Shop Forum More Submit  Join Login
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!
Add a Comment:
Fjeldfross Featured By Owner Edited Jul 8, 2017  Hobbyist 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 Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I am super in love with my Okami Artbook. *o*
Cosmic-Cucumbers Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2017  Hobbyist 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 Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2017  Student 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.……
Zaith Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2017  Hobbyist 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 Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Spirited away the art book is gorgeous 
Fogdragon23 Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2017  Hobbyist 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 Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2017  Hobbyist 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 Featured By Owner Edited Jun 24, 2017  Professional 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 Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2017  Professional 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 Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2017  Hobbyist 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 Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2017  Hobbyist 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 Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2017  Professional Photographer
"Sunstone" by or "Coast of dreams" by Michael Petrus…
TwirlyMind Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2017
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 Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2017  Professional 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 Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2017
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 Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2017  Hobbyist 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 Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2017  Hobbyist 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 Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2017  Hobbyist Filmographer
Also, I have a Peter and the Wolf book by Chuck Jones I've learned tons from
Arceya Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2017  Student 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 Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2017  Student 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 Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2017  Student 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 Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2017
I don't even know what is an art book...
GoldenEmotions Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I gave someone this as answer on what an artbook is, in case it's still unclear.…
LeWhisko Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, I thought it was like a sketch book, but different sizes, paper or something... then I red the comments, I don't know either.
GoldenEmotions Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's a book that collects art or has informations about art. For example, an art book for the legend of zelda would contain art of that franchise. Maybe stuff like sketches how the characters developed or so... And a text book about drawing would be stuff that teaches anatomy or perspective, colors, blabla. For most an art book is a collection of artworks in the form of a book. Can be from a big company, but there are also artists who publish their own art collections in the form of books. To refer to text books about the crafstmanship of drawing is rather rare.

This for example is my favourite artbook. The Okami official complete works artbook:…

Hope that helps! :D
Shazifire Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
I think my favourite would probably be my 'Wolf Children' artbook, while I can't exactly read it (being all in japanese) there's so many images/art that you can sort of piece together their process regardless. The background's and concepts are amazing! (I do hope there is an english version one day, I would love to try reading it lol)
I also have 'The art of Makoto Shinkai' which has very beautiful background art in it.
But like some others who have already commented I also love the Okami artbook, and the Legend of Korra artbooks! Good read and awesome art, haha.
Wolflich Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I was gonna mention some of James Gurney's books too, so... too late. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

A while ago I bought Color and Light along with Imaginative Realism. Of course they mostly come from a traditional background and I work in digital but it's all been pretty easy to adapt. Someday I'd like to collect a wider variety but then every time I've got nowhere to keep them for a while I'd have to start over.
DragonGirl153 Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2017  Student Digital Artist
WARRIORS (Erin Hunter)
It's a book series of feral (religious) cats fighting and killing each other for power and defending their clan
Graficcha Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2017
* art books
Sarosna85 Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Books by Terryl Whitlatch (yes I have all 4 :3 ):
- Wildlife of Star Wars
- Animals Real and Imagined
- The Science of Creature Design
- Principles of Creature Design

The art of Okami

I have several colored pencil and watercolor books too but I'd say my favs are:
- Botanical Painting with Colored Pencils by Ann Swan
- Books by Stephanie Pui Mun Law
JingleCheetah Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2017
Hm, i don't have any XD
SandraAssaf Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2017   Digital Artist
In addition to what you have already listed, I love Pete Mohrbacher's Angelarium and The Art of Guild Wars 2.
mrcrozier Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
The Animators Survival Kit by Richard Williams. I literally could not have made it through college without it (I went to college for animation). And it wasn't even a required book!

Second would be any of the "Art of" books I have on video games, I really can't pick a favorite and I haven't read them all yet, but I would have to say the most impressive so far is The Art of Rocksteady's Batman. Absolutely can't wait to get my hands on The Art of Overwatch :D
blueharuka Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'd have to say anything from Terry Whitlatch, her books on animal and creature anatomy are all absolutely AMAZING.

As well as the FORCE books (Dynamic life drawing for animators / Animal drawing). :)
Mmkaay Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2017  Student Digital Artist
Yeh y library got the portrait drawing book in after requested. Was incredbile---poblem is I haven't implemented any thing whatsoever fro the book---practice makes it

I really enjoyed Richard William's writing in The Animator's Survival Kit
Betty Edwards has a practical approach on teaching anyone to draw
Wolf-Butter Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2017
Art books always make me happy, I have a large, and still growing, collection^.^
These are all amazing and I'd deffinetely recommend checking these out! I think my personal fave is the one by Simon Stalenhag^.^ Hope I can help someone add to their collection!

:Movie/Game Art:
The Art of Spirited Away
The Art of The Last of Us
Okami: Official Complete Works
- really unique art and a gorgeous style. Plus it goes into amazing detail on everything in the game.
Halo Mythos: A Guide to the Story of Halo
The Art of Halo 4
The Little Prince: The Art of the Movie
The Art of Fire Emblem the Awakening
Amazing art along with writing that gives amazing insight on the creators and story of the game of movie.

Force: Animal Drawings by Mattesi
Good info for giving life to animal drawings.

:Graphic Novel:
Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
- A collection of horror stories told in a crude style that sends genuine shivers down my spine.
Chronicles of Yria Volume 1: Claudya and Matti
- Beautiful artwork and the start of an epic journey.
Things From The Flood by Simon Stalenhag
- Art from another world alongside a dialogue that takes me away. It sounds so grounded in reality I start to question my own. An absolute favorite. I'd highly recommend checking this out!
All visually stunning and stories well worth the read.

:Art Collection:
Tim Lochner Art Collection
The Art of Wolfskulljack
Realistic Pokémon Vol. 1 and 2 by RJPalmer
Various art but all a joy to look at.
zowiac Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2017  Student Traditional Artist
My high school sophomore/junior year English teacher got me Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters by Robert Beverly Hale as a graduation gift.
It's a compilation of 100 drawings and sketches by well-known artists and the author analyzes the techniques and details of each piece, and it's super interesting! 
ProjectOWL Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
So far I've only really seen The Art of The Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, which has a lot of illustrations of weapons, helmets, tools, machines, architecture and homes all made and used by owls. It was interesting to see how the artists designed everyday objects so they could be used by feral birds.
Moriartea-time Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2017   Digital Artist
I own Art of: The Book of Life + Art of: Wreck It Ralph
Both are wonderfully done of course!
The Wreck It Ralph gives me that nostalgic feeling everytime I look through it due to all the game feels lol
And it has some pieces that were not even considered to be added in the final release which blew me away

The Book of Life Art book is just like the movie. Beautiful, full of color, light, life, and atmosphere~ 
Also it gives some interesting information on art details of the movie that might have been missed
XibXib Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
For educational art books, I really like Figure Drawing For All Its Worth by Andrew Loomis, and Color and Light by James Gurney!

For inspirational art books, I REALLY love Rebus by James Jean (and all his other artbooks), his art is so beautiful and inspiring *Q*  
The-Nightmare-Doctor Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2017  Student General Artist
The Art of Alice the Madness Returns and The Art of Dishonored (one or two, either or they're both amazing, with concept art that is print and frame worthy)
And any art book with Terryl Whitlatch's work. She did a ton of monster concept art for Star Wars, she's incredibly talented
The-Nightmare-Doctor Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2017  Student General Artist
Oh! And Angelarium by Peter Mohrbacher!!
Doodlee-a Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2017  Student Digital Artist
Hey! I know Nathan! He's got some wonderful art!
Top of my list would probably be Claire Hummel's sketchbooks (she does a couple yearly collections)
Art of the Rise of the Guardians is probably what first got me into Art Of books!
And then I really like Art & Fear, which is more of an analysis on art, but still excellent.
TorchFlame27 Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I agree with the Art of Dreamworks book!! Definitely a good one :nod:

And I can't really think of a whole lot more off the top of my head except :iconkerbyrosanes:'s art book Animorphia.
That and any of :icontracyjb:'s Lackadaisy books.

They are two of my favorite artists on here! :heart:
thoughttrainderailed Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The Master of Anatomy books.  It has a bunch of different anatomy designs from all different professional character artists.  Then there's a second book with character cartoon designs.    A Kickstarter campaign got them started.
StrayQrow Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
There was this book called "World of Remnant" that featured several RWBY OCs -  I guess my favorite thing about it was the idea that people from around the world with very different styles came together to show their creations, some of them I had met online.
cakhost Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Sounds fun! Here are two I enjoyed:

Okami Official Complete Works: The art book to the game Okami. Love the game and its style a lot so when I saw the book available, I wanted to get it. Love it it a lot!

Thinking with Type: A book that talks about fonts. Was a very interesting book and I like how it plays with font in the book itself. Also talked about the history and how font is used in a lot of different areas.
DeeperShallows Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2017  Student Digital Artist
My favorite art book has guided my learning of animal anatomy and action for almost five years and I still use it. It's called The Art of Animal Drawing by Ken Hultgren.
I'm also starting to read The Animator's Survival Kit by Richard Williams and it's looking like a very helpful book so far.
RainbowFinch Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The Art of Animal Character Design by David Colman 
This is the first one to come to mind and probably one of my all time fave books, especially art books, I own. I also have quite a bit of art books XP I hoard them. It is by the artist David Colman, and he goes through how he works from start to finish on drawing and designing animal characters. It has a lot of art in it and a varying amount of styles and mediums he has done. If you like animal art and characters, I would highly recommend this book, even if just for the art in it. It also good advice for art in general I think. 
Add a Comment:

:icontamberella: More from TamberElla

Featured in Collections

Journals by CoastHarbour

Journals by suurin

Journals by OrcaOwl

More from DeviantArt


Submitted on
June 23, 2017


5,981 (1 today)
69 (who?)