I read a lot of art books but never have I read on as inspirational as this one. Maybe it is just because I admire Johns work so much but I don't believe. The book is written as if John were talking to you face to face. He talks about his inspiration, materials,subject matter in down to earth sometime humorous way. The book is packed with images of initial sketches, wips, and finished pieces which helps you to discover how Johns work is birth. If you are in to fantasy art at all, buy it, you won't be disappointed
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.)
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.