Category Art

The Art of Star Wars

Product DetailsThe Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens
By Phil Szostak
Abrams
Retail Price:  $40
Amazon Price: $24

Book Description:  Step inside the Lucasfilm art departments for the creation of fantastical worlds, unforgettable characters, and unimaginable creatures. The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens will take you there, from the earliest gathering of artists and production designers at Lucasfilm headquarters in San Francisco to the fever pitch of production at Pinewood Studios to the conclusion of post-production at Industrial Light & Magic—all with unprecedented access. Exclusive interviews with the entire creative team impart fascinating insights in bringing director J. J. Abrams’s vision to life; unused “blue sky” concept art offers glimpses into roads not traveled.

Bursting with hundreds of stunning works of art, including production paintings, concept sketches, storyboards, blueprints, and matte paintings, this visual feast will delight Star Wars fans and cineastes for decades to come. The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the definitive expression of how the latest chapter in the Star Wars saga was dreamed into being.

Review

First of all, I need to say that this movie was awesome!  So I was very excited to get a copy of this book for review.  The content is amazing and it sits proudly on my coffee table for all my visitors to see.  The book is really well organized and includes many different aspects of the movie in an orderly fashion.  It is laid out in a timeline format which makes you feel like you were right there throughout the entire creative process.  This is much more than book of artwork.  While it includes production painting, concept sketches, storyboards, and blueprints it also is peppered with comments and interviews from the creative staff.  This is something that every Star War Fan will want to have in their collection!

~Reviewed by Sam A.

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    Tales of Zestiria Collector’s Edition Strategy Guide

    Product DetailsTales of Zestiria Collector’s Edition Strategy Guide
    Prima Games
    Retail Price: $39.99
    Amazon Price: $26.33

     

     

    Book Description:  

    Tales of Zestiria Collector’s Edition Strategy Guide includes…

    Includes Bonus PS4 Theme!

    Comprehensive walkthrough and full coverage of all special side quests and post-game content.

    Find everything! Detailed maps for every area.

    Complete coverage of the Battle System, including all Battle Artes and emphasis on character attack synergy.

    Chapter highlighting the special abilities, fighting styles, and best tactics for each of the major characters in the game.

    FREE eGuide! Use the enhanced eGuide for VALUE! strategy on the go, all optimized for a second-screen experience!

    These limited edition guides will only be printed once. When they are sold out, they will be gone forever!

    Review

    If you are a fan of the game, you will love having this strategy guide as it will really help you succeed by showing you the ins and outs and helping you to find where all the loot is.  There are useful maps and tips and tricks.  It helped me to reach higher levels than I thought possible since I am a novice.  The book is really quite beautiful and nice to look at.  While this is an excellent strategy guide, it is so much more!  It is actually a detailed piece of art! 

    ~Reviewed by Chris K.

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      The 21st Century Art Book

      The 21st Century Art Book
      By The Editor Press Phaidon Edition
      Phaidon Press
      Retail Price $39.95
      Amazon Price: $29.38

      Book Description: 

      The 21st‐Century Art Book is an A‐to‐Z guide of contemporary artists featuring established art‐world figures – Maurizio Cattelan, Cindy Sherman, Jeff Wall – alongside rising stars of the next generations. Global in scope, the book features work from 50 countries across a variety of mediums, from painting, drawing, and sculpture to digital art, video installation, and performance.Each of the 280 artists included has a dedicated page pairing a significant artwork from his or her oeuvre with lively and informative text. An international directory of major art events along with a helpful glossary round out the package, making this both a must‐have resource and a beautifully illustrated celebration of contemporary art.

      Review

      This is a fantastic overview of 21st century art.  I am a newbie when it comes to understanding art. Contemporary art has become a favorite of mine and I wanted a good ‘overall’ book. This one delivers. It covers a wide range of topics and artwork, info on hundreds of painters, sculptors and photographers and a plethora of artwork photos.  This is a great book for those who, like me, who want a good starting place on the topic. I highly recommend this one!
      ~Reviewed by Rosie B.

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        Degenerate Art

        Degenerate Art
        By Olaf Peters
        Prestal
        Retail Price $60.00
        Amazon Price: $40.45

        Book Description: 

        This book accompanies the first major museum exhibition devoted to a reconstruction of the infamous Nazi display of modern art since the presentation originated by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1991. During the Nazi regime in Germany, “degenerate art” was the official term for much of the most important modern art of the day. “Degenerate art” was defined by the Nazi regime as artwork that was not in line with the National Socialists’ ideas of beauty. Their condemnation extended to works in nearly every major art movement: Expressionism, Dada, New Objectivity, Surrealism, Cubism, and Fauvism. Banned artists included Max Beckmann, Paul Klee, and Oskar Kokoschka. Richly illustrated, Degenerate Art elucidates the historical and intellectual context of the notorious exhibition in Munich in 1937, which spurred the attack on modern art. The book contains reflections on the genesis and evolution of the term “degenerate art” and details of the National Socialist policy on art. Art works from the exhibition Degenerate Art are compared to works of art from The Great German Art Exhibition, which was held at the same time and displayed the works of officially approved artists. The book also presents the after-effects of the attack on modernism that are felt even today.

        Review

         

        This book a scholarly text on how the Nazi’s viewed contemporary art and their reaction to it.  In 1937, Germany’s Nazi government staged an exhibition in Munich displaying “modern art” which was not strictly classicist or realist in nature. The exhibition was not merely designed to illustrate what the Nazis deemed “bad art,” but had a political purpose. “Modern art” was deemed to be part of the overall assault on “German art” and culture.  While not your usual art book, the text is accompanied by wonderful color illustrations.  This book and the exhibit it represents is critical to understand a chapter of history that is quickly being forgotten.

        ~Reviewed by John C.

         

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          Andrew Wyeth: Looking Out Looking In

          Andrew Wyeth: Looking Out Looking In
          By Nancy Anderson, Charles Brock and Andrew Wyeth
          National Gallery of Art/Washington D.C.
          Retail Price $55.00
          Amazon Price: $39.31

          Book Description: 

          One of Andrew Wyeth’s most important paintings, “Wind from the Sea” (1947), is also the artist’s first full realization of the window as a recurring subject in his art. Wyeth returned to windows during the course of the next 60 years, producing more than 300 remarkable works that explore both the formal and conceptual richness of the subject. Absent from these spare, elegant, almost abstract paintings is the narrative element inevitably associated with Wyeth’s better-known figural compositions. In 2014 the National Gallery of Art, Washington, presents an exhibition of a select group of these deceptively realistic works, window paintings that are in truth skillfully manipulated compositions centering on the visual complexities posed by the transparency, beauty and formal structure of windows. In its exclusive focus on paintings without human subjects, this catalogue offers a new approach to Wyeth’s work and represents the first time that his non-figural works have been published as a group since the 1990s. The authors explore Wyeth’s fascination with windows–their formal structure and metaphorical complexity. In essays that address links with the poetry of Robert Frost and the paintings of Edward Hopper, Charles Sheeler and other artistic peers, the authors consider Wyeth’s statement that he was, in fact, an abstract painter.

          American painter Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009) lived his entire life in his birthplace of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and his summer home in mid-coast Maine. His seven-decade career was spent painting the land and people that he knew and cared about. Renowned for his tempera “Christina’s World” (1948), Wyeth navigated between artistic representation and abstraction in a highly personal way.

          Review

          Andrew Newell Wyeth was a visual artist. Priimarily a realist painter, he worked predominantly in a regionalist style. His favorite subjects were land and people around him and is has been quoted as saying “I paint my life.”  He was one of the best-known U.S. artists of the middle 20th century. I have long admired his work. If you are a Wyeth fan this book will add to your collection very nicely. Very nice reproductions of his paintings!

          ~Reviewed by Gary P.

           

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            The Art of Watch Dogs

            The Art of Watch Dogs
            By Andy McVittie and Paul Davies
            Titan
            Retail Price $29.99
            Amazon Price: $18.96

            Book Description: 

            One of the most hotly anticipated games from E3 2012, Watch Dogs received over 80 official nominations and awards including IGN’s Best New Franchise Award, Gamespot’s Editor’s Choice Award and Eurogamer’s Game of the Show Award.

            The Art of Watch Dogs is an in-depth review of Ubisoft’s amazing new game with extensive concept and development art and detailed creator commentary. The first of its kind for a franchise that is certain to be a future classic, the book will explore the technology-controlled world of Watch Dogs, taking readers on a visual guide through Aiden Pearce’s quest to turn Chicago’s Central Operating System (CtOS) against its corrupt owners.

            Review

            I am a video game and movie buff and have plenty of Titan “Art of” books on my shelf.  While this book was a bit smaller than normal, I feel it was still a great value, full of sketches, concept art, and behind the scenes details that bring the game to life before your eyes. It gives in-depth profiles of characters and places along with the hundreds of drawings and pieces of artwork.  It is printed on high quality paper and bound tightly, which makes it great for display. This is an excellent addition to  my collection and if you are a fan of the game you will not be disappointed.

            ~Reviewed by Dave H.

            ~Reviewed by John R.

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              Genius, Animated

              Genius, Animated
              By Dean Mullaney, Bruce Canwell and Alex Toth
              IDW
              Retail Price $49.99
              Amazon Price: $36.96

              Book Description: 

              The Library of American Comics concludes its in-depth look at Alex Toth’s life and art with Genius, Animated. This companion volume to 2011’s award-winning Genius, Isolated and 2013’s Genius, Illustrated zooms in to focus on Toth’s groundbreaking contributions in the field of animation and features many rarely-seen or never-before-published pieces of art, much of it uncovered in the archives of Hanna-Barbera Studios! Featuring presentation illustrations for unsold series, character designs and storyboards for old favorites such as Space Ghost, SHAZZAN, and Superfriends, and work taken from both the beginning (Space Angel) and end (Bionic 6) of Toth’s “Saturday kidvid” career, this oversized artbook features observations from animation professionals about his work, plus Alex’s own commentary on the cartoon shows that shaped a generation. Genius, Animated is filled, cover-to-cover, with must-see material, making it essential reading for Toth-fans and animation enthusiasts alike.

              Review

              Alexander Toth was an American cartoonist active from the 1940s through the 1980s and he died in 2006. His work began in the American comic book industry, but he is also known for his animation designs for Hanna-Barbera throughout the 1960s and 1970s. While something of an acquired taste, Toth is unquestionably one of the greatest artists in comic history. This is the third book in a series and like the first two, this volume is just chock full of art – one of the best gatherings of Toth are in these three volumes. The authors have successfully created a combination of prose and pictures, which meshes well.   While I’d recommend this book for any comics fan or scholar, for a Toth fan, it is an absolute must.

              ~Reviewed by Dave H.

               

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                Painting Beautiful Watercolor Landscapes

                Painting Beautiful Watercolor Landscapes
                By Joyce Hicks
                North Light Books
                Retail Price $26.99
                Amazon Price: $19.09

                Book Description: 

                Learn the Art of Seeing and tap into the beauty of the everyday!The scenes around you don’t have to be perfect to inspire beautiful watercolor paintings. In Painting Beautiful Watercolor Landscapes, Joyce Hicks shows you how to transform ordinary landscapes into gorgeous, lush works of art.First you’ll learn to look differently at the world around you by slowing down and seeing beauty in the every day to find settings you can’t wait to paint. Then, by learning to understand design elements and principles, use color and make the most of artistic license, you’ll gain the confidence you need to create light-filled watercolor landscapes. Finally, Joyce shows you how to add fine details to make the painting distinctly yours.

                With Painting Beautiful Watercolor Landscapes, you will:

                • Discover your inspiration in a scene by training yourself to see it differently and creating a workable simplified composition.
                • Practice techniques like glazing, color mixing, developing an inviting composition and more.
                • Complete 12 step-by-step projects to create you signature watercolor style.

                Begin to paint from the sacred place within…with Painting Beautiful Watercolor Landscapes.

                Review

                 

                As a beginning landscape watercolorist I’ve been reading a lot of books about technique. Some don’t cover enough topics, some authors try to promote their own line of art supplies, and some authors use the same one or two techniques no matter what scene they are painting. Not so with this book. This book is an excellent resource that shows you how to create a vast array of beautiful nature scenes and landscapes seamlessly. The author presents many difficult topics and presents solutions to breaking down complex topics into paintable scenes. If you are trying to paint landscapes and are looking for guidance, check this book out–it really is helpful and inspiring.  It is a must have for anyone wanting to paint nature in all its glory.

                ~Reviewed by Stacie S.

                 

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                  The Art Abandonment Project

                  The Art Abandonment Project
                  By Michael deMeng and Andrea Matus deMeng
                  North Light Books
                  Retail Price $24.99
                  Amazon Price: $18.55

                  Book Description: 

                  Art sharing at its sneakiest!The Art Abandonment Project is your guide to expressing yourself through random acts of art! Create something for the joy of making it, and then leave it for an unsuspecting person to find–be it on a shelf at the library, a park bench, a table at a coffee shop or anywhere a stranger might stumble upon it. Inside you’ll discover fun ideas for monthly abandonment challenges, way to connect with other “abandoneers” in the creative community, the value of sharing with others and more.

                  • Learn the ins and outs of being an abandoneer.
                  • Get ideas and inspiration for monthly abandoning challenges.
                  • See examples of abandoned art, and read the stories of the artists as well as the “finders.”
                  • Receive helpful encouragement for letting go of your creations (sometimes it’s hard!).
                  • Connect with the Art Abandonment community and learn how to share your own stories with others.

                  Join the art abandonment project, set your art fee and make someone’s day!

                  Review

                  I have often heard of  (and participated in) random acts of kindness.  To me, applying the concepts brought to light in this book was a natural step for me to take, since I love art of all kinds and believe it lifts the spirit and brings beauty into often dark places.  I actually began to leave my own art (and that of others as well) in public places for people to find.  My goal is to spread cheer and lift others mood by enjoying art.  Not only does this book explain the project and give you tips and ideas on how to participate, but it has many beautiful photographs of abandoned art for you to enjoy yourself.

                  ~Reviewed by Dana D.

                   

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                    The Art of Rio

                    The Art of Rio
                    By Tara Bennett
                    Titan
                    Retail Price $34.95
                    Amazon Price: $24.70

                    Book Description: 

                    DISCOVER THE STUNNING ANIMATION BEHIND THE STAR-STUDDED HIT MOVIE RIO AND FORTHCOMING RIO 2! PRODUCED BY BLUE SKY, THE STUDIO BEHIND ICE AGE SERIES AND HORTON HEARS A WHO!

                    A feast for the eyes, perfect for people interested in animation and art, with the beautiful backdrop of Rio de Janeiro!

                    Review

                    If you were a fan of either movie, you will love this book.  Besides being full of great artwork from both films,  it explains the inner workings of getting an animated film like this to the Big Screen.   You also get tons of insider information on all the character creation and  It makes a great coffee table book that showcases the art of these two movies, capturing the personality of each character and the beauty of the Amazon.  This is a must-have for Rio Fans.

                    ~Reviewed by Brian G.

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