This book looks at the broad architectural styles, to give the reader and understanding of the common forms, elements and characteristics. Using this knowledge helps the artist to create fantasy buildings grounded in realistic architecture. The book is divided into four main parts, the first is intro to architecture which covers the different variations through time and how they are constructed, from Gothic, to Asian and Viking. Many different styles and each have their won distinctive characteristics. Then follows picture making techniques. This shows us how to look at composition, perspective, the importance of lighting, and some colour theory work. In this chapter Rob takes the same image but makes subtle alterations to show us how simple changes can affect the way the eye travels round the work, and how layer can create depth within it. Simple things like a consistent light source are easily forgotten and Rob reminds us just how important it is to plan and be consistent in these areas. Of course to create realistic buildings perspective and accuracy are essential ( the draw it and hope approach I use simply won't work here!) and Rob covers this in clear detail with accompanying images illustrating his point. I found the colour theory very interesting - Rob tells us how small changes can make images recede or come forward, very useful when you need to know how to bring out the focus of an image. Similarly the mood and drama section takes one image and using different palettes we see how the whole feel of the mood changes from dark and oppressive to light and inviting, simply by use of warm or cool tones. Third section is fantastic: details and textures and Rob has some excellent advice in looking at your work and deciding what textures you need, and how to achieve them. With each different material, wood, stone, brick or thatch he has a texture reference file consisting of references images of different types of each material. These can be very useful for final details and creating illusion of reality. The final chapter pulls everything together - using the information we have learned rob invites us to create our own fantasy world. He gives some step by step examples of finished works, each with helpful accompanying text. We can see from them how the lessons learned earlier on the book pull together into a coherent, realistic fantasy world. If you love fantasy art, or have an interest in painting realistic architecture this book is for you. Its that rare gem, a book for those that can already do the basics of panting competently and want to take it further to create not just pretty pictures but realistic fantasy art. Buy It! You won't regret it for there is so much to learn for artists from this book.-Jeanniezelos.com Architecture; everyone is fascinated by it. Would the towering walls of Hogwarts in Harry Potter be quite so enchanting if they weren't so full of crevices, concealing mysteries and magic? Would Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette be anywhere near as beautiful had it not been filmed in the intricately embellished Palace of Versailles? Can architecture explain copious amounts about a story or situation without even an ounce of additional context? I would argue so. When reading, watching or exploring, it is inevitable that to truly engage in a story you need to be lost in its world. For this reason, architecture is fundamental in creating an atmosphere and contributes heavily to our perceptions of a new place. Rob Alexander is a fellow that would undoubtedly agree with my opinion, and has dedicated a book to the art of creating fantasy architecture as a stand-alone feature that can enrich a tale. In How to Draw and Paint Fantasy Architecture, Rob Alexander attempts both to enlighten his readers about some of his favourite styles of architecture, such as Gothic, Romanesque and Modern and Futurist architecture, and proceeds to tell them how to achieve these visuals within their art. Not only does he outline what the features of great architecture are but he also ponders why they exist and therefore invites artists to consider the reason behind their drawings. In explaining conventions of other architectural styles he also gives additional insight to those who are familiar of other components of the periods; for example, his Gothic explanation helped me to further understand the Victorian Gothic novels that I study in my English Literature degree. Rob Alexander is an illustrator and conceptual artist and has received awards such as the Chelsey Award from the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists. At the beginning of the book, he says that it is one for the fantasy and science fiction artist in particular. As someone that isn't a science fiction artist, I enjoyed it because it didn't assume that I had levels of knowledge in any area of its expertise; everything suggested is explained in a way that encompasses all questions without sounding patronising. A particular notion that I took with me was one that he made about colour and time. Colour, he says, sets the tone of a piece, but not because the colour is significant, because the time of day that it signifies is significant. It's true - a haunted house is going to seem spookier at night, isn't it? Things so simple as these are spelled out in order to ensure that attention to detail is fine, and after telling you what is best to do he even gives his own opinions on which products on the market - from paint brushes to computers - will serve you best in achieving your goals. If you are an artist, an architect, or merely someone who likes to observe either of the aforementioned, this book is definitely for you.-Liverpoolstudentmedia.com If you enjoy fantasy in any form you will surely have been alerted to an interesting book, game or whatever by an arresting piece of artwork. Fantasy art usually contains buildings of some kind and here is how to produce some stunning fantasy pictures of your own. Note that I wrote pictures not paintings as although there is plenty in here on drawing and painting there is also a fair bit on using a computer to achieve your artistic aims. I particularly liked the overview of the book and how to use it at the beginning where each of the four sections is explained very succinctly. I can imagine reading that quickly in a bookstore and knowing what I was in for which is an excellent thing for any book. Firstly architecture of all kinds is introduced, from Middle Eastern to Gothic, Mesoamerican to Asian and even modern and futuristic. It gives a look at its key elements, a bit of background and some examples plus how artists have used it for their own work. The second section deals with the nuts and bolts of art including how to apply color theory, composition and perspective when painting buildings. I like the way in which examples are given and then broken down to explain what is going on in the pictures; a good way of learning. The third section shows you how to achieve the various architectural textures such as stone, tiles, bricks, wood etc and how they look when aged over the years or damaged by fire etc. Finally there is a gallery of work artist by artist, showing the stages of building up a picture and what the artist was working towards and why. It is a good way to learn in my opinion, and I would recommend this book to any intermediate or higher artist who knows about painting or digital art and wants to expand into fantasy.-Myshelf.com Fantasy art at its very best. Useful reference pictures of real-life buildings with full architectural details, detailed art techniques, a gallery of textures (marble, stone etc). A lot of handy painting hints and tips that you can transfer to your cake decoration.-Cake Craft & Decoration
About the Author
Rob Alexander is the author of Drawing and Painting Fantasy Landscapes and Cityscapes (Barron's, 2006). He is an illustrator and conceptual artist working in the publishing, magazine, computer gaming, and collectable card-game markets. He paints fine art, fantasy, science fiction, children's illustrations, and contemporary landscapes and has received numerous awards, including the prestigious Chesley Award from the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists.