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5.0 out of 5 stars A visual feast of Julie Bell's gloriously beautiful art, 13 Jan 2002
By 
edheds@hotmail.com (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Soft As Steel : The Art of Julie Bell: The Fantasy Art of Julie Bell (Paperback)
SHE REALLY IS A MODERN MASTER OF ART! It is so very easy to appreciate the work of Julie Bell, so much so that I really could not get enough of looking at the truly visually stunning and awe inspiring artwork that is beautifully reproduced in this wonderful book. The book is well organised into sections -
1. comic book characters - 34 pages where perhaps her more well known work is displayed in
2. worlds of fantasy - 35 pages in which is shown a select body of her fantasy art work is shown
3. warriors - 27 pages. Characters like Zorro and Elektra and others, mostly for book/magazine covers.
4. private gallery - 4 pages of about a dozen portraits and a couple landscpes
5. figure studies - 15 pages life drawing of the human figure
Her sexy, sensual but strong and dignified women superheroes, muscle bound, perfect-bodied male characters, and her fantastic beasts are all here. We can see how masterfully she gives her human (or superhuman) figures and beasts character and emotion. She absolutely excels in telling a story with just one picture. I absolutely love Julie's use of colour and the vibrant and refined quality of her work, the way she is able to create feeling in her work be it a sense of raw energy and action like in "Into the sunset" or of stillness, sereneness and contemplativeness as in "Reflecting".
I really enjoyed seeing her life studies because, as she is quoted saying in the book, her art stems from drawing the human figure. Julie's portrayal of the human body and its movement is really breathtaking in its photorealism and the sensual quality with which she imbues every figure. It was also interesting and really inspiring to see her life studies because I am really getting into life drawing at the moment - I think any aspiring artist would do well to study how well Julie deals with the human body.
It is great to see Julie's sense of humour is given a chance to show in such works as "Valley of the snake ladies" and "Seinfeld wars" - where Jerry Seinfeld and friends are depicted in "Star Wars Mode", Jerry with lightsaber aloft, Elaine as Leia, George sat on an R2D2-shaped bin, Kramer as C3PO and Newman as the Emperor/Darth in the background.
Another plus - I thought I would never read the text because Julie's work is just so visually stunning that who in their right minds would give a thought to mere words when just across the page is one of her masterpieces? My point is that the text gives a really valuable insight into the way that Julie works - don't get me wrong, not her technique - but the way she thinks about things like her career in art and how her talent developed under the guidance of her husband Boris Vallejo - another great artist. It was also very inspiring reading about the happy marriage between Julie and Boris and how they live and work side by side.
If I have any criticisms of the book it is that a couple of prints are a bit difficult to see because of the double-page spread makes it hard to see the middle bit - but that said, I'm happy to accept the fact because it doesnt affect many and its a small price to pay for the hundreds of other great prints.
I have totally fallen in love with Julie Bell's art, not to mention her female superheroes and this book just what a master of her art Julie is. I think that the book is really worth every penny!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A VISUAL FEAST OF JULIE BELL'S BEAUTIFUL ART, 13 Jan 2002
By 
edheds@hotmail.com (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Soft As Steel : The Art of Julie Bell: The Fantasy Art of Julie Bell (Paperback)
SHE REALLY IS A MODERN MASTER OF ART! It is so very easy to appreciate the work of Julie Bell, so much so that I really could not get enough of looking at the truly visually stunning and awe inspiring artwork that is beautifully reproduced in this wonderful book. The book is well organised into sections -
1. comic book characters - 34 pages where perhaps her more well known work is displayed in
2. worlds of fantasy - 35 pages in which is shown a select body of her fantasy art work is shown
3. warriors - 27 pages. Characters like Zorro and Elektra and others, mostly for book/magazine covers.
4. private gallery - 4 pages of about a dozen portraits and a couple landscpes
5. figure studies - 15 pages life drawing of the human figure
Her sexy, sensual but strong and dignified women superheroes, muscle bound, perfect-bodied male characters, and her fantastic beasts are all here. We can see how masterfully she gives her human (or superhuman) figures and beasts character and emotion. She absolutely excels in telling a story with just one picture. I absolutely love Julie's use of colour and the vibrant and refined quality of her work, the way she is able to create feeling in her work be it a sense of raw energy and action like in "Into the sunset" or of stillness, sereneness and contemplativeness as in "Reflecting".
I really enjoyed seeing her life studies because, as she is quoted saying in the book, her art stems from drawing the human figure. Julie's portrayal of the human body and its movement is really breathtaking in its photorealism and the sensual quality with which she imbues every figure. It was also interesting and really inspiring to see her life studies because I am really getting into life drawing at the moment - I think any aspiring artist would do well to study how well Julie deals with the human body.
It is great to see Julie's sense of humour is given a chance to show in such works as "Valley of the snake ladies" and "Seinfeld wars" - where Jerry Seinfeld and friends are depicted in "Star Wars Mode", Jerry with lightsaber aloft, Elaine as Leia, George sat on an R2D2-shaped bin, Kramer as C3PO and Newman as the Emperor/Darth in the background.
Another plus - I thought I would never read the text because Julie's work is just so visually stunning that who in their right minds would give a thought to mere words when just across the page is one of her masterpieces? My point is that the text gives a really valuable insight into the way that Julie works - don't get me wrong, not her technique - but the way she thinks about things like her career in art and how her talent developed under the guidance of her husband Boris Vallejo - another great artist. It was also very inspiring reading about the happy marriage between Julie and Boris and how they live and work side by side.
If I have any criticisms of the book it is that a couple of prints are a bit difficult to see because of the double-page spread makes it hard to see the middle bit - but that said, I'm happy to accept the fact because it doesnt affect many and its a small price to pay for the hundreds of other great prints.
I have totally fallen in love with Julie Bell's art, not to mention her female superheroes and this book just what a master of her art Julie is. I think that the book is really worth every penny!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A real suprise and joy to add to my art book collection., 7 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Soft As Steel : The Art of Julie Bell: The Fantasy Art of Julie Bell (Paperback)
A great book and a real surprise and joy to add to my art book collection.
Initially I learned of Julie Steel through researching Boris Vallejo. After seeing a used copy of this book at a really reasonable price on Amazon I decided to just to by it to see what it was like.
Julie's work is very similar to Boris' and equally if not more stunning.
I would definitely recommend this book to fans of fantasy art.
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