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Asphalt Renaissance: The Pavement Art and 3-D Illusions of Kurt Wenner
Asphalt Renaissance: The Pavement Art and 3-D Illusions of Kurt Wenner
von Kurt Wenner
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 23,49

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Absorbing and inspiring read, 1. Mai 2012
Länge:: 1:24 Minuten

This is an inspiring book. It covers the history of street art dating back to the renaissance period, and provides lots of references to how street art are adopted by people all over the world. There are lots of great photos of his trips and work from the 80s to today.

Kurt Wenner's journey in art and street painting is fascinating. He has been painting for more than 25 years, and the book collects the many interesting stories that are a joy to read. He started out as a struggling artist. His art professors claimed he had no talent. He thought otherwise and traveled to Rome to spend his days drawing in museums, to the point that the guards know him so well and became his fans. He became real good at art, and the book features some of his amazing sketches.

After that, the stories are about how he traveled across European countries trying to make a living off street paintings. He talks about the different things he learned in each country, people's preference for art, the laws governing street art, his interaction with the locals, making his own chalk and more. He even hired homeless people to look over his street paintings. Some had memorized Wenner's usual lines that they were able to give talks on art history themselves.

Street painting is not easy, and that's a constant underlying theme throughout the book. He had to draw with unpredictable weather, or draw onto burning asphalt during a competition. Once, he had to sleep in open air beside a gas station because he had no money. All these just make the stories more inspiring.

Kurt Wenner's story is a truly absorbing and uplifting read.

Highly recommended.

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


Hazel Soan's African Watercolours
Hazel Soan's African Watercolours
von Hazel Soan
  Taschenbuch

3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Beautiful travelogue with watercolour tips, 23. April 2012
Länge:: 1:05 Minuten

This book has been on my shopping list for a while, but it's not a high priority. When I saw it selling on Amazon UK for far less than Amazon USA, I knew I had to buy it.

Hazel Soan's African Watercolours is essentially a watercolour travelogue. The paintings by Hazel Soan are beautiful. I love the colours.

The commentary talks about Africa, the animals, landscape, the people and tips on using watercolours to capture what you see. It's an interesting and insightful read about the place and watercolours.

Recommended to watercolour lovers.

(More pictures on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)


Voyage au Japon, Tome 1 : Tôkyô : Edition bilingue français-japonais
Voyage au Japon, Tome 1 : Tôkyô : Edition bilingue français-japonais
von Sandrine Garcia
  Album
Preis: EUR 20,73

5.0 von 5 Sternen Lovely art travelogue, 10. April 2012
Länge:: 1:20 Minuten

I love travel sketchbooks because I like seeing reading and seeing new places. It's probably the next best thing to traveling itself.

Voyage au Japon: Tome 1: Tokyo is a 160-page hardcover published by CFSL Ink. It's a lovely book authored by Sandrine Garcia and Rémi Maynègre with content inspired by their 2008 trip to Tokyo.

The huge drawings in the wide format book just wonderful to look at. It makes you feel like you're really standing there on the streets. They really capture the vibrancy and life of the places they went to. There are illustrations of parks, traditional Japanese houses, shopping streets, the people and tourist areas.

All drawings are accompanied by interesting writeup of their adventure. I like that every story starts with a sketch of their heads with amusing expressions. The text is in Japanese and French though. However, you don't have know the language to enjoy the book.

I hope one day I can go to Japan and draw up a sketchbook like this. So inspiring.

Highly recommended to sketchbook and travel lovers. This would be one of my favourite books for 2012.

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


Charles Reid's Watercolour Secrets: An Intimate Look at the Discoveries from a Lifetime of Painting
Charles Reid's Watercolour Secrets: An Intimate Look at the Discoveries from a Lifetime of Painting
von Charles Reid
  Taschenbuch

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3.0 von 5 Sternen Good content, bad printing format, 9. April 2012
Länge:: 1:01 Minuten

There are two editions for this book, a hardcover edition published in 2004 and the paperback edition in 2007. With David and Charles (DC) being the publisher.

The format of the paperback edition (2007) is horrible. The pages are clearly laid out for a landscape format book but the book is printed in portrait format. You have to rotate the book for every single page you want to read. It gets tiring immediately.

For some of the paintings that span two pages, they are cut off at the bottom of the left and right pages. In usual landscape format, they would have been printed across the gutter. This is ridiculous.

The content is great. Charles Reid's style is loose and at times splashy, just like the one on the cover. There are useful tips and instructions on every page, some step by step tutorials and little exercises for you to experiment.

Overall, because of the printing format, I won't recommend this book because it's just too frustrating to rotate the book every time.

Content: 5 stars
Book format: 1 star

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


The Art of Secret World of Arrietty (Art of Arrietty)
The Art of Secret World of Arrietty (Art of Arrietty)
von Hiromasa Yonebayashi
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 33,71

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Beautiful, 3. April 2012
Länge:: 1:21 Minuten

I actually have the Japanese edition of this book so I borrowed the English one for review.

What's different here is the cover art, and also the dust jacket is smooth instead of textured. It's translated by VIZ Media who does a good job, as usual. The book has 248 pages but only 208 pages are on the art with the rest being the script. The film's directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, a new director.

The book's loaded with colourful concept art. There are character designs, storyboards, background paintings and film stills. Much of the concept art is in pencil and watercolour as usual. I see some drawn by Hayao Miyazaki but the rest seems to be drawn by others -- I could be wrong. The drawings are captioned but not credited.

The art is beautiful, of course. Characters designs are wonderful, cute, and pastel colours are nice. One thing with the character design is, they seem to look very similar to previous films from the studio. Looking through the book, I kept thinking that the characters here are the same "actors" as previous films but set in a different script. Arrietty's the main character and she's a tiny person. So it's interesting to see how household items are incorporated and used as gadgets.

The storyboards are great, really telling the story without any words. Just by looking at them, you know the story or idea works. Afterall, this is concept art.

The background paintings are of lush green countrysides, which you could really mistake them for coming from Spirited Away or Princess Mononoke. And there are paintings of Arrietty's home and the different locations. The art direction is unmistakable, uniquely Studio Ghibli.

It's a beautiful book for fans of Studio Ghibli.

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


New York, Line by Line: From Broadway to the Battery
New York, Line by Line: From Broadway to the Battery
von Robinson
  Gebundene Ausgabe

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Impressive and astonishing work, 21. März 2012
Länge:: 0:37 Minuten

This is an art book done in line art by German illustrator Robinson (1910-1994). On the book jacket, it says he has created hundreds of thousands of drawings, not just for New York. That sounds incredible but not hard to believe when you go through the pages.

It was first published in 1967 and this is a very welcome reprint. Looking at the illustrations is like traveling back in time to 60s New York, Manhattan precisely. The impressive skyscrapers were already up, and the 60s cars are all still crowding the streets.

The aerial drawings of Manhattan are breathtaking in astonishing detail. There are many in the book. New York Line By Line only has 64 pages, but the format is huge, great for showing off the line art.

I've been to Manhattan on holiday before and these drawings gives me fond memories of the place. Many are from the exact spot where I stood. There are drawings from the top of Empire State Building, at Park Avenue, Chinatown, Grand Central Station, NY Public Library, Bryant Park, Radio City Music Hall, St. Patrick's Cathedral,Rockefeller Center, Time Square, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park, Kennedy Airport and more.

Through the drawings, you can see how New York has changed with its people and landscape. Buildings at Time Square were just a few floors tall back then. Today, their top can't even be captured in photographs.

I like the last section where they compare numbers from the 60s New York with present day. There were 3000 shoe stores back then and now only 620. It's interesting to see how businesses have evolved through those numbers, many which changed drastically.

This is an impressive and astonishing book.

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


Digital Painting Tricks & Techniques: 100 Ways To Improve Your Cg Art
Digital Painting Tricks & Techniques: 100 Ways To Improve Your Cg Art
von Gary Tonge
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 19,49

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2.0 von 5 Sternen Too vague to be useful, 19. März 2012
Länge:: 1:00 Minuten

I don't find this book very useful.

While there are tutorials, the instructions are often vague. The subject matter are often too brief and not comprehensive enough.

They do tell you the tips and techniques involved in achieving certain effects, but they either don't show you the process of getting there or several steps are missing and you have to guess how it was achieved.

There's a beginner example on using photos as reference. It's about putting a car onto a background with mountains behind basked in beautiful sunset. Step 1 involves finding a beautiful photo of the background. Step 2 involves finding a photo of the car. Step 3 is the final result of the car basked in the same beautiful sunset as the mountains. The example do mention that lighting and reflections were wrong in the car to begin with, but it never actually showed how they were corrected. And just like magic, the final result painted itself. That happens often in the book.

If you're absolutely new to digital painting with no knowledge at all, yes, you can learn from some of the tips. But even then, I won't really recommend this book because for the same amount of money, you can get better books.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
Kommentar Kommentar (1) | Kommentar als Link | Neuester Kommentar: Dec 25, 2012 11:56 AM CET


Print & Pattern 2
Print & Pattern 2
von Bowie Style
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 26,50

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Beautiful, 19. März 2012
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Print & Pattern 2 (Taschenbuch)
Länge:: 1:25 Minuten

This is a nice second volume to the first Print and Pattern book.

There are so much content on the Print and Pattern blog that it's not surprising a second book came out. It's still 304 pages so that's a lot of work to look at.

The prints and patterns in the book are beautiful. They are colourful and fun to look at. Most are vector style but the variety is immense. They all come with short artist profiles.

Great book for designers, illustrators and those who like crafting.

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


The Art of Big City
The Art of Big City
von Ragnar
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 37,99

5.0 von 5 Sternen Unique and fascinating art book, 4. März 2012
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Art of Big City (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Länge:: 1:22 Minuten

The Art of Big City is a book with some really sleek art of robots, spaceships and girls.

The illustrations are all drawn in vector style. The designs are very detailed, yet clean. The character designs for the robots are wonderful. They have a very solid feel to them that part of me wish to see them being animated.

The spaceship designs are unlike anything I've seen before. They are organic and in many instances just look like insects, very sophisticated and intricate insect bodies. Very unique.

The last few pages feature illustrations of girls in different crew costumes, running, jumping, shooting, posing. Some of them come with cool automobiles.

It's a fascinating art book from Ragnar. Wonderful, just wonderful.

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


Illustration Now! Portraits
Illustration Now! Portraits
von Julius Wiedemann
  Taschenbuch

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Stunning collection, 29. Februar 2012
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Illustration Now! Portraits (Taschenbuch)
Länge:: 1:25 Minuten

Illustration Now! Portraits is a stunning collection of portraits. The book's a thick 416-page paperback.

87 illustrators are featured. That's a lot of different styles to check out, much more than I imagined. The selection is really diverse and the quality high. It's quite an impressive feat collecting them into this handsome volume.

The portraits are created in all sorts of medium, including sculptures. There are watercolour, oil, vectors, digital paintings, etc.

This should be a particularly useful reference for illustrators who draw portraits regularly, especially for editorial publications.

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


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