- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing; 1 edition (29 Oct. 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0740785508
- ISBN-13: 978-0740785504
- Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 1.5 x 26.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn't Exist (James Gurney Art) Paperback – 29 Oct 2009
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More than an instruction book, this is a guide for fans of science fiction and fantasy. (Sue Brettingen, Model Retailer)
About the Author
James Gurney's unique blending of fact and fantasy has won him worldwide critical acclaim. His work has been featured in one-man exhibitions at the Smithsonian Institution, the Norman Rockwell Museum, the Maison d'Ailleurs Museum in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland, and the U.S. embassies in Switzerland and Yemen. He lives with his wife Jeanette in the Hudson River Valley of New York State.
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Top Customer Reviews
|Length: 0:24 Mins|
"This is not a book about figure drawing, anatomy, or perspective. It's not a step-by-step guide on how to draw dinosaurs. It's also not a recipe book for a particular paint technique, although all these topics are addressed in passing. What this book contains is a distillation of the time-tested methods that I've found to be most helpful for achieving realism in imaginative pictures."
If you haven't got the hint from the title, this book is about making your art real and believable. In every chapter, James Gurney shares with us what he learned when creating his paintings. There are topics on people, dinosaurs, architecture, vehicles, composition and his step-by-steps (not techniques but process). The tips he gives can be applied on other subjects as well.
The importance of research is emphasized and the amount of research he does really shows. While creating an illustration on ship wreckage for National Geographic, he talked to survivors to get an accurate account. He found out there's a drummer boy who used his drum as a float and drew that in. He also acted out the various poses of sailors in distress, rather than drawing them from imagination. The result is a painting that tells its story convincingly. The same goes for many of his other paintings.
Another interesting read is the story of him trying to design a Dinotopian fire engine. When he presented his concept art to a professional fire engine designer, it was critiqued to have form but not function.Read more ›
The information is broken down into manageable bitesized chapters, so you can read the whole book as a whole, or just dip in and out. The illustrations are lovely, and I love reading about how the artist develops ideas and gathers information.
The cover of this book does not do it justice, as it could put some artists off if they are not really into fantasy work, but there are some great illustrations, and the influence of some past masters are evident in some of the work.
The book is a good size and there is plenty to read and lots of information. The book is printed on good quality paper and is really good value for money. A breath of fresh air in the art book format. If you like fantasy art, or are interested in reading about how other artists work then buy this book, you won't be disappointed.
***A question about technique
*James Gurney, the creator of the fantasy series, Dinotopia, as well as a commercial artist for several Fortune 500 companies has created a blueprint for artists of any age and ability to follow in this book, Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn't Exist. This is a broad survey of Western/ Occidental Art and it's influence on the contemporary Western aesthetic. It is, indeed, a fresh look at Western art.
I've been very fortunate as of late to be able to get my hands on some priceless books on the subject of art. The first, Elemental Magic: The Classical Art of Special Effects Animation, is a look at illustrating natural elements and phenomena (water, fire, icebergs, shattered glass, pixie dust, i.e.) by capturing the movement or in author, Joseph Gilland's, words the "energy" of the object. This is the quintessential Oriental approach to Art.
Imaginative Realism, on the other hand, is an intimate conversation from a master artist to students of art about capturing art by the physical senses. In other words, "What do you see?" The question of what is better or what is the definition of Art, are not questions that either of these books attempt to answer nor are the authors particularly interested in engaging in a culturally-divisive debate.
As a fellow artist (illustrator, painter and now graphic artist), I find this book captivating.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is great, magic. The kind of book that takes me back to when I was about 15 and what made me want to be an artist/designer in the first place. Read morePublished 2 months ago by James Abell
An absolutely wonderful book. Done by the guy who created the art for Dinotopia. Amazing artwork and great explanation of taking the real world scenery art techniques, to create... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Clet
Very interesting book! Gives a lot ideas and is written very well. I am happy with my purchase and can recommend it to everyone interested in drawing.Published 13 months ago by Bistra Nikolova
This book completes the other (Color and Light). It has a lot of art, examples and it explains well the process of creating an object/sculpture in order to create a painting after... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Vanessa Bettencourt
My granson is at uni doing digital art and media (or something very similar) I thought this may well help when his own fertile imagination needs a boostPublished 13 months ago by Doeidea
I've been illustrating for 20 years and still i find this book useful. For any illustration student its a must, Same price as a pizza and lasts a lot longer.Published 17 months ago by sir loin of steak
Got a copy of this for my birthday and its an amazing read. im ordering colour and light very soon as i found imaginitive realism just full to the brim with great tips. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Christian T