1/07/2010. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
(pub: Titan Books/Design Studio Press. 127 page illustrated softcover. Price: £19.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84856-690-3.
check out website: www.titanbooks.com
If you play a lot of fantasy computer games then you will no doubt have come across Sparth, aka Nicolas Bouvier, who was involved in the design work of 'Assassins Creed' and 'Prince Of Persia' amongst others and has recently joined up to contribute to 'Halo'. Although this book 'Structura' hits on a little of this material, this book predominately looks at his cover art and personal work. His early work shows a strong John Berkey influence of shape before detail, as he's one of Sparth's favourite painters that didn't come as a surprise, although as you progress through the book he becomes a lot more polished. Although much of Sparth's work is produced by computer graphics, there is no indication which of his work was done in the old-fashioned way to see how much he carried over. These things always puts things into perspective.
Sparth's palate is very much in the blue and earth colours and although there is a predominance of machinery and flying vehicles here, he also shows a selection of humans and the odd alien as well. The artist acknowledges his own travelling over the years which has added a lot to the various city scenes he paints although I'm not quite sure just when he travelled off-planet.
If you haven't seen any of his book covers then you probably haven't been in the right country. Try France for instance. The Arakis sandworm has never looked more fierce.
Don't be deceived by the half-size of this book. The format works well to ensuring that landscape size paintings fill the width of the page and there is no centrefold crease getting in the way.
I hope the sample pictures with this review will convince you all to have a look at this book because I can see his fan base developing beyond the games.
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Stephen Hunt's novels - USA