The cover of The Future of Fantasy Art is what first caught my attention. The dragon, with wings unfurled amid dark stormy clouds, is masterfully painted by Jon Sullivan. But, the gorgeous art behind the cover is what kept my attention.
Meant as a companion to Fantasy Art Now: The Very Best in Contemporary Fantasy Art & Illustration, (published by Collins Design in 2007) The Future of Fantasy Art has a decidedly more masculine feel than Fantasy Art Now. Which is not surprising since it has only four female artists compared to more than ten in Fantasy Art Now. It also has a stronger horror element than FAN. Something else that I noticed, there is no nudity in The Future of Fantasy Art, a fact that I appreciate. The format of both books is the same: large images of the art with the artist's name and a brief description and quote by the artist. The two books compliment each other well.
I flatter myself by thinking I know the current fantasy art scene pretty well, but The Future of Fantasy art didn't fail to show me artists I hadn't come across before. A new favorite of mine is Patrick Jones. His painting, The Shadows Past on page 25, is eye catching with it's shiny armor and rich colors. Another discovery: the more whimsical art of Scott and Pat Gustafson. In a genre that can often be dark and intense, it is nice to see the lighter side these artists offer. And, it is always nice to see old favorites like Dan Dos Santos, Larry MacDougall, Anne Stokes, and Donato Giancola.
The only major flaw, in my opinion, is that if the art included in the book was limited to one submission per artist, there would be room for more artists to be included. But, the positive side to that: maybe there will be more editions to this enchanting series of fantasy art books. Which begs the question: With the titles Fantasy Art Now (vol 1 and 2) and The Future of Fantasy Art already used... what is next? Hopefully, someone more creative than myself can come up with a title that will follow these two logically.
I give this book a score of 4 out of 5.
I am very happy to own this collection of fantasy art. It certainly did not disappoint.
I rate it PG for fantasy violence and scary images