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Strokes of Genius 2: The Best of Drawing Light and Shadow (Splash)
Strokes of Genius 2: The Best of Drawing Light and Shadow (Splash)
von Rachel Rubin Wolf
  Gebundene Ausgabe

4.0 von 5 Sternen Nice but feels disjointed, 5. Mai 2011
Länge:: 1:11 Minuten

Strokes of Genius 2 is like a sketchbook except there are also paintings in addition to sketches. There are brief description by the artists on how each piece are created.

The six categories featured are portraits, cityscapes, animals, the human figure, landscapes, still life & more.

For portraits, there are some really stunning pieces. Some of the pencil or charcoal portraits are done in amazing photo-realistic style, or the why-not-use-a-camera style. Of course, the art captures the subtlety that cameras can't. The rest are sketches of various styles and medium.

Cityscapes section features snapshots of landscapes drawn, not just cities. And it's not really the usual landscapes, but a close up of areas, like under bridges, etc. Somehow, a ship mast created in scratchboard style is also included in the section. Most of the art in this section is muted in colours. Most impressive pieces are from Edmond S. Oliveros and Melissa B. Tubbs with their painstakingly hatched pen and ink drawings.

So it's like that for the rest of the sections. There are rough sketches, detailed sketches as well as paintings, but nothing too rich in colours. The book can feel quite disjointed at places because the wildly varying medium.

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


Fantasy Art Collection: Pure Inspiration's
Fantasy Art Collection: Pure Inspiration's
von Various Artists Various Artists
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 29,47

4.0 von 5 Sternen Fantasy Faeries Art Collection, 1. Mai 2011
Länge:: 1:15 Minuten

This is a lush collection of fantasy art from 16 artists. It's a large hardcover at 200 pages. The titles and butterflies on the cover are embossed.

There's not a very wide spectrum of fantasy art subjects. Most of the subjects are actually faeries. You'll see a lot of wings, female-form inspired characters and just a few others like old wizards. It's more of a fantasy faeries art collection.

Many of the paintings are created with traditional medium. The colours are very rich and lively, backgrounds are intricate. The quality of work is great for the most part, some are alright. Every artist comes with a one-page background.

If you're into faeries art, this would be a good purchase.

The list of artists are:

- Kinuko Y. Craft
- Linda Ravenscroft
- Sara Butcher
- Priscilla Hernandez
- Sue Miller
- John Arthur
- Myrea Pettit
- Josephine Wall
- Jody Bergsma
- Christine Von Lossberg
- Jasmine Becket-Griffith
- Molly Harrison
- Vicki Visconti-Tilley
- Tom Cross
- Sherri Baldy
- Sheila Wolk

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


FASHION DESIGN HANDBOOK
FASHION DESIGN HANDBOOK
von Philippe de Baeck
  Taschenbuch

1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen There are lots of poses, 29. April 2011
Rezension bezieht sich auf: FASHION DESIGN HANDBOOK (Taschenbuch)
Länge:: 0:56 Minuten

This is a fantastic resource book for fashion designers looking for quick poses.

There are 600 pages and on each one is a different pose. The clothing depicted belong to those you would see from an urban fashion magazine as oppose to a runway fashion magazine. So they are mainly street wear, dresses, mostly causal style.

The majority is line art but there are two watercolour drawings for every set of clothing. There are also a few useful tips on using watercolour with fashion drawings.

This is a nice resource at a great price.

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


600 Watercolor Mixes: Washes, Color Recipes, and Techniques
600 Watercolor Mixes: Washes, Color Recipes, and Techniques
von Sharon Finmark
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 22,95

4.0 von 5 Sternen A simple quick reference book, 23. April 2011
Länge:: 0:53 Minuten

The 600 watercolor mixes are split into mixes created by three techniques, namely palette mixing, overlaying and wet-on-wet. So each technique features slightly under 200 mixes each, with the rest appearing in other parts of the book. So basically, the colour recipes are similar across each technique, just that the effects are different.

The colours featured are from the colour wheel, namely Lemon Yellow, Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Red, Alizarin Crimson, Permanent Rose, Violet, Ultramarine, Prussian Blue, Hooker's Green, Viridian, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Vandyke Brown and Payne's Gray. There's no mention of the brand used.

The recipes are all mixed at 50 percent each, in each technique. There's no variation in proportion of pigment or water used. If you want to look at different proportions of pigment and water, look at Color Mixing Recipes for Watercolor: Mixing recipes for more than 450 color combinations.

The text and some example paintings are alright, not terribly exciting but I guess they serve their purpose. They talk about the primary, secondary and tertiary colours, the colour wheel and harmony, and basic properties of pigments. It's all very elementary stuff that's probably included in beginner watercolour books.

As a quick reference guide, it does its job. I just wished there could be more on proportion variation, which is included in the other book I mentioned above.

Probably 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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


Color Mixing Recipes for Watercolor: Mixing Recipes for More Than 450 Color Combinations
Color Mixing Recipes for Watercolor: Mixing Recipes for More Than 450 Color Combinations
von William F Powell
  Spiralbindung

4.0 von 5 Sternen Helpful but with caveat, 23. April 2011
Länge:: 0:31 Minuten

This book is a spiral bound hardcover. It's pretty thin at 48 pages but enough.

The colour recipes are presented in varying proportions of pigment and water. That's great in showing the subtle colour variations of various mixes. Most other books I've see just mix the colours 50 percent each. This book has a few examples with three colour mixes as well. The starting colours used are from the colour wheel.

In addition to the colour recipes, there are also value and intensity recipes. Unfortunately, only a few selected colours are used. The value recipes feature yellow, red and blue. The intensity recipes mixes complementary colours to give different earth tones.

The downside of the book is the author used too many starting colours. Just for yellow, you have Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Yellow Pale, Cadmium Yellow Light, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Cadmium Yellow Deep, Naples Yellow, Lemon Yellow and Gamboge. That's eight yellow colours if you're counting. There's also no mention of the brand used.

There are some text on colour theory, all very elementary, but good as a starter guide. At the back are four pages on mixing portrait colours. It presents the general idea of creating skin tones but too few examples are given as application.

And finally, there's a detachable plastic sheet with mixing grids provided. It's cool but not necessary. Well, you can use your own palette for mixing so why mix on the piece of plastic?

In reality, the resulting mixes are just a reference point of what is possible. Having so many starting colours can get confusing. It's not such a big deal because the multiple colours listed already gives a general idea of what to pick. It's still helpful for that reason.

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


The Art of Red Sonja
The Art of Red Sonja
von Chris Lawrence
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 28,65

3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Red hot book, 20. April 2011
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Art of Red Sonja (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Länge:: 1:12 Minuten

The presentation format is similar to The Art of Vampirella, also from the same publisher Dynamite Entertainment. It includes the history before the gallery. There's no other commentary.

The selection here seems to have more finesse compared to Art of Vampirella HC. The covers are mostly printed at almost full page, with a few at two-third page sizes overlapping each other - better that than not included. It's mainly cover art. Besides a few dubious inclusion, most illustrations are very beautiful and detailed.

Some of the artists included are Adam Hughes, Alex Ross, Frank Cho, Jim Lee, Mel Rubi, JG Jones, Neal Adams and many more. Although the paintings are group by artists, they aren't arranged alphabetically. There's also no index so it's difficult to find pieces from any particular artist.

A worthy collection for Red Sonja fans.

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


The Watercolor Artist's Guide to Exceptional Color
The Watercolor Artist's Guide to Exceptional Color
von Jan Hart
  Taschenbuch

5.0 von 5 Sternen Wonderful and inspiring, 12. April 2011
Länge:: 0:55 Minuten

This is a beautiful and useful book dedicated to understanding colours as used in watercolour.

It's split into three parts. Section 1 is on understanding pigment properties. Section 2 touches on the colour palettes and schemes. The last section looks at how you can use colours on different subject matters that range from landscapes to portrait drawings.

The text is informative and written in a way that's easy to understand. The pages are nicely laid out with beautiful examples from the author Jan Hart as well as other watercolour artists. You can get to check out different styles and the versatility of watercolour.

I like that the examples show the many possibilities of using colours, especially on putting colours on subjects that you don't normally associate them with. There are a couple of cool demonstrations on how different colour schemes can produce different moods even with the same subject.

There are many tutorials and little exercises scattered around, with lots of tips, ideas and techniques on the different ways you can experiment on your own.

This is an interesting and inspirational book. Even if you're not into watercolour, you might have second thoughts after reading this.

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


Angelic Visions: Create Fantasy Art Angels with Watercolor, Ink and Colored Pencil
Angelic Visions: Create Fantasy Art Angels with Watercolor, Ink and Colored Pencil
von Angela Sasser
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 19,54

4.0 von 5 Sternen Decent guide to drawing angels, 11. April 2011
Länge:: 0:55 Minuten

Here's a book dedicated to drawing angels by Angela R. Sasser.

The book has four chapters, covering the art materials (primarily colour pencils and watercolor), drawing and designing the characters, creating the background and includes 8 step-by-step demonstrations at the back.

On the character design of angels, you get to learn how to draw the different parts of an angel, things like wings, halos, clothing, weapon and other ornaments. The subject is seems well researched enough, the instructions are clear, and gives useful points to look out for. The basic anatomy lessons aren't too helpful because they are too elementary. I recommend getting a separate figure drawing book to help with figure posing and construction.

The chapter on backgrounds covers drawing of clouds, flowers, creating stone and stained glass textures. There doesn't seem to be a lot of variety when in comes to designing backgrounds for angels. This chapter is quite thin and feels disconnected from the book because the examples shown here, with exception of flowers, aren't really used in other paintings.

Finally, the book ends with 8 detailed painting demonstrations. The tutorials are roughly meant to be followed along - you can draw your own angel and then follow the techniques mentioned. It provides good practice on using watercolour. I don't particularly like the style of watercolour is used here though, but different people prefer different styles.

Overall, this is a decent starter guide if you're looking to draw angels. A figure drawing book is highly recommended to go along with this book - that will give your characters more volume.


Watercolor Tricks & Techniques: 75 New and Classic Painting Secrets
Watercolor Tricks & Techniques: 75 New and Classic Painting Secrets
von Cathy Johnson
  Spiralbindung
Preis: EUR 29,90

4.0 von 5 Sternen More tricks than techniques, 8. April 2011
Länge:: 0:56 Minuten

This book has an interesting design. It's spiral-bound with a cover that can be attached together to make the book stand - like a spiral-bound calendar. I guess you can read this book while you're watercolour painting at the same time.

Most of the tricks and techniques are one page descriptions on how you can use various materials with watercolour. A lot of unusual and unexpected materials are featured. Some examples include using alcohol, soap, liquid mask, salt, plastic wrap, crayon and other tools like erasers, sponges, wax, etc. The book's goal is probably to encourage experimentation of all these different mediums.

However, not all the new mediums featured come with actual application on a painting. Some of the examples are just quick splashes to show the possibilities and effects you can achieve.

The techniques-side of the book is not much. There are way more tricks and too few short demonstrations. It does talk about the usual techniques like glazing, wet-on-wet, etc, but again, it's missing the process between the tool and the finished work. And the examples don't look particularly inspiring, which is surprising because Cathy Johnson is a artist with lots of beautiful paintings.

There are interesting ideas and tricks in the book, but if you're looking for more techniques, you should look for dedicated watercolour instructional art books.
(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)


ImagineFX Workshop: Fantasy Creatures: The Ultimate Guide to Mastering Digital Painting Techniques
ImagineFX Workshop: Fantasy Creatures: The Ultimate Guide to Mastering Digital Painting Techniques
von Claire Howlett
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 26,50

8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Lots of ideas, tips and insight, 3. April 2011
Länge:: 1:18 Minuten

Two years after publishing Fantasy Workshop: Mastering Digital Painting Techniques, Imaginefx has finally come up with a second book of tutorials. This time, it has fantasy creatures as drawing subjects.

Similar to the previous book, this book actually collects the tutorials that originally appeared in their monthly magazines. So if you're already a subscriber of the magazine, you're basically going to see the same tutorials, hence no point buying (again). This book is a better deal for non-subscribers.

There are 6 categories featured are namely
1. Faeries, Fables and Friendly Giants
2. Beasts in 3D
3. Vampires and Demons
4. Myths and Monsters
5. Alien Races
6. Creature Features - for other subjects that don't belong to the previous categories

The presentation is also similar. It's loaded with step-by-step demonstrations, some interviews and tips from top digital artists. The demonstrations are actually a look at the artists' workflow, from concept to the final touches with lots of screenshots. The artists teach a mixed variety of stuff from picking skin tones, to creating different texture effects like scales or rotten flesh, to creating atmospheric mood.

Note that the demonstrations aren't the type of tutorials where you are to follow along and click stuff on the screen. That said, this book isn't for beginners because it doesn't teach the basics of digital painting. It goes straight into application. You'll get more out of the book if you already have some elementary knowledge on digital painting, drawing and the software.

The software used is mostly Photoshop, and there are a few chapters featuring Zbrush. If you're not familiar with the software, there are quick tips such as keyboard shortcuts and other tricks.

The goal of the book, I feel, is really to give ideas, highlight possibilities and show you what the software is capable of. In that sense, it's an insightful book.

Here's the list of contents:
1. Faeries, Fables and Friendly Giants
- Painting a Faerie Scene: Bente Schlick
- Paint Placid Titan: Vinod Rams
- The Big, Bad Bunny Eater: Bobby Chiu
- Sexy Siren: Johnny Duddle
- Masterclass: The Nature of Faerie Art
2. Beasts in 3D
- ZBrush: Creating a Beast I: Scott Spencer
- ZBrush: Creating a Beast II: Scott Spencer
- Q&A: Lighting: Antonis Papantoniou
- Hunter of the Deep: Khalid al Muharraqi
- Feto Lives!: Alvaro Buendia
- Top Ten Ways to be a Better Artist
3. Vampires and Demons
- 21st Century Vampire: Melanie Delon
- A Boy and his Cerberus: Jonatan Iversen-Ejve
- Q&A: Rotten Flesh: Dave Kendall
- Demonic Creature Concepts: Davi Blight
- Masterclass: Vampire Tips
4. Myths and Monsters
- Creature Design: Raymond Swanland
- Release the Kraken: Bart Tiongson
- Q&A: Painting up a Serpent: Rachael Haupt
- Monster Creations: John Kearney
- Top Ten Art Sins
- Monster Mythologies: Jim Pavelec
- Q&A: Muscular Dinosaurs: Paul Gerrard
5. Alien Races
- Photo-realistic Sci-fi Portraits: Michael Kutsche
- Q&A: Intelligent Aliens: Francis Tsai
- Quick Martian Concepts: Andy Park
- Masterclass: 25 Ways to Design an Alien
6. Creature Features
- Create a One-hour Monster: Joe Vriens Jr
- Q&A: Merging Animal References: Patrick Reilly
- Watercolour to Digital: Justin Gerard
- Core Skills: Pen Tool
- Masterclass: Creature Anatomy Workshop
- Symmetrical Designing: Mike Corriero
- Top Ten Essential Art Skills

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


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