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Parka (Singapore)
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Visions of WAR: The Art of Wayne Reynolds
Visions of WAR: The Art of Wayne Reynolds
by Wayne Reynolds
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 16.88

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Terrific fantasy art, reproduction could be better, 3 Nov 2013
Length:: 1:47 Mins

Wayne Reynolds is a terrific fantasy artist. The highlights of this artbook are his fantasy characters and action-packed scenes.

The fantasy art included comes from Warhammer, Reaper Miniatures, World of Warcraft TCG, Magic: The Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder and other works, including personal ones. The bulk of work are from 2003 onwards. Also included are some yet-to-be-published artworks scheduled for 2014 release.

His illustrations and paintings are either printed one per page, or two per page. The book's a 256-page hardcover. So lots of artworks included. The character designs are amazing and there are so many of them. They are elaborate, detailed and look great. Creatures, warriors, spirits, etc, you name them, he has drawn them.

The action-packed scenes are quite epic. There's always the element of danger and suspense. You feel like you need to know what happens in the next scene. In that sense, the narrative and storytelling element is very well handled. I think there's a lot to be learned about dynamic composition and staging the scene with characters.

The letdown is the low resolution reproduction for many of the accompanying sketches, and some of the coloured artworks. You can really see some of the jaggedness that comes from the low resolution scans, especially for the pencil line sketches. Majority of the coloured pieces are alright but you can spot some that could be reproduced better. This book could be so much better.

Another possible downside is the lack of commentary. All the artworks are listed with title, source and year. But there not write-up on the actual work, or even the artist's career except for a one-page introduction by the publisher.

I'll still recommend this book because the art is great, reproduction's not the best, but the huge amount of art makes up for it.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)


Sketching from the Imagination: An Insight Into Creative Drawing
Sketching from the Imagination: An Insight Into Creative Drawing
by 3dTotal
Edition: Paperback
Price: 15.29

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thick volume of wonderful sketches, 1 Nov 2013
Length:: 2:21 Mins

Sketching from the Imagination is a wonderful 320-page paperback collection of sketches from 50 artists. It's always a delight to look through other people sketches, especially the good ones, and there are plenty to see in this thick volume.

The sketches compiled are all drawn from imagination. There are scenes of fantasy, character and creature designs, some location art, sometimes whimsical drawings, loose sketches, detailed sketches, and other amazing line drawings. Majority I would say are still character and creature art. Most of the stuff in the book are good enough as concept art, actually in a sense they all are.

I like checking out the different styles and techniques. There are the cartoony stuff, superhero comics style, amazing pencil and pen hatching, shading, use of black, drawing on toned paper and more. Some you can see are done quickly and loose. Some are very elaborate with detailed designs and shading.

The artists are featured alphabetically. Each has around 6 pages of coverage with a brief commentary on why they sketch and their inspiration. It's not really an instructional book, more for sparks of inspiration. All the sketches also come with brief captions.

I collect a lot of sketchbooks, and I really enjoyed looking through this one.

It's an inspiring book for those who like art, and of course sketchbooks, and probably will get you inspired to start sketching.

If you like this sketchbook, check out some of the other sketchbooks mentioned in my comment section below.


Vox : Rockbook
Vox : Rockbook
by Matteo De Longis
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 21.80

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful artbook, 31 Oct 2013
This review is from: Vox : Rockbook (Hardcover)
Length:: 1:50 Mins

VOX is the artbook of Italian illustrator and designer Matteo De Longis.

It's a 88-page paperback artbook that comes with a yellow slipcase. It's square format measuring about 16+ inches diagonally so it's quite a large book.

One of the highlights is the specific use of colours.

The cover uses a yellow that's quite striking -- very likely a Pantone colour. That colour in its pure form is repeated on the inside pages and really adds at extra punch to the illustrations, such as when it's used to colour the audio cables. The two other strong colours are the magenta and cyan, again very possibly Pantone because of their intensity.

The artworks are beautiful and huge. The colour scheme seems to be variations of print colours cyan, magenta an yellow. The art is actually drawing in comic style with outlines. There's a soft touch though as the outlines aren't exactly black. Overall, there's this nice tinted feel to the illustrations.

The illustrations inside are music and rock inspired. The opening pages have comic panels of a rock chick in plugging in her electric guitar and playing against a bright yellow background while the speakers are spewing out cyan audio waves.

You'll see a lot of rock chicks in the book actually. Most seem to be carrying electric guitars. That or electric machine gun guitars. There are also astronauts, guitars with wings, birds with transistor for heads, retro cars and even cityscapes.

In one piece, there's this giant woman laying down among the skyscrapers of a city. In separate panels, you can see a military chopper flying over her big eye, another panel is a ground up shot of her fingers among buildings. The last panel is the typical city-dwellers-walking-along-a-street scene with tall buildings in the background and even further back we see her breast and nipple rising like a mountain. That's the juxtaposition.

Then there's also the huge naked female torso submarine. The perspective used for that piece is masterful.

This is a fantastic artbook. Highly recommended.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)


Hatsune Miku Graphics: Character Collection CV03 - Megurine Luka Edition
Hatsune Miku Graphics: Character Collection CV03 - Megurine Luka Edition
by Comptiq
Edition: Paperback
Price: 17.41

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fan artbook of Megurine Luka!, 30 Oct 2013
Length:: 0:46 Mins

This is the third artbook for the Hatsune Miku series. The previous ones featured Hatsune Miku and Kagamine Rin & Len.

This one features Megurine Luka, the third Vocaloid. Unlike the earlier mascots, her costume's not based on a school uniform. You'll see some instruments on her, like woodwind and brass.

This is actually a fan artbook so you'll see how fans redesigned her. The overall style is Japanese-like and you'll see shades of pink that are taken from her long hair. The illustrations are beautiful and well done.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)


Hatsune Miku Graphics: Character Collection CV02 - Kagamine Rin & Len Edition
Hatsune Miku Graphics: Character Collection CV02 - Kagamine Rin & Len Edition
by Comptiq
Edition: Paperback
Price: 17.41

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For fans of the singing twin Vocaloids, 30 Oct 2013
Length:: 1:10 Mins

This is the other Hatsune Miku artbook, but it features the singing twins Kagamine Rin and Len.

The original is the Japanese 鏡音リン・レン edition published in 2011. Udon translated this to English.

Just like the first book on Hatsune Miku, this book also features 39 artists with their take on the two characters. Because there are two characters, some of the illustrations remind of scenarios that might actually be used for wedding photos -- you know those who like to dress in cosplay costumes. But mostly you get the two kids in school uniforms or casual wear hanging out.

The art is beautiful and the book is worth getting if you like the Vocaloids.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)


Hatsune Miku Graphics: Character Collection CV01 - Hatsune Miku Edition
Hatsune Miku Graphics: Character Collection CV01 - Hatsune Miku Edition
by Comptiq
Edition: Paperback
Price: 15.07

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Artbook of the most popular vocaloid, 30 Oct 2013
Length:: 1:04 Mins

This is one of two Hatsune Miku artbooks that Udon has translated to English. The original Japanese edition for this is 初音ミクEdition released in 2011.

This edition features the Vocaloid diva Hatsune Miku. The other edition features the singing twins Kagamine Rin & Len.

Collected within are artworks from 39 artists, each with their own take on Hatsune Miku, putting her in different settings. Most if not all are Japanese artists so the Japanese art style is heavy.

Hatsune Miku is a character with lots of fan art. You'll see many of the beautiful illustrations in this volume.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)


Haruhi Suzumiya Illustrations: Spring & Summer
Haruhi Suzumiya Illustrations: Spring & Summer
by Kadokawa Shoten
Edition: Paperback
Price: 25.24

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haruhi Suzumiya in anime style, 30 Oct 2013
Length:: 1:09 Mins

You might remember that I've also reviewed another art book earlier called Haruhi-ism: Noizi Ito Artworks. That one features the comic art of Noizi Ito while this one features the anime art. So you can get both books and not worry about duplication. This book is also thicker at 176 pages. It's a paperback with good paper.

The art book is large and all the illustrations inside are also printed large, to the edge of the pages. The illustrations are for anime magazines, CD jackets, posters and other merchandise.

The artworks are beautiful. Colours are vibrant. Characters are animated and full of life. There's sunshine, beach, and fun, and more. I sort of prefer the anime-style art compared to the manga art versions.

There are illustrations from various artists, namely Shoko Ikeda, Futoshi Nishiya, Yukiko Horiguchi, Tomoe, Aratani, Yasuhiro Takemoto, Seiichi Kitake and Kazuya Sakamoto. At the back, you can see their rough sketches and a brief career profile.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)


Biomech Art: Surrealism, Cyborgs and Alien Universes
Biomech Art: Surrealism, Cyborgs and Alien Universes
by Martin De Diego Sadaba
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 27.12

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of disturbingly good and good disturbing stuff to see, 29 Oct 2013
Length:: 1:44 Mins

Biomech Art is an impressive collection of artworks whose theme is a mixture of surrealism, cyberpunk, alien landscapes and dystopia worlds.

It's quite a thick hardcover book at 256 pages. Author Martin de Diego Sadaba has curated the works of 28 artists from USA, Europe and Japan for the book.

Just look at the cover and you can see that wires are going into the eyes of the character, and her arm actually morphs into wires below the elbow. That's just a teaser for what's inside the book.

Some other examples include the Pascal Blanche' 3D art with psychedelic colours, Christopher Conte's steampunk creations, many paintings involving alien-like warped beings, Peter Gric has some wonderful pieces of human-like characters fused into the environment, a few H. R. Giger inspired pieces, scenes from the underworld, transhuman creations, oh and a floating head fused with teddy bears by the skin, and more. Many pieces are quite difficult to describe even.

Great book for those into the dark arts. There are lots of disturbingly good and good disturbing stuff to see.

The artists featured are

Albino-Z
Pascal Blanche
Riyahd Cassiem
Christophe Conte
Jase Daniels
Martin de Diego
Bernard Dumaine
Alexander Fedosov
David Frantz
Peter Gric
Naoto Hattori
Tomasz Alen Kopera
Simon Lejeune
Fabio Listriani
Ramon Llansola
Paul McCarrol
Dusan Markovic
Shingo Matsunuma
Kamal Mishmish
Daniel Arnold Mist
Kazuhiko Nakamura
Noistromo
Piotr Ruszkowski
Ken Sarafin
Seeming (Seeming Watcher)
Tomasz Strzalkowski
Sugar Flesh (Liran Szeiman and Martin de Diego)
Yang Xueguo

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)


Stencil Republic
Stencil Republic
by Oliver Walker aka Ollystudio
Edition: Paperback
Price: 13.37

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good collection of stencil designs, 28 Oct 2013
This review is from: Stencil Republic (Paperback)
Length:: 0:28 Mins

This book is much like The Street Art Stencil Book that Laurence King Publishers released in 2010.

It's a collection of 20 stencils printed on perforated card stock that you can cut out and use. The card stock seems a bit thin so the stencils probably can only withstand limited use. It's quite worth the book price for 20 stencils. The book's almost 10 by 10 inches.

The designs look great. Some of them are really detailed, and the cutting is very precise. As an art form, it's really quite interesting to see how the featured artists connect the blacks together.

The collection is curated by Olly Studio. Featured artists are

A1ONE (Iran)
A*C ALTO CONTRASTE (Brazil)
ARTISTE OUVRIER (France)
BS.AS.STNCIL (Argentina)
CHRIS STAIN (US)
DAN INNES (UK)
DR. D (UK)
E.L.K. (Australia)
EZBAI (Spain)
FAKE (Netherlands)
ORTICANOODLES (Italy)
OZI (Brazil)
PISA73 (Germany)
RENE GAGNON (US)
RUN DON'T WALK (Argentina)
SR. X (Spain)
STEN LEX (Italy)
STENCIL KING (Netherlands)
STF (France)
VHILS (Portugal)

Interesting names that some of them have.


Walk the Line: The Art of Drawing
Walk the Line: The Art of Drawing
by Marc Valli
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 16.72

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful traditional media drawing showcase, 25 Oct 2013
Length:: 2:04 Mins

Walk the Line: The Art of Drawing is a delightful collection of artworks that celebrate traditional drawing.

This is a thick 320-page hardcover authored by Ana Ibarra and Marc Valli. The cover is those cardboard cut off at the sides, and the pages are off white, non glossy.

The work curated and showcased are outstanding. Well, there are 66 artists so you get to see a huge variety of work. The media used are mainly pencils, graphite, charcoal, ballpoint and ink. These artists are masters of the tools they use. It's quite amazing what effects the tools can produce, such as realistic fur drawings with pencils, the textures created by ballpoint pen hatching. The illustrations are really beautiful, detailed.

It's difficult for me to pick any particular artist or piece and say that's my favourite. Every artwork is unique and has their own charm, some alluring element. All are inspiring to look at, be it portraiture, pattern designs, animals or scenes from imagination.

Each artist also has a short profile talking about their background, techniques, style and other stuff.

Highly recommended to those who like contemporary art and illustration in traditional medium.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)


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