May 14, 2013

A bad dose of Bibliophilia

I think I buy too many books. It comes from working in a bookshop, I guess. I have no room left to put any of the books I am buying, so I have to play this sad game of rotating the books I can display based on what I am obsessed with at the time. There are still books that never get boxed away, but I have a small selection of ever shifting titles gracing the shelves I can fit them in. At the moment, I'm reading a lot about landscape painting.
Just this morning, this book arrived -
Aldro (A. T.) Hibbard is rather rapidly becoming one of my favourite landscape artists. His snow scenes are second to none, and his treatment of value and colour is just gorgeous. But above all of those things, it's his brushstrokes that I like. They are at times smooth and precise, while others are almost rash in their application. But it all works. His paintings show a million different hues, and each piece must have taken an age to not only mix, but to achieve. Goodness me they are well done though. They are almost the perfect balance between beauty and artistic style. They appeal to both the 'art hanger' who generally knows little about actual art, and the 'art maker' who can see his work for what it is. It is both attractive and skillful.

I also got this masterpiece of a book recently-
John Carlson was another master of snow scenes, and his trees seem so simple and so well done that it makes me want to seek out some big ones to attempt a similar approach.
This book has long been considered the bible of the landscape artist. What I have read of it certainly puts me into that camp of believers. With such straight-forward and accessible text, Carlson shows not only how to go about painting certain things, he also succinctly and logically states why this is done. I put some protective covering on this book as soon as I got it home, because I get the feeling this book is going to be opened a lot.

I also got this delicious dish-
I don't know him well enough to really dive into this book just yet, as it is supposed to be quite involved, but his later landscapes of Florida are gorgeous.

I was amazed to see that this issue of Spectrum, first published in 1998 and subsequently in 2009, was still available to order. So order it, I did!
I kinda like this early annual because it has far less digital art in it. Not that digital is bad, I just prefer the traditional methods, that's all. The book has some fairly aged and dodgy pieces in it, and they seem to have skipped the obligatory Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell pieces for this one, but it also has some great things by Tony DiTerlizzi, Jeffrey Jones, Travis Charest, Brom and Petar Meseldzija. Speaking of Petar...

I got this book a couple of months ago-
What a book! It may be short enough, but holy heck is it a glorious thing to behold! Seriously, get a copy. It's an amazing example of fantasy art with a traditional flair. The guy is a freak of nature. He's incredibly skilled with pencil and paint. I'll say it again, get the book.

On the other end of the scale-
This book is big, beautifully printed and the selection of artists is pretty decent (especially Greg Staples near the end). But, wow, the text (which is all essentially the same interview questions, badly posed, to all of the different artists) is distractingly bad. The guy obviously doesn't speak awesome English, which is fine. But hire an editor dude, come on!

I also recently picked up a long wanted Frazetta book-
This book, called 'Frank Frazetta: The Living Legend,' is really good. The print quality is a little weak, but the fact that it prints all of the various folio pieces, including the Lord of the Rings one, makes it well worth it.

Being as I'm starting to work in colour again, I thought I really should try and get an understanding of it. Thus, these two books have been purchased for that very purpose-

Both of them are great books on the subject of meaningful use of colour and value reading. I recommend either of them, even if they do spell the word 'colour' annoyingly.

And that's about it for the moment. I have a lot of reading to do, and practicing what I'm learning will keep my hands full for the foreseeable future. But I'm working away still too. I have a painting on the go for a local lad, a female Troll watercolour piece in the works, and the Adventures Dark & Deep Bestiary work will start up in a couple of weeks time too. Speaking of AD&D, I mentioned in an earlier post that I would be showing book two's artwork soon. The release of that book has been moved to the end of the month, but I'll be sure to put the artwork up here (and for sale) as soon as the book goes live.

More soon!

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