1/09/2011. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
pub: Walter Foster Publishing. 144 page illustrated softcover. Price: GBP12.99 (UK), $19.95 (US), $24.95 (CAN). ISBN: 978-1-60058-166-3.
check out websites: www.walterfoster.com and www.aurumpress.com (UK distribution)
Those of you who are artistically inclined have heard of and probably even own some of the ‘Walter Foster’ label artbooks. I know I’ve got a broad section of them in my own collection which covers a wide variety of tips that I’ve looked up again and again from time to time. One thing I wasn’t aware until I received this book, ‘The Art Of Drawing Fantasy Characters’ by Jacob Glaser, was that the range now extended to larger page count books.
This particular book, as the title points out, comes within our genre although the title is a bit of a misnomer as it isn’t just showing you how to create fantasy characters but also horror and Science Fiction characters. Artist Jacob Glasner doesn’t so much want you to copy his work verbatim but seeing how he puts a design together from layout to detail should give you some idea how to do your own designs.
Although I wouldn’t put this quite at the novice level, because you would need to know how to draw people first, to take advantage here of the different requirements for the various characters depicted. There are forty-five of these, including a few oddities like carnivore plants, a hell-hound and even how to draw a ray-gun. About the only thing really missing is how to do compositions featuring more than one character but you should have enough here to give you ideas in how to do that. I’m not entirely sure the tips on digital painting on the front cover is justified as it is only covered in a paragraph inside, however I agree with Glasner in that it would be difficult to cover all the various art software that’s out there.
A lot of drawing is down to knowing the techniques and a lot of practice. Glasner doesn’t rely on stock poses and each design is from a different angle so if you even just work your way through the book, chances are you’ll come away with a lot more ideas in poses.
If I was starting out today, I think I would be relishing a book such as this. If you were wanting to draw your own characters and unsure what steps to take then I think this book will at least point you in the right direction. If you want to keep your sprogs quiet on a rainy day then I’m equally sure this will keep them amused as well, providing you warn them not to draw on the pages themselves.
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