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Animals: Real And Imagined by Terryl Whitlatch

1/07/2011. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts

Buy Animals: Real And Imagined in the USA - or Buy Animals: Real And Imagined in the UK

author pic

pub: Titan Books/Design Studio Press. 159 page illustrated horizontal softcover. Price: GBP 24.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-0-85768-108-9.

check out websites:, and

There are some books that are jaw-dropping when you open and work your way through the pages and this one, ‘Animals: Real And Imagined’ by Terryl Whitlatch, is one of them and being unable to put any here is due to lack of permission and also, in part, because I they might not do justice to having this book in your hands to see them first hand. Saying that, spend some time at the websites above for a larger sampling.

Terryl Whitlatch has created the designs for animals that were brought to life in the films of ‘Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace’, ‘Jumanji’, ‘Men In Black’, Brother Bear’, ‘Dragonheart’, ‘Alvin And The Chipmunks’, ‘Curious George’, The Polar Express’ and ‘Beowulf’. As this book shows, not only can she paint real world animals, but also mythological to alien to chimeras, beauty and bestial, and then just to show she can do anything, cartoons them, often on the same page. She is versatile. Just to rub it in, she can also do it with an anatomical flourish by building up from skeleton to muscles before putting hide and hair on them and tell you the names of everything as the black and white pictures in this book show. Frankly, I can both admire and be envious of her skill at the same time. Judging by the advert at the back of the book, she also does demonstration DVDs to share her talent as well. Terryl Whitlatch’s pencil technique is equalled by her sense of colour and motion. Although many of these animals are isolated from backgrounds, there puts in the odd one to remind you she can do that as well.

I should point out that as far as I can see, none of the pictures here are from any of the films above, although I can only confess to seeing two of them so not sure if any of them were prototypes that later evolved into anything used in the ones I haven’t seen.

If you love artbooks, you must own this book. If you paint or draw, then this book will inspire you to do better. I cannot impress on any of you that if you love art then you will spend time looking at this book time and again. I expect more jaws to drop as they look through this amazing book.

GF Willmetts

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