on 9 September 2012
Simply one of finest and innovative concept artists in the business. The style Sparth and his colleagues have created is unique, invariably imitated but never to this standard. Of course the art is fantastic, one would run out of superlatives. There is also a chapter showing a few process steps which only serves to make you wish he would make a lengthy video tutorial one of these days.
Most art books are of a larger size, this one is maybe just over 20cm like the first book. I would've preferred a larger book, so that's my reasoning for not giving this book the full five stars.
This second volume of Sparth`s digital artwork is, if anything, even more impressive than his first.
Sparth, AKA Nicolas Bouvier, is a well-known and considerably respected concept artist working in the games world; he is equally well-known for his cover-art illustrations of sci-fi/fantasy novels.
Structura 2, like its predecessor is a fine, well considered showcase of entirely new material, some 30 pages or so bigger than volume one and this time containing a chapter consisting of four step-by-step demonstrations showing how he puts his digital images together. There is no in-depth technical information about the software used - he appears to use a combination of Photoshop and Alchemy software - but the illustrations alone are both impressive and helpful. There is also a section of his more experimental work using Alchemy; linear sketches, experiments with geometric composition, etc.
Those familiar with his work will know what to expect as all his major themes are covered here - wonderfully rendered spaceships in dark, futuristic worlds, expansive alien vistas, fantastical medieval landscapes - together with illustration work for projects like the Dune novels and Halo. The format, like volume one, is a good combination of multiple and full-page images - copiously illustrated considering the book's modest dimensions.
Another beautifully presented, inspiring portfolio of a remarkable digital artist and an easy recommendation to make; grab it while you can while the prices are still reasonable.