Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? This book explores the question of how to paint a realistic picture of something that doesn't exist. It is intended not only for artists interested in fantasy and science fiction, but also for anyone who wants to recreate history, visualize extinct wildlife, or simply tell a story with a picture. Read more Read less.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Imaginative Realism by James Gurney.
From the award-winning artist, learn to see and shape the world in a way you never before imagined. Renowned for his uncanny ability to incorporate amazing detail and imagination into stunningly realistic fantasy settings From the award-winning artist, learn to see and shape the world in a way you never before imagined. Renowned for his uncanny ability to incorporate amazing detail and imagination into stunningly realistic fantasy settings, James Gurney teaches budding artists and fans of fantasy art step-by-step the techniques that won him worldwide critical acclaim.
This groundbreaking work examines the practical methods for creating believable pictures of imaginary subjects, such as dinosaurs, ancient Romans, alien creatures, and distant worlds. Beginning with a survey of imaginative paintings from the Renaissance to the golden Age of American illustration, the book then goes on to explain not just techniques like sketching and composition, but also the fundamentals of believable world building including archaeology, architecture, anatomy for creatures and aliens, and fantastic engineering.
It concludes with details and valuable advice on careers in fantasy illustration, including video game and film concept art and toy design. More than an instruction book, this is the ultimate reference for fans of science fiction and fantasy illustration. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. More Details Other Editions 3. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
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Rating details. Sort order. Nov 17, Parka rated it it was amazing Shelves: art-books-instructional , art-books. More pictures at parkablogs. This book is as good as I expected. He dispenses his knowledge as freely as he does on his blog. Here's what he says about his own book from the introduction: This is not a book about figure drawing, anatomy, or perspective. It's not a step-by-step guide on how to draw dinosaurs. It's also not a recipe book for a particular paint technique, although all these to More pictures at parkablogs.
It's also not a recipe book for a particular paint technique, although all these topics are addressed in passing. What this book contains is a distillation of the time-tested methods that I've found to be most helpful for achieving realism in imaginative pictures. In every chapter, James Gurney shares with us what he learned when creating his paintings. There are topics on people, dinosaurs, architecture, vehicles, composition and his step-by-steps not techniques but process.
The tips he gives can be applied on other subjects as well. The importance of research is emphasized and the amount of research he does really shows. While creating an illustration on ship wreckage for National Geographic, he talked to survivors to get an accurate account. He found out there's a drummer boy who used his drum as a float and drew that in. He also acted out the various poses of sailors in distress, rather than drawing them from imagination. The result is a painting that tells its story convincingly.
The same goes for many of his other paintings. Another interesting read is the story of him trying to design a Dinotopian fire engine. When he presented his concept art to a professional fire engine designer, it was critiqued to have form but not function.
There's lack of heat protection for the dinosaur, lack of understanding on how water hose works and a complicated water pump design. The revised concept is a huge improvement in believability that I thought it actually might work. He has provided lots of photos and his own work in the book. You'll get to see how he stages the props for reference, sketches and drafts, plenty of commissioned work especially from National Geographic , the bird on his shoulder while he's drawing, the lousy-art incinerator he created from mirrors and other entertaining stuff.
Imaginative Realism is an enlightening and fun read. Highly recommended to professionals, beginning art students and those who wish to push their art to the next level in terms of depth. Be sure to check out more work and writing from James Gurney at gurneyjourney.
On his blog, he talks about his work, art theories, insights and news from the creative field. Oct 28, Diane Kistner rated it it was amazing. Now that I've been through it, I know he will absolutely love it--but I loved it, too! I was absolutely enthralled by the book.
I had no idea what goes into producing effective fantasy artwork, and now I can better appreciate my son's skill--and even remark on his technique instead of just saying "that's really nice. Some chapters are subject-oriented people, creatures, architecture, history and archaeology, etc. All of the chapters are largely structured to demonstrate under-the-hood methods and techniques to achieve particular ends, and we can see how the works unfolded in Gurney's studio through various stages.
Gurney even shares timeframes for completion increasing my appreciation for what goes into works like these that I think most aspiring artists will find helpful. The material and techniques are presented succinctly, in engaging two-page spreads, designed to give the gist so that intermediate-level and professional artists can draw immediate conceptual benefit without bewildering beginners and non-artists with a lot of technical information.
Gurney stresses that his approach is suitable for both digital and hands-on illustration. Excellent Recommended Reading and Glossary sections appear in the back to entice and inform all levels of readers, and the Index is well-organized and complete. At the beginning of the book, a Studio section takes us into Gurney's studio and gives some great ideas for making tools at low cost as well as how best to conserve the more expensive ones.
I saw at least one thing I can give my son as a graduation present: a Gallery Flambeau! The book ends with a Careers section that I found especially reassuring.
Here I was worrying about my son's ability to find a job with an art degree, but now I feel a lot better about his prospects. I liked the typeface on the back cover so much, this seventies-era typographer went on a hunt for it: Claxton, I presume.
Engaging with this book really brought back for me my own creative exploits when I was a young adult about my son's age, and "that's really nice. Jun 17, Ben Chandler rated it it was amazing. Gurney's guide to painting the imaginary is thoroughly detailed, carefully put together and covers an exhaustive list of topics. The methods and materials he documents, the techniques, disciplines and theories he covers and the examples he provide are not only educational the first time, they're also excellent sources to reference after reading.
I highly recommend this book to anybody who has learned the basics of painting and wants to begin incorporating some advanced ideas and principles into t Gurney's guide to painting the imaginary is thoroughly detailed, carefully put together and covers an exhaustive list of topics. I highly recommend this book to anybody who has learned the basics of painting and wants to begin incorporating some advanced ideas and principles into their work.
It has changed the way I paint every day at work - I can hardly give it higher praise than this. Nov 12, Void lon iXaarii rated it liked it. The artwork is great, and the stories are very interesting, but as per the subtitle I was honestly expecting a bit more on the techniques and teaching rather than showing off his great works.
Still, much food for thought and a lot of inspiring work ethic. Way cool! PS: on the criteria above I liked his "Color and Light" book better, though even that suffers a bit from that Jan 13, Trike rated it it was amazing Shelves: art , dinosaurs , non-fiction , read-in My first 5-star book of the year. James Gurney is most famous for creating the Dinotopia books, but he's a painter who has also done a lot of Science Fiction and Fantasy book covers as well as a ton of work for National Geographic.
Imaginative Realism is aimed primarily at artists, but if you have an interest in art and the nuts and bolts of creating it, you'll probably like this book as it is akin to the behind-the-scenes features on a DVD. By the equivalent of Coppola or Kubrick. It's amazing to My first 5-star book of the year. It's amazing to see the lengths Gurney goes to create a painting. Beyond just using photo references and life drawings, he builds models and maquettes in order to test shadows and foreshortening, among other things.
Some of his dioramas are quite elaborate. The research he does is impeccable and thorough. He really thinks this stuff out. I have a whole new appreciation of his craft.
Review: Imaginative Realism
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Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn't Exist
Beginning with a survey of imaginative paintings from the Renaissance to the golden Age of American illustration, the book then goes on to explain not just techniques like sketching and composition, but also the fundamentals of believable world building including archaeology, architecture, anatomy for creatures and aliens, and fantastic engineering. It concludes with details and valuable advice on careers in fantasy illustration, including video game and film concept art and toy design. More than an instruction book, this is the ultimate reference for fans of science fiction and fantasy illustration. It is one of the BEST books out there on artwork, in preparing your work, researching, designing characters and costumes, compositions
James Gurney is a famous illustrator who paints in a realistic manner a contrast to my own simple story. I had the honor of meeting him in person at that event! I sat in on all of his panels where he talked about his work, his technique and his experiences like working with the legendary Frank Frazetta. That same year, I picked up a copy of this book of his from Strand Books for cheap; it was worth every penny because I consult it regularly. He explains the concepts I mentioned above and breaks them down not only with text explaining them doing preparatory sketches, making value studies, taking photographs for reference, etc but also with pictures consisting of finished art, sketches, photos and other such images to explain them. He also talks about some concepts that illustrators nowadays may be reluctant to do such as building models or researching costumes.