for The Incredibles is still a refreshing departure of usual style of drawing them with pastel. Later on, the colorscript slowly evolved to being drawn digitally. The ones by Sharon Calahan for Cars 2 are so detailed I'm not sure if they aren't film stills.
The book claims to have the complete colorscripts but that's not exactly true. Since I have the other Pixar art books published by Chronicle Books, I went back to compare the content. I found out that the book didn't include some of the colorscripts that were featured in the earlier art books. Some from The Art of Finding Nemo weren't included. However, this book includes a lot of new colorscripts that aren't in the earlier books. In particular, there are many more extra pages of colorscripts for Cars and Cars 2. The colorscripts for Ratatouille in this book are not even in The Art of Ratatouille.
As for the selected pieces of art, many are from earlier art books. I guess there some are new pieces but I didn't do a detail comparison. Even if there are some duplication, you'll still want the book because of the colorscripts, all conveniently collected and beautifully laid out.
The Art of Pixar is a tribute to art, animation and the amazing people working at Pixar. It's an inspiring book authored by veteran animation writer Amid Amidi. Highly recommended....more
When I first realise that another Halo art book is coming out, I was wondering what they are going to put inside.
Turns out this art book is sort of a look back at Halo from the art. That's looking back at 10 years of Halo, which really needs a few books to be comprehensive. So this book tries to cover in its 192 pages, Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo: ODST, Halo: Wars, Halo: Legends and Halo: Reach. Seven titles if you're counting.
The art is grouped in chapters that look at the environment, the enemies, vehicles, alien beings, the good guys, Master Chief and homeworlds.
The art is beautiful. There are sketches and also huge paintings. Some are development art, some made it to final. Selected bits are featured so you only get snippets of information, bits and pieces of the whole Halo story. There isn't much duplication compared to other art books because the book shows new art and is made up of stuff that were left out in other books.
Because of the immense scope of Halo, this book is a bit underwhelming even though the art is spectacular. Something in my mind keeps telling me there's more. If you've seen Halo Encyclopedia, you know that there's a whole lot more.
Rebus is an exquisite book. Large format, trimmed pages with red edges, 240 pages thick.
Rebus is a collection of James Jean's personal and commercial paintings from 2001 to 2011. In 2001, he was 21 and had just graduated from art school. This book is very impressive considering how much he has achieved over the last 10 years.
Some of his work which appeared in other publications are also collected here. There are Fables covers or his life sketches. There isn't much duplication overall.
There are work from his Kindling exhibition. Some of them have appeared in the similarly titled poster-book Kindling. There are his personal works, commissioned work from Prada, the panorama illustrations that appeared in the accordion book Rift. You might have seen them on his website, some are published in the book for the first time.
The illustrations are beautiful, haunting and inspiring at the same time. It's surrealism that's uniquely James Jean. These images are best seen than described. There are also some photos from his exhibition.
I only have one minor quibble and that's regarding the presentation of his panorama illustrations that span 8 pages. They aren't printed as gatefold pages which is the more appropriate way to present them, and possibly the best way they should be seen.
Rebus is an enthralling collection. Highly recommended for any James Jean fan....more