There are so few books for Illustrator users (compared to Photoshop) that I purchase every book that is released. My expectations are always so high. However, I've had this book for a while and I really want to like it, but every time I open it it irritates me more and more. Yes, the images are wonderful, yes, the the artists are inspiring, but much of the work is repetitive. I feel like I am looking at the portfolios of a group of fellow graduate students. It seems like they were all given the same assignments throughout their art school years. Two styles abound in this book: 1. Dark, swirly fantasy, fairy tale-based look (pages 48, 66, 68, 93, 155 and 101). or 2. Flat, shadowless comic/cartoon look based on manga and/or swedish folk art (pages 188, 174, 170, 164, 147, 144, 139, 50, and 23).
Ironically Milne's work/tutorial of a cat is the only unique piece in this entire volume. The images I would have liked to have had as tutorials are featured on the cover page, the boy and the puppy in a soft pink landscape, a piece that looks very un-Illustrator and the owl using negative space pattern for it's tummy.
Tutorials. I am an advanced Illustrator user and I had a hard time following the tutorials. Hey, Adobe Press, did anyone "beta-test" them? I read the tutorial on page 38 several times and I still don't follow the opacities and "cut-ins" Are they written in the artist native tongue, then translated?
I have to give "5 stars" to the artist Makarova on page 5. I loved the wedding dress' cloud texture. I emailed her asking how she did it and she was kind enough to not only send me the instructions but also a small piece of the file so I could follow her instructions. If everyone in this book was as forthcoming as Makarova, this book would have received a 5 star!!