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Both beginners and experienced artists will find plenty of inspiration in these pages, whether they are working in traditional media or on computers. The book's spiral binding ensures that its pages lie flat while students follow instructions. Includes more than 350 how-to illustrations in color.
Posted May 20, 2010
I saw this book in the Art section and had to grab it. I'm in an Illustration program at my college, and I've been thinking that I'd like to illustrate children's books, keeping my work in the realms of fantasy and this is such an inspiring guide. There's pretty basic drawing information for those who may not have had formal training. The author has also included templates that an aspiring artist might use for tracing while working on their own character design. What I love is that she's including not only her own work, but examples by other artists including past masters like Arthur Rackham and Cicely Mary Barker (Flower Fairies series). Ravenscroft's work reminds me a little of Brian Froud, which is not a bad thing, as he's one of the most accomplished fantasy artists currently working. She has included so many inspiring images that they alone are worth the purchase price. However, like a lot of other British authored craft books, she has given a lot of basic information about various mediums and techniques and just expects the reader to plunge in an use them, which I find somewhat refreshing. I found the way that she created line drawings for tricky anatomy very helpful. Yes, despite going to art school for a few years, I still have trouble with hands and feet, and her simplified versions have been the templates for practicing in my sketchbook when I have some free time. Very easy and lifelike hands! I think that this is a wonderful resource for people at all different levels of artistic ability. I think that it would have made a lovely gift for my nieces when they were younger and still in their flights of fancy, and it's taught me a few things that I hadn't learned in school. Even my husband, who is a professional scenic artist, enjoyed leafing through the chapters and taking inspiration from some of the scenes Ravenscroft depicted. It really is a wonderful treasure trove of useful, beautiful pages that are very, very helpful.
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