Fall is traditionally the time of year that publishers release their art (and art-related) books – their reasoning being that art books are more "giftable" and are much more likely to find buyers when they're trying to figure out what Uncle Bill or Sister Svetlana might want for Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa. We never thought of art books as having a "season" but there has to be something to the strategy since the numbers show that, regardless of release date, the most copies of illustrated books are sold between October and January. Is it something about the change in the weather or is it merely a Pavlovian response among consumers after years of being conditioned by publishers' marketing schedules? You've got us.
Be that as it may we've recently received two brand-spanking new "how-to" art books that we've done quick flip-through videos of, just to give readers a taste. The first is Pop Sculpture: How to Create Action Figures and Collectible Statues by Tim Bruckner, Zach Oat, and Rubén Procopio. This book is really something of a first: in a very breezy yet incredibly detailed manner, the authors cover virtually every aspect of sculpting figures for the collector's market from start to finish. Not only do they thoroughly take readers through the creative process (materials, concepts, design, application), but they also talk about the realities of business and the importance of diplomacy when working with clients and the public.
Other noted sculptors Jonathan Matthews, William Paquet, Alteron, Tony Cipriano, Karen Palinko, and Jim McPherson also join in and share their insights as to how they create their work. Pop Sculpture is profusely illustrated with sketches, step-by-step progressions, and color photos of finished pieces. Just as Burne Hogarth's Dynamic Anatomy or Andrew Loomis' Figure Drawing for All It's Worth are must-haves for 2D artists, Pop Sculpture will surely be essential for all aspiring 3D creators.
Based on Jim's enviably popular blog, this book slices though the confusing and often contradictory dogma about color with laser-like precision and backs it all up with some astonishing examples of Gurney's own paintings as well as with a welcome (if brief) survey of underappreciated masters who perfected how light reveals form and content. Color and Light is another gotta-have-it book for anyone who wants to paint, anyone who wants to improve their painting skills, or anyone who simply want a better understanding of the creative process. Will there be a third book in the series? We sincerely hope so!
To promote the fantastic arts and provide an annual showcase for contemporary artists.
Leo & Diane Dillon
Arlo J. Burnett
"Spectrum is a compendium of wonders – a treasure-hoard of incalculable value. Over the years, these books have provided me with an enormous amount of inspiration: fantastical images that have suggested and enriched my stories. I can't recommend Spectrum enough. Buy this book now and revel in the dreams within."