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100 Ways to Create Fantasy Figures [Paperback]

Francis Tsai
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 10 2008

100 exciting and ingenious ways to design and draw better fantasy figures - from developing characters to adding costumes, props and backdrops. Hollywood concept designer Francis Tsai shares tips and tricks for creating imaginative figures, giving readers a unique opportunity to gain guidance from a real pro.


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100 Ways to Create Fantasy Figures + Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn't Exist
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Product Details


Product Description

About the Author

Francis Tsai is a renowned conceptual designer who has just completed work on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie for Warner. He was the principal artist for Darkwatch and has worked on many other fantasy gaming assignments, as well as pen and paper role playing games, manuals and trading cards. He is a regular contributor to ImagineFX magazine.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an idea book, not a technique book April 9 2009
By Parka HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Length: 0:18 Mins
First of all, let me say that this book brings back memories of me playing Magic The Gathering cards. A lot of the illustrations in the book are from Wizards of the Coast. Francis Tsai is a concept artist and you can find his work on teamgt.com.

This book is not really on art techniques, there are no step-by-step tutorials to follow along. It's one that gives ideas to think about when trying to come up with a character.

That being said, the writeup for the book is pretty good. It gives a lot of ideas on things that can be changed or added to enhance the characters. It can be on costume design, colour combination, using silhouettes, thinking like the character itself, etc. All come with nice illustrated paintings as examples.

This book is more of a resource book that's great when brainstorming for ideas.

If you're looking for techniques, check out ImagineFX's book called Fantasy Workshop: Mastering Digital Painting Techniques.

There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great addition to my library. Jan. 9 2011
Format:Paperback
I very much enjoyed this book.

The author explains very well introductory color and light theory and how it applies to his images. The pictures are stunning and a very good source of insperation. This is not a step by step guide as mentioned by others however it does not fall short of guiding you to the steps you would need to take to start creating your own pieces with such excellent quality as this artist does.

The price of this book on Amazon is amazing considering the amount of wonderfull pieces of art that are included.

Very recommended!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good book Nov. 12 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great book for those new or wanting some inspirations for some fantasy art. Not recommended for those who know what they're doing.

Still a great book to look at for minor inspirations.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Idea development, not a how to paint March 19 2010
Format:Paperback
This book is fantastic. It's one hundred one-page techniques you can use to develop characters. This is everything from how to incorporate story, to compositions to visual style. It won't make you an art director, but it may give you the tools to start to think like one.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  20 reviews
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an idea book, not a technique book April 9 2009
By Parka - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
First of all, let me say that this book brings back memories of me playing Magic The Gathering cards. A lot of the illustrations in the book are from Wizards of the Coast. Francis Tsai is a concept artist and you can find his work on [...].

This book is not really on art techniques, there are no step-by-step tutorials to follow along. It's one that gives ideas to think about when trying to come up with a character.

That being said, the writeup for the book is pretty good. It gives a lot of ideas on things that can be changed or added to enhance the characters. It can be on costume design, colour combination, using silhouettes, thinking like the character itself, etc. All come with nice illustrated paintings as examples.

This book is more of a resource book that's great when brainstorming for ideas.

If you're looking for techniques, check out ImagineFX's book called Fantasy Workshop: Mastering Digital Painting Techniques.

(More pictures are available on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and worth it Oct. 19 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
First off, there's two pieces of advice to any aspiring artist/illustrator:

1. "Wanna be a good artist!? Draw! Wishing won't make it happen!" - paraphrasing R. Crumb

-and-

2. Practice, practice, practice...

There, that's it. Anything else from art school to books like this are optional.

So why, especially during a tight financial time, did I eagerly plunk down US$20 for this?

Because it is well written, full of good illustrations by some artists I really like - and - full of good and creative and inspiring advice. I'm a hobby illustrator, although some of my political cartoons have been published (and I mean for $) but am always striving to improve my skills and my favorite subjects are of course in the fantasy/scifi areas.

I've skipped a lot of the recent books, considering them too juvenile, such as the MangaMania series, though those are nice. My other favs are the "Drawing and Painting Fantasy Figures", "Drawing and Painting Fantasy Worlds" and the classic "Encyclopedia of Fantasy and Sci-Fi art techniques".
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Taking Your Art to the Next Level March 9 2009
By Marice Parchen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If you're interested in improving your artistic abilities from someone who really knows what they're doing, get this book.

The author does a fantastic job of explaining how drawing is not just a creative process, but also a thoughtful and deliberate one. He gives great expert tips and hints on how to convey the feeling and mood of the character you're developing. Some of the tricks include how to focus attention through detail or lighting; how to leverage other elements in the artwork such as secondary characters or scenes to build the story around the main character; how powerful something as simple as eye contact can be. They are all tricks that make intuitive sense once you're aware of them, but probably wouldn't have occurred to you before.

In sum, Tsai's book and tips can have a transformative effect on your artwork. Your art can go from being just a picture on a page to something that creates the maximum visual and emotional impact on the viewer that you intended. It's worth it!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for Fantasy Art Ideas April 20 2011
By A. King - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I love to buy art books for inspiration, so I was thrilled that this book actually caters to that. If you are looking for something to help with technique, this is not the book you want, but it will get you thinking about the content of you art and may give you some ideas for subjects.

My only negative is that there are not really 100 separate pieces in the book. Sure, you are given 100 separate ideas, but some of the art is reused. I understand the reasoning behind it, and it's not that it's the exact same picture that's repeated, but I would have preferred 100 completely different compositions, since this is an art idea book.

All in all, I love the book and think it was a great purchase.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good reference Jan. 12 2010
By A. Virili - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This obviously won't teach you everything you need to know to paint or draw fantasy figures, but most of the 100 tips are great reminders to refer to whenever attempting to put together a composition. I found it a great complement to my existing library of reference material.
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