on 14 January 2011
'Otherworlds' is a beautiful book, and it instantly feels substantial in your hands. You just know from the outset that a `unique' imaginative realm lies beneath the heavy cover, and you are willed to open the book to explore the world of Tom Kidd's vision. Once inside, you won't be disappointed. The book is full of ideas and colour, interspersed with lively pencil sketches and tips on how to improve your own work. There is plenty of stuff in there - often reflecting traditional fantasy (dragons and castles) but just as often with a twist, one that carries the artist's distinctive blend of genres, for instance, his cross-over into science fiction. So, although I bought the book as a practicing artist, I imagine that the book would still charm and inspire other readers, those who feel no inclination to draw or paint. So it's a book anyone can enjoy looking at, artist or not. On the technical side, I think the book is a pleasant surprise too. Three well thought out sections make up the bulk of the book - `the basics', `techniques, theory & subject matter', and `putting it all together'. I wasn't expecting Kidd's attention to detail on the aspects of oil painting and water colour theory that he chooses to include, for example, mediums, painting surfaces and so on, so that was a bonus. He is also confident and accurate when he discusses how clouds should be painted, for example, and equally insightful about colour theory and perspective. All of this makes his discussions about fantasy painting feel grounded in solid painting technique, and in the traditions of more conventional art practice, for example, landscape or portraiture. So it's a real `art book' and not just `showy' without substance. He gives readers the confidence to paint other worlds by drawing on well rounded knowledge - and I'm sure his rich experience will give many readers the reassurance that their own visions will be improved. Top marks!
As many people know, I'm a huge fan of books that help the reader expand their talents as well as passing on top tips that help the reader get the most from an expert in the field to which the title pertains.
Here in this title, we get the legendary Tom Kidd giving the reader the benefit of his wealth of experience backed up with tips as well as tricks that he's still mastering even whilst at the top of his game. This book is beautifully laid out, takes the reader through numerous mediums and also allows them to pick up tips to get the most from each technique. Perhaps Tom's best tip is to practice, practice, practice and whilst this may come across as down heartening to the amateur it's a truth that needs to be accepted.
Back that up with a step by step guide to get the most from what you're doing and you know that its going to be something special as Tom encourages the reader to have fun alongside using their imagination. Finally, whilst a number of the titles released by Impact are designed to be picked up by those with no experience this one is for the reader that has been practicing their art for a while as whilst the basics are covered its designed more as a refresher rather than a by the hand guide.
All in, this title is a lot of fun, the reader/artist will benefit hugely from the authors skills and above all else it's a title that whether you're a professional or amateur will be referred to time and again for some tips to get their own work up to that next level or even just to figure out where the problem with the pieces construction lays.
on 30 November 2012
First of all this is not your usual art instruction book where the author takes you through several step by step guides to drawing the likes of a Dragon or a Wizard's tower. I find this book much more valuable than that, this is a book which takes you into the mind of who I consider to be one of the modern masters of Fantasy art. The reader is taken through the thought process and inspiration behind many pieces of his work with lots of insider knowledge undoubtedly acquired over many years.
Included are many examples of his work covering a variety of media and there is nothing to stop you from trying to follow the same processes as the artist uses to either replicate his work or create your very own fantasy worlds.
The book is divided into three sections. The first-The Basics of getting started- covers the use of different media in your work and has features on the importance of studying nature and your environment, and the usefulness of generating your own reference photos, to name but a few.
Section 2-Techniques, theory and subject matter- covers things like the use of colour and perspective before moving onto some stage by stage processes of the artist's work. This is all accompanied by features on themes such as action scenes and inventing your own creatures.
The final section-Putting it all together- was a bit pointless in terms of having its own section. I see no reason why this part couldn't have just been tagged onto the end of section 2.
This is just a minor gripe though for what is ultimately a very informative and well presented book which has been produced to a very high quality finish.
on 12 April 2011
Nice book, gives good ideas and inspiration if you find your struggling to think of something new to draw. It all feels based around one medium so some people may find it limiting but it works well as inspiration, education and reference material
on 14 July 2014
So suprised by this book, I was looking for some inspiration to start my own fantasy painting. When I received this book I was completely awe struck. Tom Kidd's art is beyond breathtaking and awe inspiring. This book showcases his talents, full of epic scenes, mindblowing creatures and alluring worlds. With amazing tips and advice on how to think up your own ideas to design your own worlds, his own thought process and some brilliant step by step paintings. The creativeness of Tom Kidd is beyond comprehension! I have completed a painting, using the tools/methods suggested, and I am very happy with the result! It's now my aim in life to own a Tom Kidd painting! By far the most talented artist alive today. Great quality too, a book to treasure.