Profile for Parka > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Parka
Top Reviewer Ranking: 13
Helpful Votes: 919

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Amazon Communities.

Reviews Written by
Parka (Singapore)
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
The Art of Craig Elliott
The Art of Craig Elliott
by Craig Elliott
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 27.04
24 used & new from CDN$ 23.42

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful work will leave you wanting more, Nov. 5 2014
Length:: 0:43 Mins

The Art of Craig Elliot is a beautiful collection of paintings focused on the female form by the artist. While Craig Elliot works as a layout and visual development artist for the entertainment industry, the works featured in this books are his personal ones.

The female subjects are evocative, sexy and beautiful. There's a trace of fantasy element to them. One painting is of a dead dragon collapsed in beautiful orange bed of leaves with the ladies around. Others are figure drawings of playful girls in nature. Those are toned sketches. The book's a mixture of painted works and sketches.

There's commentary throughout, including an introduction by Iain McCaig and a essay of Craig Elliot's career by John Fleskes.

The artworks are great, well reproduced in the book with wonderful detail. There are only 68 pages so that certainly will leave you wanting more.

(Check out more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

Chinese Landscape Painting Techniques for Watercolor
Chinese Landscape Painting Techniques for Watercolor
by Lian Quan Zhen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 21.31
30 used & new from CDN$ 20.31

4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting premise to mix the east and west painting techniques, Nov. 5 2014
Length:: 1:05 Mins

This book from artist and teacher Lian Quan Zhen is a guide on combining traditional Chinese painting and modern watercolour techniques. An interesting premise.

The book includes 12 demonstrations and 17 step-by-step tutorials. Those examples are quite detailed and you can clearly see what's going on. Quite amazing to see how he turns mundane looking reference photos into beautiful works.

With Chinese painting, rules are more relaxed. For instance, there's no so called perspective points, or even vanishing lines. Modern watercolour techniques are more of representational drawings, and focus on getting the proportions right. Of course, within each style, there are many other details like the tools you use, how to handle brushes. All those are mentioned in the book.

It's refreshing to see how a scene is interpreted with Chinese painting methodology, and using that mindset to draw from observation. For example while Chinese painters would pour black into to make masses, watercolours can also be mixed and poured. What the author says about spontaneous style is true. It's important to break out of the comfort zone and try new methods. With representational drawing, it can be sometimes difficult because you want to capture what you see, at least with the right proportion.

The downside of the book is sometimes the examples are not so clear cut as to the combination of techniques. Well, the Chinese paintings fused with watercolours are alright. As for the some of the modern watercolour paintings examples, it's difficult to see that they are Chinese influenced or made with Chinese painting techniques. At times, it's hard to feel the spontaneity of the Chinese style. I'm saying this because I've seen that kind of spontaneity in an artist friend who mixes the East and West style brilliantly, combining colours with bold blacks (watercolour artist seldom use black), using flat washes or dry brush effortlessly in the same painting. You actually have to see it to realise that this kind of combination techniques are actually possible.

Also, Chinese paintings are sometimes quite minimalistic, but most of the examples are the fill-the-page type. I wish there were more coverage on using white space.

Overall, it's still an interesting book to get if you want to learn and practice some Chinese paintings techniques for your watercolours. I recommended it to artists who are more adventurous and don't mind some experimental fun.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

Soul Eater Soul Art
Soul Eater Soul Art
by Atsushi Ohkubo
Edition: Hardcover
8 used & new from CDN$ 84.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended for Soul Eater fans, Nov. 5 2014
This review is from: Soul Eater Soul Art (Hardcover)
Length:: 1:05 Mins

Soul Eater Soul Art is the artbook for the Soul Eater manga series that debuted in 2004. Since then, the manga has spun-off into an anime series and video games.

This book is actually the English translated edition of the original Japanese one 大久保篤 画集 SOUL EATER SOUL ART released in 2009.

It's a beautiful wide 112-page hardcover book that comes with a nice plastic slipcase. The overall package looks classy. The paper is thick low gloss and the binding is good.

Inside, it features the illustration art of creator Atsushi Ohkubo (大久保篤). The content is a split between full page artworks and character profile art.

The art is beautiful and I really love the graphic style, and there are a few styles. There are the comic-like colour illustrations, those that you can tell are created with traditional media. There are also the more graphic illustration style that features flat colours, much like anime-style colouring, but you know those pieces aren't drawn for animation. Then there are a few loose pieces with more fuzzy line art.

The characters are great, the poses, as well as the background settings and composition. The wide landscape canvas really displays the art as large as possible and they look great at big sizes. There are also some character designs for the game Soul Eater: Monotone Princess.

The back of the book contains the index which has short commentary for some of the pieces.

Highly recommended for Soul Eater fans, or if you like manga art.

(Check out more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

Sorayama: XL - Masterworks Edition
Sorayama: XL - Masterworks Edition
by Hajime Sorayama
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 75.24
18 used & new from CDN$ 73.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Sorayama art collection, Nov. 3 2014
This is quite an incredible book and collection of artworks from Japanese artist Hajime Sorayama. Publisher Edition Skylight had actually published the first edition of the book in 2010 as a 448-page hardcover. With this new edition, a couple more pages of artworks were added.

It's one heck of a tome. Huge, about 9 by 12 inches, hardcover, 464 pages thick. The paper quality and binding are great.

The book's quite heavy so there might be additional weight surcharge depending on your shipping method and where you ship to.

There's not much text so it's basically art throughout. The pages are packed with huge reproductions of Sorayama's beautiful erotic art plus the shiny chrome robots. It's just so awe-inspiring to look at so much high quality art.

Sorayama has a masterly ability to draw beautiful women. Needless to say, many of the images are explicit. There are ladies in their evocative poses as well as scenes of bondage.

The technical prowess as an artist is at full display page after page. The details are amazing such as the way he draws the textures of the skin, clothing, or design of the bondage equipment, how he handles metallic chrome texture, lighting and colouring. The realism is fantastic.

Unfortunately, the artworks are not captioned so there's no way to know when they were created. It will be quite unbelievable to know that he's this good even at the start of his career.

Overall, it's a stunning collection of work from Sorayama. Those who are into erotic art or pin-ups should definitely check out this book.

(See more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link. Usually I would post a flipping-page video but the images are too explicit so I have the video only on my blog.)

Transformers Legacy: The Art of Transformers Packaging
Transformers Legacy: The Art of Transformers Packaging
by Jim Sorenson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 32.92
13 used & new from CDN$ 32.92

5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for Transformers fans, Nov. 2 2014
Length:: 3:14 Mins

I love the Transformers cartoons when I was a kid. The only toy that I had was an Optimus Prime toy (shown in the book) which was a hand-me-down so I don't even know how the packaging art looks like. But this book really reminded me of the good old days of watching the cartoons.

Transformers Legacy large format 296-page hardcover artbook authored by Bill Forster and Jim Sorenson. The amount of work they did in curating 750+ artworks in this book is incredible.

As mentioned in the book, Hasbro did not retain the original art for the packaging back in those days. So the authors had to look for original art, photo negatives, style guides and other sources that could provide the quality that holds up to print. No scans were used because the conditions of old boxes were usually too lousy. As a result, the reproduction quality of the artworks quite good.

To see all these packaging art in one book is quite amazing. There are so many of them. It's quite fun just looking at all the interesting names of the Transformers. Most of the artworks show just the robot versions. Also included are a handful of concept art drafts. There are also a few double page splash art with massive battle scenes of showing transformation in progress.

The few chapters included are quite brief with only introductions.

Chapter 1 starts off with the Classic Era, toys introduced in the 1984 and 1985. Chapter two has the toys from 1986 to 1988 excluding some sub-lines. Hasbro transitioned from toys licensed from Japanese companies to creating their own.

Chapter Three covers Scramble City, the Japanese name for the teams of interchangeable combiners. There are seven groups that form the product lines from 1986 to 1988.

Chapter four covers the Nebulan Era. Headmasters, Targetmasters and Powermasters form the product lines in 1987 and 1988.

Chapter Five has the Pretenders. Six has the Micromasters. Seven, the Action Masters.

Generation 2 moved towards using more computer generated graphics. In 1996, Generation 2 was cancelled and the Beast Wars line was introduced. The artistic style was very much different from the air-brushed style so the authors used that as a stopping point for the book. Even so, the number artworks already clocked in at about 750 pieces.

Basically, there are so many toy lines it can get a bit confusing. I'm not sure if all the toys from the within the time period are included, but then this is already quite an immense collection for the 80-90s toys.

This is a truly awesome book for Transformers fans out there, especially those who collect the toys.

(See more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

The Worlds of Sam Kieth, Vol. 1
The Worlds of Sam Kieth, Vol. 1
by Sam Kieth
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 36.23
23 used & new from CDN$ 36.23

5.0 out of 5 stars Sam Kieth's 256-page sketchbook, Nov. 2 2014
Length:: 1:39 Mins

The Worlds of Sam Kieth is the autobiography artbook of American comic book writer and illustrator Sam Kieth. He's more known as the creator of The Maxx, Zero Girl, and My Inner Bimbo.

This artbook isn't about his commercial works, although there are some but those are not the focus. It's more like a sketchbook or scrapbook for his personal works, art that look like they were created spontaneously.

There are lots of sketches, doodles, colour pencil works, comic panel drafts, paintings and other art experiments. By art experiments, I mean he would draw on leather, there are pieces with surface finishing that resemble granite textures, and then there's the cover art (the sides) that you can't tell that is created from something that could actually be soil.

Sam Kieth also talks about his work. The book starts off with a rather weird introduction by an alter-ego created by Sam Keith. Thankfully, the rest are first-person commentary.

There are quite a lot of photos of the artworks taken with a camera. Those can be quite disorientating to look at because the artworks are meant to be view flat on. Some of those artworks are quite impossible to scan because of the media that's used to create them.

The book description says the content are mainly entirely new pieces of art.

Well, this is a book for Sam Kieth fans. It's hard for me to describe the style except to say that you'll probably want to flip through before buying.

The book has 256 pages, hardcover. It's another good artist-centric artbook from IDW Publishing.

(Check out more pictures on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

Fun With A Pencil
Fun With A Pencil
by Andrew Loomis
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 28.84
34 used & new from CDN$ 26.00

4.0 out of 5 stars More on cartoon-like figures. For Beginners, Nov. 2 2014
This review is from: Fun With A Pencil (Hardcover)
Length:: 0:48 Mins

This is the fifth book from Andrew Loomis that's reprinted by Titan Books. It's a well done reprint yet again.

This book is more light-hearted compared to the other Andrew Loomis drawing books. It's almost like Figure Drawing for All It's Worth except you get to draw more cartoon-like characters. The figures have more caricature features, with more exaggerations. But the underlying drawing principles remain the same, such as the construction of the head and body. There are lots of examples.

The main section is on drawing the head. The other lessons look at body proportions, poses, hands and feet, clothing, perspective, and lighting and shadow. Those lessons are short but do cover enough material for you to get started.

I'll recommend it to beginners who are looking to draw more cartoon-like characters. If you want to draw more standard human figures, you should get Figure Drawing for All It's Worth.

(Check out more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

Sketching on Location
Sketching on Location
by Matthew Brehm
Edition: Paperback
4 used & new from CDN$ 109.18

5.0 out of 5 stars Your guide to sketching outdoors, Nov. 2 2014
This review is from: Sketching on Location (Paperback)
Length:: 1:14 Mins

Sketching on Location by Matthew Brehm is like a textbook on sketching, and it reads like one. The introduction even has a history on sketching from the days when people were drawing on parchment before paper was invented, to the present day where sketches are shared online.

There are lots of useful tips and techniques on sketching written in a conversational tone. Many of these tips can actually be found in other drawing books but this book focuses on drawing on location, hence all the examples are location drawings.

Using the sketch examples that Brehm drew himself, he talks about techniques like sighting and measuring, choosing subjects, setup and composition, perspective, applying value, using colours and including miscellaneous backgrounds for context. The book covers just enough of the basic sketching fundamentals and the instructions are explained very clearly. And there's insightful commentary as Brehm talks about the sketches he made.

This book is actually quite similar in scope with another book called Freehand Drawing and Discovery: Urban Sketching and Concept Drawing for Designers by James Richards. This book provides slightly more info on technical drawing skills though. The authors present the topics differently though from their perspective.

If you're a beginner starting out, I would also recommend Keys to Drawing. That's more hands-on to complement Brehm's book.

It's a good book overall but I felt that selling it at 57 dollars is quite pricy. It's a 176-page paperback and the paper feels like textbook quality paper -- soft.

(Check out more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

The Art of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2: Revenge of the Leftovers
The Art of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2: Revenge of the Leftovers
by Tracey Miller-Zarneke
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 29.66
22 used & new from CDN$ 29.66

5.0 out of 5 stars Sumptuous visual treat, Nov. 2 2014
Length:: 1:23 Mins

This art book for Cloudy's sequel is just as good as the first art book.

This is a very well done companion art book to the movie Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2. It's hardcover with 144 pages. The front cover is actually a gatefold that when opened up shows a beautiful landscape painting of the Swallow Falls with the wonderful food creatures. On the back of that cover is a 3-page colour script, essentially the storyboard from start to the ending.

The book covers the characters and creature designs, and the production designs for the environment and props.

Every page is filled with wonderful art.

As most of the characters are featured in the earlier art book, the emphasis here is the commentary on how they have changed since we last saw them. The extra characters are Chester V, Barb, Thinkquanauts, Sentinels of Safety and the other Live Corp employees.

The creature designs are for the foodimals, the complex food-based organisms (or the mutant food-inspired creatures as I would call them) created by the Food Replicator. Those foodimal designs are great, whimsical and creative. There are lots of hilariously cute foodimals with funny names, such as Cheespider, Tacodile, Watermelophant, Shrimpanzees and more. Their designs are almost as wacky as those from The Croods except they are made of food here.

Environment art are beautiful too. There are San Franjose city, Live Corp and the evolved Swallow Falls. The colour palette and shapes look inspired by Mary Blair and Maurice Noble.

In addition to the art, a scratch-and-sniff stickers booklet is included. The moment you open it, you can smell something sweet. The stickers are of the adorable foodimals. Each foodimal will have their own smell based on the food or fruit they are created from.

This book is a sumptuous visual treat. Recommended for fans of the film and art.

Alright, some technicalities to point out. There were two publishers for the first art book. It seems there are also two publishers for this book, namely Cameron + Company and Titan Books. I wanted to point this out because Titan Books left out some content in their version of the first book, namely the scent stick booklet and other stuff. I'm not sure if they did the same here as I only have the Cameron + Company version.

And from what I surmise, the Cameron + Company's published book is for the USA audience, and Titan Books is for the rest.

(Check out more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

Machine Rendering
Machine Rendering
by Vincent Zhao
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 39.94
23 used & new from CDN$ 29.96

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended to those who like sci-fi art and robotic art, Nov. 2 2014
This review is from: Machine Rendering (Paperback)
Machine Rendering is a 192-page paperback on sci-fi machines, robots, mechas, vehicles, war machine, spacecrafts, etc. This book is actually part of the Fantasy+ series and is authored by Vincent Zhao.

There are apparently different publishers for the book. The Asian edition is published by Basheer Graphic Books. The other one by Gingko Press.

There's a huge variety of concept designs from artists over the world. There are crab-like robots, dooms-day type, military looking, utilitarian, clean and sleek and even cute ones. The details are wonderful. The artists get the textures right. Only a handful are modeled in 3D.

Included are interviews with Scott Robertson, Iwo Widulinski, Ben Mauro, Soren Bent and Guo Feng.

Nice book. Recommended to those who like sci-fi art and robotic art.

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20