Favorite Art Books?
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By TamberElla   |   Watch
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Published: June 23, 2017
Let's start a little discussion here! 

What are your favorite art books? Why? What makes them stand out?
This can be "Art of" books for movies, books created by artists, or art-related textbooks!

Here's my little list:

  • Color and Light by James Gurney: this is one of the most esteemed books on color and it holds up to all the praise now and into the future. If you want to understand color and light, this is the book for you. It's comprehensive, easy-to-understand, and illustrated with gorgeous examples of every concept. I love all of Gurney's work but this book holds a special place in my heart.
  • How to Draw Portraits in Charcoal by Nathan Fowkes: the concepts here relate to every aspect of portrait art, not only charcoal drawing. He breaks down concepts that are often glossed over in other books, but ones that are integral to the topic and should always be remembered. 
  • The Art of Dreamworks: a comprehensive look at the art of every Dreamworks movie. Manages to cram so much incredible art and information into a single book. 

Of course I love many more than these, but these are the ones that come to mind for me! I'd love to add more!
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Fjeldfross's avatar
FjeldfrossHobbyist Digital Artist
"Charles R. knight" by Richard milner. Knight is hands-down my favorite artist, and this book is a massive source of inspiration for me. He was a man with extreme determination who struggled to his success, and nicknamed "the artist who saw through time" for his ground breaking reconstruction of dinosaurs and prehistoric mammals based on fossils and skeletons. His work is most notably featured in the Chicago Field Museum, Bronx Zoo and the AMNH. He had an incredible grasp on anatomy and how everything worked that was honestly unmatched during his time. I love his sketches and paintings as much as I love his sculptures. He is most known for his animal anatomy, but his human portraits I enjoy as well. There are other art books I enjoy, but haven't read through them completely and are currently packed away so I can't get the authors.
GoldenEmotions's avatar
GoldenEmotionsProfessional Digital Artist
I am super in love with my Okami Artbook. *o*
Cosmic-Cucumbers's avatar
Cosmic-CucumbersHobbyist Digital Artist
The art of Legend of the Guardians: Owls of Gahoole is drop dead gorgeous. I can't get enough of it.

Art of Thor and Thor: The Dark World. Marvel in general has STUNNING concept art for their movies. I'm in love with their stuff
Art of Doctor Strange. Due to the magical world of this movie, there is tons of stunning art in there!

The Skyrim artbook is also beautiful. <3
Mmkaay's avatar
MmkaayStudent Digital Artist
Also take a look at Susan Lyon's work. She and Scott Burdick spurred Nathan Fowkes into doing more portrait drawing. I adore her work specifically.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lPip_…

www.google.com/search?q=susan+…
Zaith's avatar
ZaithHobbyist Digital Artist
For beginners, "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" by Betty Edwards

This book was so interesting and taught me so much about the basics of art, and it leap-frogs you from symbol drawing to realism style incredibly quickly.
HollyBrake's avatar
HollyBrakeHobbyist Digital Artist
Spirited away the art book is gorgeous 
Fogdragon23's avatar
Fogdragon23Hobbyist General Artist
Anatomy for the Artist by Sarah Simblet might be my favorite. I only borrow it so I don't get to use it all the time, but it definitely helps when I do have it.
ShadeofShinon's avatar
ShadeofShinonHobbyist General Artist
My current favourites are the creature design books by Terryl Whitlatch. I'm a great admirer of her knowdlege on animal anatomy as well as her ability to seamlessly combine animal traits and create a completely new, believable form of life. Her artwork is so inspiring and so are her thoughts on creature design. I own three books of hers and they're such a great resource for learning and inspiration. Her work is something every animal and creature artist should check out!
rosiesinner's avatar
rosiesinnerProfessional Digital Artist
Ohhh, I'll have to grab the Nathan Fowkes one when I get a chance! The other two you suggested are some of my favorites too. :)

My faves are:
Human Anatomy for Artists and Animal Anatomy for Artists by Eliot Goldfinger // he breaks down all the muscle groups and explains what they all do, as well as simplifies the muscle forms into easy-to-remember shapes
The Art of Pocahontas and The Art of The Hunchback of Notre Dame // both books are absolutely –filled– with inspiration for color, story, and style
Okami: Official Complete Works // a gorgeous compilation of game art and design that showcases Japanese block-print styles—it's bold, colorful, and inspirational
BlueRavenfire's avatar
BlueRavenfireProfessional Digital Artist
the art of how to train your dragon- the first "art of" book i every bought. i was overjoyed with of it backed with early concept art of of my favorite movies.

the art of rango- another art book i absolutely love. again backed with good concept art of the movie.

the big bad concept art book for video games-not only is book is filled with ideas for good concept art, but gives good insight in what it takes to make into the video game industry as a concept artist.
NutMeg92104's avatar
NutMeg92104Hobbyist General Artist
I saw The Art Of Inside Out in Barnes and Noble one time and it was beautiful! The concept art was colorful, and the changes from that to the screen astounded me. :)
Faolannn's avatar
FaolannnHobbyist Digital Artist
I own these:

Art of Moana If I had to pick a top fav it would be this one. I loved the movie, everything about it..I'm Hawaiian haha. I enjoyed the book tons
Art of Zootopia
Art of Finding Nemo
Art of The Lion King
Art of Rio & Rio 2


I have nabbed the art of HTTYD & HTTYD 2 from the library too, mostly for the toothless n deadly nadder drawings- 
Myyrrdyn's avatar
MyyrrdynProfessional Photographer
"Sunstone" by shiniez.deviantart.com/ or "Coast of dreams" by Michael Petrus www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7Yly1…
TwirlyMind's avatar
HR Giger's Necronomicon I&II, Giger's Alien. They include some of his most interesting compositions as well as chronicling the creation of the Alien and many other aesthetic horrors. The movie franchise is fubar and he's gone; but Giger's work is still amazing.
HazelRose3637's avatar
HazelRose3637Professional General Artist
I like the Art of Wreck-It Ralph. I got to look at amazing concept art (plus, I found out that Sugar Rush's style was based after the trecadi style of Gaudi, and I love that style!) and I also saw games/worlds that never made it into the movie.
Natt-Katt's avatar
The art of Epic Mickey! While the game itself was so-so, there are a lot of interesting concepts that could have been in that book. I will say that the commentary could have been better and I am sad that they did not write out who drew each picture (just signatures... on some pictures) but the art is so great.
bluemisty's avatar
bluemistyHobbyist Artist
Amy Brown's book of her art is my favorite, I love her fairies and creatures and how much detail & colour she puts into them. They are fantastic :) Also Nene Thomas' angels are amazing & a lot of detail. The colours are fantastic :)
ArtofJonimation's avatar
ArtofJonimationHobbyist Filmographer
Not only the Loomis, George Bridgman or Hogarth figure drawing books, but the sketchbook complilations from the old Comic book illustrators like Buscema.
ArtofJonimation's avatar
ArtofJonimationHobbyist Filmographer
Also, I have a Peter and the Wolf book by Chuck Jones I've learned tons from
Arceya's avatar
ArceyaStudent General Artist
Definitely  "Shadowline" by Iain McCaig, Michael Hampton's "Figure Drawing – Design and Invention" and "Sciene of Creature Design" by Terryl Whitlatch. Also give the Art book of "Avatar – the last Airbender" a try. And I just can't get enough of Kim Jung-Gi's Art books – they are really amazing artists!
shaina773's avatar
shaina773Student Digital Artist
I also have the James Gurney book and it is fantastic!! Lately I have been into art books that have a lot of creative environments in them, for example The Art of The Croods which is super inspiring! I also have The Art of Zootopia, and the Jungle Book too. I really enjoy it when they include even prop designs, or other details on converting characters to 3D, it helps see how a movie came to be.  Plus some of the books actually have the artists name beside the paintings so I can look them up as well and see their other works. C:
PonyCool42's avatar
PonyCool42Student Digital Artist
I also LOVE 'Colour and Light' by James Gurney. It's so informative and also flled with inspiring images. His blog, Gurney Journey, is also a true gem.
My other favourites include Andrew Loomis' books for figure drawing ('Figure Drawing for All It's Worth' and 'Drawing the Head and Hands') and 'Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain' by Betty Edwards. Those three books helped me to improve my art so much faster than I ever had before. 
aladema's avatar
I don't even know what is an art book...
GoldenEmotions's avatar
GoldenEmotionsProfessional Digital Artist
I gave someone this as answer on what an artbook is, in case it's still unclear. comments.deviantart.com/1/6882…
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