Your favorite "Art of..." books?
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  1. #1
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    Your favorite "Art of..." books?

    I've only recently starting picking up some of these, and I've had mixed reviews. I'm looking to pick up a few more, so I'm interested to hear what you guys like.

    Mine:

    Art of Star Wars: Episode III - Amazingly good. I loved the layout, and the blurbs that accompanied an image almost always had a really great anecdote describing how it came about. Its always great to hear what was going through an artist's head while he was designing something. The art is shown by the dates it was assigned - before there was even a script in some parts - so you get a cool look at the movie itself evolving as Lucas tries to figure out what the fuck he's doing.

    Art of Star Wars: Episode II - Bear in mind I bought this one AFTER the Episode III art book, so my expectations were very high. Unlike the Ep. III art book, this one had the art listed in chronology with the FILM - scene by scene - rather than when by when it was assigned/completed. The blurbs were disappointing, and rather than have the blurbs directly over/under the image in question, they were numbered - then you had to go find the impossibly tiny number hidden somewhere on the picture itself. Drove me insane. The art itself is brilliant, of course.

    Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell Sketchbook - Decent, though the descriptions of the images were amazingly skimpy. It sometimes felt like a Dick and Jane book written by Bizarro. "Julie and Boris draw unicorn art picture. They am good at art. They heart art!"

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    A psuedo-"art of" book released by Design press Studio and Art Centre called "The Skillful Huntsman" goes through 3 weeks of faux pre-production on an imaginary production.

    3 very skilled artists who annotate their processes and scott robertson who also lends an insightful comment on every piece.

    I recommend anyone who's into production art to look into it.

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    Yeah any of the Art of Star Wars books are good. I also liked the Lord of The Ring versions of the "Art Of."

    I actually havent seen to many "Art of," type books out there, I like them though ...

    "As you may have noticed, Im not all here my self..."

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    My choices are predictable:

    Art of Bouguereau
    Spectrum (10 is the one I have)
    Frazzetta "Icon"
    Brom's "Darkwerks"


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    The Art of Star Trek is pretty neat. Great descriptions, great in-jokes, and great backround stuff. They even have some pages dedicated to William Ware Theiss, the guy responsible for the rediculously revealing costumes of the Original Series. The guy who was quote as saying: "The sexiness of a costume is directly proportional to how likely it appears to be that it will fall off some time during the episode"

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    Star Wars 1-3
    Metal Gear 1-3
    the Skillful Huntsman
    Spectrum books

    though I pretty much like all the art books I have..those are my best of the best..definitely a lot more that I like.

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    I have the Art of Star Wars Ep. II, it's great to look at (though I hear you on the tiny number thing. augh). The Art of Halo, The Art of The Matrix, and The Art of The Fellowship of the Ring are also some of my favourites
    On a different note, I've also got The Art of Werewolf: the Apocalypse, an RPG game. Some really nice stuff from Steve Prescott and Ron Spencer in there.

    EDIT: Does anyone know if there is a Half-Life art book? I think it's called 'Raising the Bar' or something like that.

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    There is a Half Life one.

    Art of Warcraft
    Art of Guild Wars
    Art of Capcom
    Art of Street Fighter
    Imagine (Yoshitako Amano)
    Spectrum (I have 6, and soon 11)

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    Quote Originally Posted by iolarnula
    Does anyone know if there is a Half-Life art book? I think it's called 'Raising the Bar' or something like that.
    Yeah, that's a good one. Although it isn't strictly an art book, there's tons of art in it. It's a great read, too.



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    I'm in posession of The Art Of Halo, although without any other 'art of' books I'm lost for comparisons... I can vouch for the comprehensive illustrations, though - heavy focus on characters rather than locations, unfortunately, but every stage of the main characters' development is shown starting from Halo's concept as an RTS game. Great for alien studies.

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    I think the only "art of..." book I own is the art of hellboy....filled to the brim with mignola goodness....


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    The Art Of Animal Drawing by Ken Hultgren See some scans here! Excellent for gesture drawing, charicature and basic movement ^_^

    The Art of Totoro What can I say? I'm a sucker for Miyazaki's watercolors and Ghibli's background art. Really, any of the Studio Ghibliart books have yet to disappoint me.

    The Art of THe Lion King Inspired me as a wee one to get into animation. Now that I look back on it, Chris Sander's concept art and color studies were really amazing in that book. Also check out The Art of Lilo and Stitch for more of Sander's goodness, there's some great watercolor work and linework of Nani

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    heres mine

    Spectrum
    Frazzetta "Icon"
    Brom's "Darkwerks
    Boris & Julie Bell
    and so many more I don't remember them all

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    Lightbulb

    I've been meaning to get Brom's Darkwerks for a while...

    Paul Kidby's "Art of Discworld" is stunning ... his paintings and pencil drawings are, IMHO, perfect renditions of the characters in Pratchett's books.

    The compilation "Art of Lord of the Rings" I find to be very good, Alan Lee's pencils are marvellous, and Jeremy Bennett's concept paintings have great colour choices.

    I actually didn't like the Half-Life 2 "Raising the Bar" book as much as I expected. Viktor Antonov's designs were my favourite in there, but to be honest most of the concept work seems fairly low-quality to me. The final product of everything together in the game is just awesome, but a lot of the design work really doesn't do it for me. Still an interesting read, though.

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    The Art Of Carlos Huante: "Monstruo" and "Mas Creaturas" (my favoritest books)
    Art Of Star Wars (all Six volumes),
    Art Of LOTR's
    "Colorvision" by Ron Cobb **If you can find this get it!! Awesome art book!**
    Brom- Darkwerks & Offerings
    Various Movie Art of:
    The Matrix
    Alien
    Van Helsing
    Hellboy
    Jurassic Park I & II
    Ghostbusters
    Planet of the Apes
    Alien Ressurection
    Armeggedon
    Men in Black I & II
    Godzilla
    X-Files
    The Grinch
    Terminator II
    Disney "Art of"- Tarzan and Hercules
    Pixar "Art of"- Bugs Life, Monsters Inc.,and Finding Nemo

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    My old time favourite is still "Rakuga King" by Katsuya Terada. I mean 1000 pages picked out of 16000 from his sketchbooks, what do you want more. Everytime I look in it I discover something new & cool.

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    Can't decide, I've seen and own a good deal of them and I like em all.

    I mean if I could I'd buy them all.




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    HalfLife 2: Raising the Bar


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    Well, I'm an animation major. Mine would be:

    Art of The Lion King
    Art of Lilo and Stitch
    Art of Tarzan
    Art of Aladain
    Art of The Incredibles
    Art of My Neighbor Totoro

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    Lots of my favorites in there. One I didn't see that I love:

    The Art of Discworld by Paul Kidby

    very whimsical, very well done. I love looking through this book. Beautiful work.

    edit: Just saw that MoP mentioned it. Brilliant stuff in there eh?

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    my favourites from what I've got

    Film art books:

    spiderman 2
    Starwars 1-6 plus some 'technical' ones
    hellboy tons of artwork
    halflife 2
    halo
    lord of the rings 1-3 and weapons and warfare and making the trilogy
    The Matrix some really good multi page spreads
    The Art of Robots
    The Art of the Incredibles
    X2
    Judge Dredd awful film, brilliant book

    Artists personals:

    Goad The Many Moods of Phil Hale
    Intron Depot 1 and 2 Masamune Shirow
    Robota Doug Chiang
    Wings of Twilight The Art of Michael Kaluta beautiful muchaesque style
    Japanese Comickers

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    I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Pixar books. My life would be impoverished without my ART OF MONSTERS INC book. (ART OF THE INCREDIBLES and NEMO are pretty fantastic, as well.)

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    I haven't read very many but...

    The art of Halo
    The art of Pocahontas
    The art of Star Wars (any and all)

    Ars longa, vita brevis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stitchface
    "Colorvision" by Ron Cobb **If you can find this get it!! Awesome art book!**
    Oh. My. God. I thought I was the *only* person in the universe that had that book! I've had mine for almost 20 years, and it's falling apart, but it is by far the pinacle of my art books. NONE has inspired me more than that one single book.

    Awesome. Awesome book. Anything by Cobb. But that book rocks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lyon
    edit: Just saw that MoP mentioned it. Brilliant stuff in there eh?
    MoP's only gotten to look at my copy! I love all of Kidby's work, but I have to say I like his pencils in that book more than I liked the finished paintings. Especially his ones of Death and the Grim Squeaker. Just fantastic stuff all around.

    I'm also a fan of the Art of Final Fantasy 9 book, and the three Art of the Lord of the Rings books. I've had my eye on the Art of the Matrix for a while at chapters, but it's so expensive, I haven't had the opportunity to pick it up yet.

    Though it's not really an "art of" book, the Dinotopia books are amazing. I can't look at them without seeing new things every single time, and being floored. James Gurney is a man with some skills.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tully
    MoP's only gotten to look at my copy! I love all of Kidby's work, but I have to say I like his pencils in that book more than I liked the finished paintings. Especially his ones of Death and the Grim Squeaker. Just fantastic stuff all around.

    I'm also a fan of the Art of Final Fantasy 9 book, and the three Art of the Lord of the Rings books. I've had my eye on the Art of the Matrix for a while at chapters, but it's so expensive, I haven't had the opportunity to pick it up yet.

    Though it's not really an "art of" book, the Dinotopia books are amazing. I can't look at them without seeing new things every single time, and being floored. James Gurney is a man with some skills.
    Yeah I just bought Land apart and World beneath, Land Apart was $7! I love those books, really played a big impact on my childhood imagination.

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    You guys peaked my curiousity on that Cobb "Colorvision" book, and I googled it - only to see that someone had bought a copy in good condition for 130 beans. Thats pretty amazing.

    I really hadn't thought too much about video game art books, I'm going to have to look around for a few of those.

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    Thirded for Colorvision. It was one of my early prime motivator's as well.



    And while I have a few art of books, the one I prize the most not only for it's sheer beauty but also for it's comprehensiveness and heft (for it's day) is A Look Back, featuring the art and a biography of Berni Wrightson.

    Grave Sight Graphics: The Art of Eric Lofgren.
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    i have the art of warcraft
    it was a real impulse buy....i dont know...im not a huge fan..i mean its got nice pictures and stuff....but thats about it..its pretty costly

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    Mythology- the art of alex ross.


    All i can say about this book is "omg" .

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