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John Howe Fantasy Art Workshop [Paperback]

John Howe
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 15 2007
''Here's how I do it, and why''

This is the premise behind John Howe's first practical exploration of his artistic inspirations, approaches and techniques. This title will appeal to practical artists and fans of John Howe's work by providing step-by-step demonstrations, sketches and oustanding finished paintings, some designed specifically for this book. It covers a wide range of subjects essential to any aspiring fantasy artist, including materials and the creative process, and drawing and painting humans, beasts, landscapes and architecture. The final section of the book provides further inspiration and guidance on presenting work in various forms including film work, book covers and advertising, all areas John Howe has vast experience in. It includes a foreword written by groundbreaking film director, Terry Gilliam, with an Afterword by Alan Lee, the Oscar winning world-class illustrator.


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Product Description

About the Author

John Howe was born in Vancouver, Canada in 1957. He attended the Ecole des Arts Decoratifs in Strasbourg. He has had three monographical titles published on his work, including Myth and Magic (Harper Collins, 2001), and worked extensively on the conceptual art for The Lord Of The Rings films with artist Alan Lee and director Peter Jackson.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful Feb. 2 2010
By Parka HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Length: 0:25 Mins
This book is a collection of tips and insights on creating fantasy art, with material covering the course of his career. There are no step-by-step tutorials so you won't see how he actually paints. That's the only thing lacking in this book that would make it perfect.

Instead, each chapter is filled with his past work and sketches with commentary on how they were created. The lessons are mainly on a conceptual level rather than at a technical level, like mixing colours or how to draw. He talks about his inspiration, research process, working style and includes lots of information on things to look out for when painting certain subjects, like characters, scenery, armour, etc.

Towards the back, he shares some career related tips on how to tackle commissions, promoting yourself, and working on set design for the big screen.

This should be an inspiring book for fantasy artist.

(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 Art of the Hobbit Jan. 29 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love LOR and have visited Hobbiton and the Weta Cave in New Zealand.

I also love to draw and wanted to get an insight and some tips on how all the scenery and characters were created for this series of films.

A great tool and guide for the budding artist or for those who just love Lord of the Ring
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice insight and art April 28 2009
By F. Tang
Format:Paperback
For anybody who wants insight to how an established artist works, for anybody who's an artist and is curious about John Howe, for anybody who loves great art, this is a book for you!
John Howe not only divulges experiences gained from a decades long career in Art and Commercial Illustration, the reader is treated to some of his most famous masterpieces in a 'behind the scenes' tableau.
We see how he tackles each project as a theme - whether it's expressiveness, composition, design challenge - and are treated to the wisdom of his experience as he leads us through various stages of the work process.
Particularly intriguing is the section dealing with his own artistic workshop setup, as well as his findings concerning dealing with clientele and the industry in general.
This book is a great find, well written, and sure to peak the curiosity of the layman as well as satisfy and inspire more seasoned artists from beginner to intermediate level. Even advanced, veteran artists will glean some pearls of wisdom from John Howe's own experiences within the industry.
This book is priced well, won't break most bank accounts, and is well put together in thick, glossy inner pages, with a hard, soft cover on the outside.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  22 reviews
49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much more than just a how-to book Oct. 8 2007
By V. Trullinger - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
After reading it through, I felt like I'd spent an afternoon in John's studio, talking with him about not just how one paints, but most importantly, why one paints. That's exactly what I'd hoped the book would be: not just a how-to manual, or a collection of techniques, or a long list of self-congratulatory stories -- but good, solid advice on the creative process from an experienced professional.
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not your usual how-to book Jan. 7 2008
By M. Dillman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a wonderful book. I am a big fan of Mr. Howe's work and much of the advice in this book is familiar from John's forum but it's a good chance to see how he works step by step, as well as how he organizes his studio and prepares for illustration jobs. While there are only a few "walkthroughs" featuring new art, the book is full of interesting tidbits of information about the creation of other paintings. There are lots of tips even I who has been painting for many years didn't think of before. John Howe makes a point to encourage readers to find their own unique style and way of painting, unlike many how to books which only show one way of doing things. I particularly love that his sense of humor shows. He honest about illustration and admits that he isn't perfect and procrastinates as much as possible before every job.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book from one of the great fantasy artists Jan. 18 2008
By Daniel H. Staten - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
John Howe is the artist I credit for making me interested in fantasy illustration, and will always be one of my favorites. It should come as no surprise that the artwork in this book is amazing, and the information presented is also quite insightful. It is not an art how too book, so much as it is a general treatise of John Howe's way of thinking about his work, and going about his creative process. He actually expresses pretty clearly his dislike of anything that feels like a how too process, or is so forumulaic that it can be presented as if there is only one set way to do it. One of the best additions to my art library.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful Feb. 2 2010
By Parka - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a collection of tips and insights on creating fantasy art, with material covering the course of his career. There are no step-by-step tutorials so you won't see how he actually paints. That's the only thing lacking in this book that would make it perfect.

Instead, each chapter is filled with his past work and sketches with commentary on how they were created. The lessons are mainly on a conceptual level rather than at a technical level, like mixing colours or how to draw. He talks about his inspiration, research process, working style and includes lots of information on things to look out for when painting certain subjects, like characters, scenery, armour, etc.

Towards the back, he shares some career related tips on how to tackle commissions, promoting yourself, and working on set design for the big screen.

This should be an inspiring book for fantasy artist.

(More pictures are available on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New yet Old John Howe Fan Jan. 4 2009
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Whenever I feel stifled, stuck, or stymied by a particular problem, I reopen this brilliant book for a bit of inspiration and commiseration. John Howe takes us through the steps he uses to create his fantastic pieces, some of which were very new to me, some have sat on my bookshelves for years, as covers of some my favorite novels. He also talks honestly about the difficulties involved in creating art, while sharing with the reader his ways of gathering ideas through sketch books, found items and photographs. He shows us his work area, with pictures that offer great insight and ideas to be incorporated into our art areas (his wall calendar is just one of many brilliant ideas!!).

I love that he pulls no punches about the creation of his art work, admitting there is no secret formula, no hidden tricks that make it easy or brilliant, just lots of work, rework, and an ability to pull together real items to create a fantasy world. He shows several examples of his work, showing in clear photographs the steps he used to bring the pieces together as well as the sources of his inspiration. The text of the book is equally brilliant, offering tips to improve any sort of art, from sketches to oil painting, encouraging artists of all levels.

The forward, written by Terry Gilliam, says it best, "So, look out John How, I'm on your tail. I'm giving up directing movies and am going to show the world that I too can paint wonderous worlds of imagination and dreams." And while I may not be bold enough to say my art will one day be greater than his, this book makes my artwork better than it was before. This book, out of my hundreds of art books, is always closest at hand (and the cover is starting to show it); it offers new ideas, new ways to look at old ideas, and an admission from John that he too has rough days.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who has any interest in fantasy or science fiction art. It encourages the reader to gather ordinary objects to combine into extraordinarily imaginative worlds.
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