Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Explorer's Guide to Drawing Fantasy Creatures (Emily Fiegenschuh)

The Explorer's Guide to Drawing Fantasy Creatures
Emily Fiegenschuh
Impact Books
Nonfiction, YA? Art
**** (Good)

DESCRIPTION: Creating fantasy art is about more than just the dry fundamentals. It's a process of exploration, discovering all manner of peculiarities within the limitless realms of the imagination, then capturing their wonder and beauty for all to see. Follow the brave adventurer Paki as he introduces you to the basics of art and media selection, then guides you through drawing a number of fantastic beasts and beings from his homeworld.

REVIEW: A fun, somewhat original idea adds a little zest to an otherwise generic how-to-draw-fantasy book. Not that Fiegenschuh's works count as "generic." Bright, interesting, and fun, she draws a variety of creatures, each designed to live in a different environment, fulfilling different ecological roles. Still, her original works aside, there's not much covered here that one wouldn't find elsewhere. I might've enjoyed a little more play on the "explorer" gimmick - perhaps some instructions on designing and sketching plants or environments to go with the animal "discoveries" made by the book's mascot. That minor quibble aside, I enjoyed it, even as an armchair artist and not an active explorer myself (at the moment, at least.)

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