- Hardcover: 128 pages
- Publisher: David and Charles (31 Oct. 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1600613233
- ISBN-13: 978-1600613234
- Product Dimensions: 22.5 x 2.1 x 25.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 982,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
Forging Dragons: Inspirations, Approaches and Techniques for Drawing and Painting Dragons Hardcover – 31 Oct 2008
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This is a great book for fantasy artists of all levels. The mixture of technique, insight and inspiration, from a seasoned expert in the field of painting dragons makes it valuable addition to the collection of anyone interested in fantasy art. --Fantasy & Sci-Fi Art Imagine FX
This is a great book for fantasy artists of all levels. The mixture of technique, insight and inspiration, from a seasoned expert in the field of painting dragons makes it a valuable addition to the collection of anyone interested in fantasy art. --Imagine FX
About the Author
John Howe is one of the world's most renowned fantasy artists, probably best known for his 20 year stint as an artist on the Tolkien list, and his work as Conceptual Designer alongside Alan Lee on the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. He is a prominent and active member of the worldwide fantasy art community, and holds regular exhibitions and lectures on his work around the world. John lives in Switzerland.
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Top Customer Reviews
My first impression of this book is that it is very colourful and as soon as you open the book you want to read everything at once. There are more dragons in this book than you can shake a stick at.
On closer inspection the book lives up to my expectations. John shows us works in progress, full colour completed paintings and some amazing sketches and pencil work. This book is worth the money for the pictures alone. The text that accompanies the art work is interesting and informative and gives me the desire to read in further detail the myths and legends that John talks about. There is everything from the ancient classic tales of Beowulf and Fafnir to more modern classics such as The Hobbit and Lord of The Rings, with wonderful depictions of Smaug and the dark, scary Fell Beasts.
With a foreword by Guillermo Del Toro , director of the upcoming Hobbit movies, and contributions by writers Anne McCaffrey and Robin Hobb, this book has something for everyone with an interest in dragons. Whilst John explains some of his methods of drawing and painting the book is by no means a step by step guide to creating dragons but more a jumping off point for your own imagination and creativity. The delicate knot work with interlacing dragons on almost every page is delightful too.
This book is a great companion to John's previous book, Fantasy Art Workshop, and I hope that there will be more books like this in the not too distant future to grace my bookshelves.
This may sound biaised since I am a long time fan of John Howe's art, but on the other hand it is exactly what drew me to his work. When discovering the black dragon sitting on the cathedral of Strasbourg in a book I was leafing through in 1994, I immediately recognised a fellow dracologist, one who knows exactly how a dragon ticks...
So, how does it tick? Is there such a thing as the anatomy of a myth? Not as such according to John Howe, who rather sees his dragons as the results of the wanderings of his pencil on paper. Nevertheless it requires a good deal of knowledge in animal anatomy. To make an imaginary creature believable you need to understand how bones and tendons and muscles interact. Only then can you come up with a diversity of dragons.
But this book is much more than an artbook. It gives us a summary of dragonlore through the ages and cultures, such as has been rarely seen before. Having read many publications on the subject, I was very pleased to see some themes introduced here that had never or seldom been tackled in previous works.
Allegorical or mystical, mythical or legendary, metaphorical or fantasmagorical, modern and ancient lore, every aspect of this vast subject is exposed in short but informative sections, accompanied by old and new art and seasoned with some insights into the creation of each piece of art.
If you have never read a book about dragons, this may be a bit too much information in one go. But don't let it deter you, you will have lots of pieces of information that you can go back to and that may give you new ideas on what to read next. And slowly get to be familiar with these creatures that none of us have ever seen but that we all know somehow.
Already the foreword by Guillermo del Toro speaks of the fascination that dragons have always exerted on people all around the world. This fascination gets clearer in the following introduction by the author with many examples for his inspiration, some well-known, some maybe less well-known - who would have guessed that the Danes put dragons on top of their stock exchange?
This book has various layers. Obviously, there are the dragons: marvellous pictures, double-sided in high-quality colour print, and I could sit and look at them for ages. The spirit of the dragons and warriors portrayed catches the viewer, it seems that in the very next moment, they will come to life, start to move, continue their deadly fights.
The second layer is the forging: Howe explains in detail how he composed, sketched and coloured the pictures, why he is content with them or what he would still improve, even though the reader will think that there is nothing to improve, these pictures are great just as they are. Upon reading these explanations, one cannot help the impulse to grab the next pencil and try forging a dragon, and even though simply reading this book does not make a perfect dragon illustrator from any ingenuous reader, it nevertheless provides useful and interesting hints on how it once might work.
But this is not all. If it were only about arts, it would be just another "how-to"-book, an outstandingly beautiful one of course, but still, this book is more than that - it tells the stories that belong to the dragons.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book by great artist. I did not buy this book to practice drawing dragons but rather to admire the art of John Howe. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Saladin The Wise
Book arrived in great condition and I looked very much forward to receiving it. It is an addition to my growing collection of John Howe books which are full of stunning paintings... Read morePublished on 5 Sept. 2013 by J_Flattermann
Got this along with a few other Undead/Vampire/Dragon how to books & very pleased with my purchases..
Easy to follow guides & a great source of images..
a really good quality book with a lot of insight into the author / artists way of doing things and clearly detailed images, stories and inspiration throughout. Read morePublished on 21 Nov. 2012 by Kitty
would it be too much to ask that when you search for DRAWING books you actually get books that show you how to DRAW the subject? Read morePublished on 20 April 2012 by lizzardlives
This is an excellent book. So glad I got it. Beautifull illustrations and a great read too. If your a john Howe Fan or love to draw dragons, or even if you need a little... Read morePublished on 12 April 2011 by SESmyczek