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The Complete Watercolour Course: A Comprehensive, Easy-to-follow Guide to Watercolour
The Complete Watercolour Course: A Comprehensive, Easy-to-follow Guide to Watercolour
von John Raynes

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Clear instructions, good exercises, 23. August 2011
Länge:: 0:58 Minuten

John Raynes has authored a few books, and one of them is this one on watercolours.

There are two editions for this one. One's the hardcover published in 2004 by Collins & Brown. The other's the one I'm reviewing, a paperback published by Batsford (an imprint of Anova Books) in 2008.

This book is for the beginner watercolour artists. All the tutorials in the book are guided exercises with step-by-step pictures and instructions. It is very detailed and easy to follow.

There's an exercise on seeing and creating tones that I find to be very useful. In that exercise, several coloured boxes are stacked to create shadows, and the author goes on to demonstrate how physical form can illustrated with just tones. The exercise is really simple and is one of the most effective exercises on tones that I've seen in any instructional art book.

The first half of the book is on the techniques. It explores not just watercolour techniques like glazing and mixing colours but also some art basics like composition.

The latter half has a several lengthy projects on painting subjects, ranging from still life to landscapes to people. Everything is still step-by-step. The examples are pretty nice looking as well.

This is a helpful book. Highly recommended to watercolour beginners.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blogs. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

Travels with Watercolour: Techniques for Painting Anywhere
Travels with Watercolour: Techniques for Painting Anywhere
von Lucy Willis
Preis: EUR 16,68

4.0 von 5 Sternen Nice read, 23. August 2011
Länge:: 1:04 Minuten

This is the same book that was published in 2003 except with a change in cover.

Travels with Watercolour is for watercolour artists who paints on location. There are three main parts which are on the preparation for location painting, how to tackle different subjects and finishing up at home. It is packed with advice on how you can capture the subjects and scenes in a spontaneous ways. This isn't a tutorial based book.

Lucy Willis has traveled to many places. The beautiful paintings she did drawing plein air are included as examples to her commentary.

It's interesting to read about her travel stories, interacting with people from other cultures, and other amusing happenings.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

How to draw poses in fashion
How to draw poses in fashion
von Chidy Wayne
Preis: EUR 17,95

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4.0 von 5 Sternen A reference book for poses, not a drawing guide, 23. August 2011
Rezension bezieht sich auf: How to draw poses in fashion (Taschenbuch)
Länge:: 1:11 Minuten

There's not much difference between this book and 1,000 Poses in Fashion, or Fashion Design Handbook for that matter.

The difference is only in the number of poses included in each book. This book has about 700 poses on 352 pages. The bulk are line art, and some with watercolours. As a reference book for poses, it's fantastic because of the huge number of poses. All drawn by Chidy Wayne.

It's not an instructional book since there's no guidance on how to draw. The captions merely describe the type of clothing featured. The book includes urban, casual and format style. Fashion Design Handbook has a bit on using watercolours on fashion design, not much.

If you're just getting one book, I would recommend 1000 Poses in Fashion since there are 1000 poses. Next would be this book with 700 poses. Fashion Design Handbook with around 600 poses. As far as I can tell, there doesn't seem to be any overlap of poses in these three books, which is pretty amazing -- just in case you want to get all three.

As a reference book, this would be a 5 stars.

Akira Club
Akira Club
von Katsuhiro Otomo
  Gebundene Ausgabe

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5.0 von 5 Sternen For Akira manga fans, 23. August 2011
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Akira Club (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Länge:: 1:10 Minuten

I didn't know that this book existed until very recently.

Akira Club is actually the English version of the Japanese edition Akira club: The memory of Akira lives on in our hearts that was published in 1995.

This English edition is translated and published by Dark Horse in 2007. It's a 256 page hardcover.

The book is all on the Akira manga. There's nothing on the animated movie except for some designs drawn for the laserdisc release.

It collects illustrations, preliminary sketches, all the title pages from the manga, promotional art and rejected art that were unpublished. It's pretty cool looking back at the works that were published in 1982. They were still using halftone dots to create grays. The art is great, and you can see that Otomo is amazing at drawing rubble and scenes of urban destruction.

If you have the manga editions, then you've seen all the title pages. This book includes a few unpublished ones. Majority are in black and white, some of them are coloured but not sure if they were coloured by Steve Oliff or Otomo. The commentary that goes with the title pages aren't related in any way, but just short musings of Otomo on what was happening to him that day, like his birthday or attending a friend's wedding.

What I enjoyed reading is the design commentary, talking about why sequences are arranged in a certain way, why some scenes don't work and have to be redrawn, what's difficult to draw. Most are just afterthoughts. There wasn't any information on his drawing techniques or production process though. And since the book doesn't include the animated movie, it doesn't talk about the differences between the manga and the movie.

This book is more for the Akira manga fans and those who like Otomo's art.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

ImagineFX: Manga: The Ultimate Guide to Mastering Digital Painting Techniques
ImagineFX: Manga: The Ultimate Guide to Mastering Digital Painting Techniques
von ImagineFX
Preis: EUR 25,06

14 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Great book but not for beginners, 22. August 2011
Länge:: 1:23 Minuten

The contents of this book actually come from one of the special 'How to Draw and Paint' issues of Imaginefx magazine titled simply as Manga. It was popular and sold out but now you have the book. There aren't much differences except for the layout since this is a square format book, and there's no disc included.

This is not a starter guide to drawing manga so it's not really for beginners. You'll need basic knowledge on manga drawing, figure drawing essentially, if you want to get most out of the book.

The book covers, as the title suggest, digital painting techniques that are used for creating manga. You need to be able to draw first so that you have something to scan in before you can apply the techniques taught, stuff like adding colours and textures.

The first two tutorials feature quick tips to help make your drawings more manga-like. They are presented in a series of points, that you can sort of use as a checklist of ideas to think about when you're drawing.

The other tutorials are workshops that present a step-by-step look at how the artists create their illustrations. The software used are Photoshop and Painter. Again, you should have some basic knowledge of those two software. That way, you can follow along what they are saying. The commentary is clear and also covers the artistic parts like using colours schemes, creating shadows, or creating some special effects like depth of field blur, glowing effects etc.

It's an informative book where artists freely share their digital tricks and tips. The insight will probably come from discovering what you can do digitally.

Recommended to artists who are just past the beginner stage trying to pick up new digital drawing skills.

Here's the list of contents:
1. Manga Gallery
2. Manga For Beginners
- Get Under the Skin of Manga (Saejin Oh)
- Essential Manga Tips (Joanna Zhou)
- The Cherry Blossom Girl (Joanna Zhou)
- Brush Up On Your Portrait Skills (Lois Van Baarle)
3. Character Creation
- Paint a Dynamic Manga Character (Chester Ocampo)
- The Greatest Waveracer (Michael Chomicki)
- The Spear and the Spell (Chester Ocampo)
4. Manga Style
- The Painted Princess (Hoang Nguyen)
- She Dreams of Lilac (Joanna Zhou)
- Mistress of the Elements (Aileen Strauch)
- Flight of the Warriors (Sinad Jaruartjanapat)
- The Music of Life and Death (Madeleine Rosca)
5. Fantasy and Sci-fi
- The Way of the Warrior (Cris De Lara)
- The Saga of the Scout (Michael Chang Ting Yu)
- Create and Render a Robot Concept (Keith Thompson)
- Mecha's Heart (Saejin Oh)
- The Girl and the Katana Guardian (Patipat Asavasena)
6. Comic Panels
- Draw and Ink a Manga Comic Page (Joanna Zhou)
- Create a Comic Ready For Print (Jamie Mckelvie)

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

Mega Man Tribute
Mega Man Tribute
von UDON

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Mega fantastic fan art book, 16. August 2011
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Mega Man Tribute (Taschenbuch)
Länge:: 1:30 Minuten

I like the Tribute series from Udon. This one's as good as Street Fighter Tribute and Darkstalkers Tribute.

The book is 304 pages thick. No dust jacket. The paper is thick low gloss type, thicker than Darkstalkers Tribute. Binding is good (thankfully).

Due to the success of earlier Tribute series, there are over 2500 entries submitted for this book but only close to 300 are selected.

The variety is incredible, from vector to manga, to 3D model to actual handmade dolls and paper toys. I like the Tribute series because I enjoy looking at the different interpretation by different artist. In a fan art book like this, there are lots of pleasant surprises, artistic style that are wildly different from official game art.

The quality of art is also very high. All the artists and their website are just below their illustrations which is really convenient if you want to learn more about the artist.

I used to play the game, the earlier series, so this book sure brings back some memories. It features art mainly from the original series, but there are also some art for Mega Man X, Zero, ZX and Legends. The other series probably can have a tribute book on their own.

This is a fantastic art book for fans and art lovers.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

- Other Mega Man art books
- Mega Man: Official Complete Works
- Mega Man X: Official Complete Works
- Megaman Zero Official Complete Works
- Mega Man Battle Network: Official Complete Works
- Mega Man Star Force: Official Complete Works

Valkyria Chronicles: Design Archive
Valkyria Chronicles: Design Archive
von Sega
Preis: EUR 48,17

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent companion to the game, 15. August 2011
Länge:: 1:28 Minuten

I have the Japanese edition of this art book as well. There's not much difference except there's no dust jacket here.

It's a 400-page thick book and Udon did a good job with the binding this time, much better than some of their previous books. The binding is a bit stiff but at least the pages don't threaten to fall off. You'll still want to be careful with the spine though, it is a very thick book.

What's unique about the game is perhaps the graphics, which resembles watercolour paintings. It reminds me instantly of the game Okami which also uses a traditional art style.

The book is split into different chapters, namely Story, Characters, Weapon Machine, Military Affairs Natural History, Geography, Illustration, Preproduction and Interview. It's loaded with beautiful concept art for all aspect of the game. Character designs, storyboards, background art, promotional art, etc.

If you haven't played the game yet, the first chapter covers the game. This section will be a major spoiler as it covers the key events for every battle from start to finish.

There's plenty of character design. There are so many characters I lost count somewhere. Each character has different drawn profiles, uniforms, weapons, armour and gadgets. Just like the game, all these are in watercolour style with pencils. There's also plenty of commentary on the design.

Under the Weapons and Machine sections, lots of tanks are featured, among other war machines. You'll get to see the different sides of the tank profiles and 3D models before and after paint is added. They are very beautiful and detailed. Absolutely gorgeous. All the fact sheets are included, as with all the characters.

And there are also the set and background concept art for the locations. Most of them are development sketches and paintings.

Right at the end are few pages of interviews with the production team and the music composer Hitoshi Sakimoto.

This book is well worth the money, considering it's also much cheaper than the Japanese edition. It's loaded with so much content that every page takes a while to admire. There are so much details to see and much to read.

Highly recommended to fans of the game, artists and those who just like anything military related.

Sara Midda's South of France
Sara Midda's South of France
von Sara Midda
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 22,28

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4.0 von 5 Sternen Breezy art, 5. August 2011
Länge:: 1:16 Minuten

South of France is the personal journal of Sara Midda, filled with little drawings and observations from her travels.

I like the simplicity of the drawings and the beautiful pastel tone watercolours she uses. The book feels breezy.

The drawings have sort of a collective theme. When she's drawing sandals, there will be many different coloured sandals. Same for road signs, fruits, textile or whatever that catches her attention. Each of the lines of colours on the cover actually represents a subject, from the top, the sea, sun, line of cypress trees, olive trees, stucco, rose wine, peeling shutters, etc.

The chapters are organised by months but the book is not really sequential. Each month would start with a list of historical events that are picked randomly. The text that appear elsewhere are just short labels.

This is a 144-page hardcover. The downside of the book is its small size. Small handwriting text are quite challenging to read.

The book I have has a few pages that aren't cut at the edge. The pages have to be separately with a pen knife. Maybe it's just this copy.

This is a nice sketchbook to check out.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

Everything Is Its Own Reward: An All Over Coffee Collection
Everything Is Its Own Reward: An All Over Coffee Collection
von Paul Madonna
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 28,20

1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Truly wonderful, 28. Juli 2011
Länge:: 1:27 Minuten

The first compilation of All Over Coffee came out in 2007. This second volume is a wonderful continuation from where the first left off.

The art is as beautiful, evocative. I've never visited San Francisco, but I will, after looking at these stunning illustrations, I must.

This is a sketchbook I go back to often just to admire the meticulous lines Paul Madonna has put down. Each scene has an allure that captivates and holds my attention. There's a lot to see, even if the composition was already chosen.

The illustrations have evolved since the first volume. They have now taken a more photographic format towards 4 by 6. Each drawing now fills the entire page. It's tremendously satisfying to see the architectural details in large sizes. Looking at them almost feels like you're visiting the actual place.

The book also comes with a pull out poster, which I think isn't the best selection, after seeing the available choices. The afterword is an inspiring read where Paul Madonna talks about his work and process.

This is probably a book you can never finish reading because you'll always be going back to it. I love this book. It's definitely near the top of my list of favourite art books from 2011.

Highly recommended.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

All Over Coffee
All Over Coffee
von Paul Madonna
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 26,76

2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen One of the best sketchbooks I've ever seen., 28. Juli 2011
Rezension bezieht sich auf: All Over Coffee (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Länge:: 1:08 Minuten

All Over Coffee is one of the best sketchbooks I've ever seen, and now one of my favourites.

All Over Coffee is actually a comic strip for the San Francisco Chronicle. It's a comic strip without the comic. The strip is about San Francisco paired together with Paul Madonna's writings. The book doesn't collect all the strips, but you wish it did when you're on page one.

Paul Madonna's art is fantastic. His style is loose yet controlled. The location drawings of San Francisco evoke a strong sense of presence, of being there, looking through Paul Madonna's eyes.

Each piece is rendered with beautiful ink wash, tones carefully placed. Even the texture of the paper he uses seeps through to give the drawing personality.

The architectural details are captured wonderfully making this a book that you always go back to, to get inspired. In some ways, you can never finish reading this book because of that.

Highly recommended.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

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