Popular Culture Collectibles Reviews

Friday, April 1, 2016

Artist's Block, 100 Things, Shortcuts, Animals, Manga, Comics, Alien and Terminator



It's been almost a year since I stopped teaching drawing and commercial art at a local high school.  To tell you the truth my urge to draw was gone.  I felt burnt out and just recently I've started to get back the spark to draw.  
 
The problem is I'm suffering from an artist's block.  It's frustrating and difficult to work through.
Fortunately Hachette Book Group was kind enough to send me a selection of books from its various imprints one of which is: Artist's Block Cured 201 Ways To Unleash Your Creativity, courtesy of Linda Krall and Amy Runyen and published by Walter Foster Publishing, Inc.

This book is a Godsend!  Inside are dozens of suggestions on how to spark one's creativity, various art project suggestions, ways to look at art from different perspectives and so forth.  Color photos and art provide visual examples and demonstrations and informative text leads readers through familiar and unfamiliar territories.  Awesome!

100 Things Every Artists Should Know: Tips, Tricks & Essential Concepts from the artists of Walter Foster is a must-have resource that demonstrates various art techniques, media, materials, elements and principles of design, artist tools, perspective and much, much more.

Anyone serious about creating art needs to keep this book handy as it is an invaluable resource.

From Walter Foster's Drawing Made Easy series comes Shortcuts & Artists' Secrets by Diane Cardaci.

When I was teaching drawing and commercial art I stressed to my students the importance of drawing or designing smart.  I instructed them that spending a long time on a piece of art doesn't necessarily make it a good piece of art.  Planning, knowing your materials, establishing shortcuts and working smart produces good art.  This book expounds on that advice.

Besides drawing people, drawing animals is one of the most difficult things to do for most artists.  As with drawing anything it's best to know what lies beneath the surface in order to draw something with any authority and skill.

Walter Foster's The art Of Drawing Animals provides step-by-step visual instructions on how to draw both wild and domestic animals with incredible and lifelike results.  Take it from me, by following the examples in this book you'll be drawing animals so realistically they'll look as if they are leaping of the paper.

Comic books are all the rage nowadays.  Both American comic books and Japanese Manga are extremely popular.  More and more people are entering the comic book field and as the field becomes more crowded only those artists who have mastered comic book and Manga art stand any chance of getting their work published.

Here's a tip: Walter Foster's The Art Of Drawing Manga & Comic Book Characters is a great resource for getting a step ahead of the competition.

Follow the extremely detailed instructions in this book and before long you'll be drawing Manga and comic book characters with the best of them.

Learn how to sketch out ideas, how to draw realistic anatomy, cloth your figures and even how to lay them out in exciting action sequences on comic book pages.  From pencils to inks to coloring, everything you need to know is in this book.

Quarry Books presents Robyn Chapman's 'Drawing Comics' book that demonstrates how to professionally draw cartoons for both cartoon strips and comic books.  

Funny to realistic characters and stories are represented.  Art techniques, tools of the trade, publishing tips, page designs, pencils, inks, coloring, drafting tools and equipment, papers, reference materials and even where and how to print are all represented in simple and easy-to-follow text and art examples.

Besides being a big art fan I also love movies-especially science fiction movies.  Scores of movies of that genre come out each year but very few obtain cult and classic status. Voyageur Press presents two hard-bound, slip-cover editions that science fiction movie fans will love.

Dubbed 'a science fiction horror story' Alien broke the mold when it came to science fiction films.  Claustrophobic, gritty and terrifying the movie followed the crew of a spaceship that lands on a planet only to encounter a very inhospitable group of aliens.

The book, by Ian Nathan, goes into exhaustive detail about the making of the films with special insights provided by the cast and crew, behind-the-scenes photos of the making of the film and reproductions of documents associated with the films such as blueprints, decals, production notes, creature and crew designs and so forth.

Documents are tipped in and stored in translucent sleeves secured to pages that are bursting with photos. For a remarkable look into the making of a remarkable film, Alien Vault is a movie fan's dream come true.

When James Cameron's low-budget Terminator movie came out it surprised movie-goers with its original storyline, fast-paced editing, intriguing characters and relentless pace.

Ian Nathan compiled and wrote this intriguing examination into the ultimate cyborg movie along with its follow-up: Terminator 2; Judgment Day.

Both films star Arnold Schwarzenegger as the unemotional cyborg killer who is a methodical killer in the first film and a hero in the second.

Like the Alien Vault book, The Terminator Vault is packed with fascinating accounts by the cast and crew, tons of photos, lots of insert extras and enough behind-the-scenes shots to satisfy the most ardent sci-fi fan imaginable.

There's so much information to take in you'll never see it all in one take so like the Terminator you'll say, "I'll be back!"

I plan on spending many fun hours looking over the Alien and Terminator Vault books as well as the art books.  Now where is my book mark?