John Howe Fantasy Art Workshop (英語) ペーパーバック – 2007/10/15
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NEW IN PAPERBACK 'Here's how I do it and why': this is the premise behind John Howe's very first practical exploration of his artistic inspirations, approaches and techniques. Will appeal to practical artists and fans of John Howe's work by providing step-by-step demonstrations, sketches and outstanding finished paintings, some of which were designed specifically for this book. Covers a wide range of subjects essential to any aspiring fantasy artist; the final section of the book provides further inspiration and guidance on presenting work in various forms including film work, book covers and advertising, all areas in which John Howe has vast experience.
John Howe was born in Vancouver, Canada in 1957. He attended the Ecole des Art Decoratifs in Strasbourg. He has had three monographical titles published on his work, including Myth and Magic (Harper Collins, 2001) and worked extensively on the conceptual art for The Lord of the Rings films with artist Alan Lee and director Peter Jackson. He lives in Switzerland.
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this book is a gallery and nothing but Howe talking about his moods/feelings when painting/drawing and a tad bit of seemingly pretentious philosophical rambling about "why one paints".
I have respect for Howe and his work, however, it was grossly inappropriate for this book to be titled "fantasy art workshop" when it should have been called "fantasy art gallery by john howe", the book is filled with nothing but his already completed drawings/paintings, leaving nothing for the person to learn about the process (and no, despite the other very praising reviews who talk about how the book is john howe talking about his "process", it is not a process of work or skill from which you will be able to learn, it is about the process of his moods/thoughts.
"Workshop" implies that "How-to" (you know, the building block and basic fact of life on learning anything, is to learn "how") will be included in a manner of which the student/reader/or whatever in whatever workshop it is is going to see HOW things are done, from beginning to end.
The book is spread out over a large amount of topics. Fantasy art. General art. Skill. Inspiration. Drive and motivation. The methods of his craft and even what he has had to go through to get things sold. It's a great read for any up and coming artist trying to make a name for themselves and earn money. And it's a wonderfully inspirational one for any hobbyist.
The writing is refreshingly personal. As many art related books does have a tendency to get very academic, Howe instead relates everything through his own opinions and experiences.
I didn't expect this to be as consuming reading as it was when I first opened it. But it seems to be a little gem after all.
Artists of any lineage will probably pick up something useful from this.
Instead, each chapter is filled with his past work and sketches with commentary on how they were created. The lessons are mainly on a conceptual level rather than at a technical level, like mixing colours or how to draw. He talks about his inspiration, research process, working style and includes lots of information on things to look out for when painting certain subjects, like characters, scenery, armour, etc.
Towards the back, he shares some career related tips on how to tackle commissions, promoting yourself, and working on set design for the big screen.
This should be an inspiring book for fantasy artist.
(More pictures are available on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
I can honestly say that John Howe's techniques and the inspiration provided by his stunning and evocative artworks (a magnificent example: The Fall of Atlantis) have influenced my artistic growth more than anything. A self-taught artist, I was striving after realism in my drawings, yet failing to grasp anatomic proportion, three-dimensionality and most importantly, originality in composition. This book was the first step into understanding realism - and even now, having won several art-prizes, I still refer back to it, and other works by John Howe for tips and inspiration.
An art book everyone should own, whether or not they have ambitions to become an artist, regardless of age or experience. The pictures alone are priceless, but the advice and lessons contained within are essential to any realist artist.