As the year draws to a close, I thought I’d put together a short list of the top art books I read this year.
Perfect Bait – Bobby Chiu
This is a GREAT book covering how Bobby Chiu went about building not only his artistic ability but his creative lifestyle and business.
The War Of Art – Steven Pressfield
Every person in a creative job should read this book – an interesting exploration of where creativity comes from and the notion of self sabotage and creative blocks.
Colour and Light – James Gurney
The definitive book on the technical aspects of representing light and colour in painting. Still wrapping my head around all of the fantastic content, this will definitely become a regular re-read!
Talent is Overrated – Geoff Colvin
Although not directly related to art, this was a very interesting read for understanding the notions, or rather myths, of ‘talent’. I never thought I’d be taking art lessons from Tiger Woods or Jerry Rice, but a lot of the conclusions draw remarkable parallels.
Character Mentor – Tom Bancroft
Tom Bancroft is one of the few artists/authors who’ve successfully tackled the field of character design head on in a book. This second volume contains reviews of students work and explanations of how examples could be pushed further. A really interesting insight into the production process, and chock full of great lessons.
Art of Tranformers: Fall of Cybertron – IDW
This one is probably an obvious one for me, but I absolutely loved High Moon Studio’s game. They did a great job of capturing the essence (for me anyway) of the franchise, and the artwork presented in the book, along with interviews and discussions of design choices, is absolutely stellar.
Art of Remember Me – Dark Horse
I remember being excited about this game over 2 years ago when it was featured as a WIP in Imagine FX, and DONTNOD did an amazing job visualising an alternate take on a dystopian cyberpunk universe. The game was ok to play, but SO PRETTY to look at.. so the art book was a no brainer. Chock full of some seriously gorgeous artwork!
Skillful Huntsmen – Scott Robertson
An incredible exercise for 3 graduate artists (now legends in their own rights), this book documents the concept art process on a fictional production. Educational and beautiful, another goodie!
Creative Illustration – Andrew Loomis
This is an absolute no brainer for any illustrator/artist… but it can be a tough/dense read.
J.C Leyendecker – Laurence S. Cutler
It was a toss up between this and the Gil Elvgren book, as both are chock full of inspiring paintings. Leyendecker won though… mainly because it’s Leyendecker!