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| Books for Artists & Designers|
Click on any of the images or text links for further details of chosen book, and how to order your copy.

Writers' & Artists' Yearbook: 2003 : Now in its 96th year, Writers and Artists Yearbook is a trustworthy old friend to anyone trying to sell creative work commercially and needing a one-volume all-purpose reference book... [Amazon.co.uk Review]

Starting Your Career as a Freelance Illustrator or Graphic Designer  Michael Fleishman : "For those embarking on freelance careers in graphic design or illustration, this text seeks to provide the answers: how to get started, how to sell your work, how to promote yourself, and what to do once you are working."

The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain  Betty Edwards : this is the revised edition of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain - a fascinating and remarkable book which will have even those who could barely draw stick figures finding that art can be for everyone - novice artists will find this book essential in discovering how to draw, and professional artists will undoubtedly discover new drawing skills. A must have book!! This new edition contains "more than 50 per cent new material including: recent developments in brain research that relate to drawing; new insights on the use of drawing techniques in the corporate world; and education instruction on self-expression through drawing; and ways to step beyond black-and-white drawing into colour; and detailed advice on applying the five basic skills of drawing to solve problems" [extract from the book description] I haven't read this new edition yet, but the previous edition was very interesting.... if you haven't already got it : get this book!!

You may also be interested in Betty Edwards' The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain Workbook: Guided Practice in the Five Skills of Drawing as an accompanying workbook.

The Artist's Complete Health and Safety Guide  Monona : This art reference seeks to show today's artists how to handle materials safely while practising their craft.

A Foundation Course in Drawing
  Peter Stanyer, Terry Rosenberg : practical guide that offers drawing exercises that should help artists of all levels of ability.

Rendering in Pen and Ink: The Classic Book on Pen-and-ink Techniques for Artists, Illustrators, Architects and Designers
  Arthur L. Guptill, Susan E. Meyer (Editor) : illustrated information on the tools and techniques of ink drawing.

How to Survive and Prosper an Artist: Selling Yourself Without Selling Your Soul  Caroll Michels, Dennis Robin (Editor) : a useful book covering "public relations, exhibitions, art dealers, rejection, grants, other sources of income, insurance, resumes, and motivation..."

The Art of Looking Sideways  Alan Fletcher :
cover"Alan Fletcher's The Art of Looking Sideways is an absolutely extraordinary and inexhaustible "guide to visual awareness", a virtually indescribable concoction of anecdotes, quotes, images and bizarre facts that offers a wonderfully twisted vision of the chaos of modern life. Fletcher is a renowned designer and art director and the joy of The Art of Looking Sideways lies in its beautiful design. Loosely arranged in 72 chapters with titles like "Colour", "Noise", "Chance", "Camouflage" and "Handedness", Fletcher's book, which he describes as "a journey without a destination", is "a collection of shards" that captures the sensory overload of a world that simply contains too much information. In one typical section, entitled "Civilization", the reader encounters six Polish flags designed to represent the world, a photograph of an anthropomorphic hand bag, Buzz Aldrin's bootprint on the moon, drawings of Stone Age pebbles, a painting of "Ireland--as seen from Wales" and a dizzying array of quotations and snippets of information, including the wise words of Marcus Aurelius, Stephen Jay and Gandhi's comment, "Western civilization? I think it would be a good idea". Fletcher's mastery of design mixes type, space, fonts, alphabets, colour and layout combined with a "jackdaw" eye for the strange and profound to produce a stunning book that cannot be read, but only experienced". Amazon.co.uk review by Jerry Brotton

The Designer's Guide to Color Combinations   Leslie Cabarga : a resource book containing over 100 colour combinations for designers, artists, and anyone working with colour!

Inner Vision: An Exploration of Art and the Brain  Semir Zeki :
coverWhy do we find it hard to explain why art is beautiful? Perhaps it is because the visual system of the human brain is much more developed than its language centres as it has had far longer--millions of years--to evolve. Semir Zeki believes that we can only reach a better understanding of art as we learn more about the operations of the visual brain.
Zeki demonstrates that the simple act of seeing is a profoundly artistic activity. Separating out the mass of geometrical and spectral information received through the eye to arrive at a visual perception is a complex and creative process.
"Just as the brain searches for constancies and essentials", Zeki writes, "so does art... It is those attributes of vision [to which] the brain has assigned specialised processing systems... that have primacy in art. Among those one can include colour, form, motion, faces, facial expressions and even body language."
Zeki's examples are varied and convincing. For example, he explores the relationship between modern works that have emphasised lines and the reaction of cells in the brain that work on lines of specific orientation. More ambitiously, he even outlines the neurological bases of Fauvism and Cubism!
TS Eliot said that using language to discuss art was "a raid on the inarticulate, with shabby equipment". In Inner Vision that perjorative statement acquires an heroic mantle: no artist worth the name and no-one who enjoys visual beauty can afford to ignore the insights contained in this book. Review by Simon Ing / Amazon.co.uk Inner Vision: An Exploration of Art and the Brain 

The Career Cartoonist: a Step-by-step Guide to Presenting and Selling Your Artwork   Dick Gautier : "Discusses the elements of the cartoonist's trade, recommends ways of developing a portfolio, and describes the various markets for cartoons."

J.W. Waterhouse  Anthony Hobson : a stunning book on the art of Waterhouse! Hobson gives an artist's appreciation "of Waterhouse as a master of Romantic Classicism" - this art will leave you breathless!!

Edward Burne-Jones: Victorian Artist-dreamer  Stephen Wildman : another personal favourite - this book was published to accompany an American exhibition of the work of the Victorian painter Edward Burne-Jones : "this volume covers his whole career, not only the Pre-Raphaelite period for which he is best known. Burne-Jones created a style of romantic symbolism that had wide-reaching influence on British and European art. He was also an important force in the Arts and Crafts movement, producing with his friend, William Morris, decorative art ranging from ceramic tiles and stained glass to tapestries and illustrated books for Morris's renowned Kelmscott Press."

Exposed: the Victorian Nude: the Victorian Nude  Alison Smith (Editor)

Chinese Painting Techniques for Exquisite Watercolours  Lian Zhen

The Artist's Guide to New Markets: Opportunities to Show and Sell Art Beyond Galleries  Peggy Hadden : A practical guide discussing alternative means by which artists can build or expand their careers beyond the gallery market...

How to Make Money as an Artist  Moore : "written for artists who want to present themselves and their work in the best possible light to the largest possible audience" this inexpensive guide offers a wide range of information and ideas on how to promote yourself and make money from your art. Includes a thorough resource listing which includes "inexpensive sources for slide development, contact information for artist representatives, suggestions for durable mailing packaging, and contact names for foreign news media."

The Darkroom Handbook: A Complete Reference Manual of Processing, Printing and Manipulative Techniques  Michael Langford : A complete illustrated manual of skills, procedures and equipment which is aimed at the beginner, the experienced amateur and professional alike.

Dynamic Figure Drawing: A New Approach to Drawing the Moving Figure in Deep Space and Foreshortening
  Burne Hogarth : "Burne Hogarth introduces his own system of figure drawing, which should make it possible to visualize and accurately render the forms of the human body from every conceivable point of view."

Dynamic Anatomy
  Burne Hogarth : how to portray the anatomical details of the human figure in action and at rest.

Art of Pencil Drawing (Collector's Series)
  Gene Franks : step-by-step illustrations show how to create beautiful pencil compositions - from still life and landscape to animals and people

Sketching Your Favorite Subjects in Pen and Ink
  Claudia Nice : Discusses the materials and techniques of pen and ink drawing and offers examples and advice for sketching plants, animals, faces and figures, landscape elements, water, and buildings.

How to Draw Animation: Learn the Art of Animation from Character Design to Storyboards and Layouts  Christopher Hart

The Art of Teaching Art to Children  Beal, Miller

Graphic Design Cookbook  Leonard Koren, R. Wippo Meckler : a useful resource book for designers - and anyone who wants to create a dynamic layout for magazines, posters, newsletters, books and other media....

Myth and Romance: The Art of J.W. Waterhouse  J.W. Waterhouse (Illustrator) : "A selection of paintings by J.W. Waterhouse which depicts events from legends of the Middle Ages, myths of the ancient world and scenes from literature. The paintings are accompanied by extracts from the legends and literature that inspired the artist."

Graphic Storytelling: The Definitive Guide to Composing a Visual Narrative  Will Eisner : Eisner shows comic artists, filmmakers and graphic designers how to craft stories in a visual medium...including how to: use art that enhances your story, rather than obscuring it; Wield images like narrative tools; Write and illustrate effective dialogue; Develop ideas that can be turned into dynamic stories...

How to Draw Animals  Jack Hamm

Build Your Own Home Darkroom  Lista Duren, Will McDonald : Guidance in the design and construction of a darkroom covers lightproofing and ventilation and includes advice on building work tables, light boxes, an enlarger wall mount, and a print drying rack...

Cartooning the Head & Figure  Jack Hamm : Step-by-step procedures which aim to teach the art of cartooning, with more than 3000 illustrations.

Figure Drawing Without a Model  Ron Tiner : From the basics of drawing from life, to drawing the human figure from memory, Tiner offers a course of instruction - "Illustrated with the author's own work, it is designed to encourage artists of all levels of ability, including cartoonists and graphic artists. The book begins with informal sketches and a brief introduction to anatomical structure before going on to explain figure movement and how the body shows its age, expresses emotion and displays character."

The Complete Guide to Digital Graphic Design  Bob Gordon (Editor), Maggie Gordon (Editor) : A review of the fast changing world of graphic design "this guide should be essential reading for anyone involved in the graphics industry."

The Complete Cartooning Course: Principles, Practices, Techniques: How to Draw Better Cartoons  Brad Brooks, Tim Pilcher, Steve Edgell (Editor) : A structured course covering all the techniques and materials of cartooning...

The Art of Color: The Subjective Experience and Objective Rationale of Color  Johannes Itten, Ernst van Hagen (Translator) : the world's foremost color theorist examines two different approaches to understanding the art of color.

Type and Typography  Phil Baines, Andrew Haslam : An introduction to the subject for students and readers at all levels. It begins with a definition of typography as the mechanical notation and arrangement of language used to create multiple copies by printing.

From Word to Image: Storyboarding and the Filmmaking Process
  Marcie Begleiter : A step-by-step guide to storyboarding for the novice as well as the professional...

Scenic Art for the Theatre: History, Tools and Techniques  Susan Crabtree, Peter Beudert : A visual and written guide to the tools and techniques used in modern scene painting (includes a history of scenic artistry beginning with the Renaissance and Baroque theatres on through the Romantic theatres to the present day Modern theatre).

Stage Costume (Stage and Costume)  Mary Kidd : A guide for amateur groups and students who want to produce costumes as professionally as possible. Step-by-step instructions show how to create costumes for the main periods of drama. Advice is given on choosing fabrics and materials, adapting existing costumes and keeping within the budget.

Producing Animation (Focal Press Visual Effects and Animation Series)  Catherine Winder, Zahra Dowlatabadi

The Digital Printing Handbook: A Photographer's Guide to Creative Inkjet Printing Techniques  Tim Daly : discover the creative world of digital printing - now your photos can have the quality look and feel of the fine art print. Tim Daly offers jargon-free advice on using all types of printers, papers and inks, including an exciting range of colour recipes for recreating darkroom and vintage print processes.

Animation: From Script to Screen  Shamus Culhane

Complete Makeup Artist: Working in Film, Fashion, Television and Theatre Penny Delamar : essential for anyone who wants to become a successful make-up artist... invaluable to students of art and design, drama and theatre studies!

Art Marketing 101  C Smith : practical guide providing coverage of a myriad of subjects useful to artists who would like to sell their work...

Acting for Animators: A Complete Guide to Performance Animation by Ed Hooks

The Animator's Workbook  Tony White : Discusses the process of animation, describes the tools and materials used, and looks at head turns, walks, runs, exaggerated actions, and special effects.

The Animator's Survival Kit: A Manual of Methods, Principles and Formulas by Richard Williams

Darkroom Basics  Roger Hicks, Frances Schultz : a jargon-free, easy-to-follow and comprehensive guide to all the challenges of the darkroom

Surrealism: Desire Unbound  Jennifer Mundy (Editor), Dawn Ades (Editor) "Surrealism: Desire Unbound is not only a wonderfully produced catalogue to accompany the Tate Modern's excellent surrealism exhibition but also a compelling addition to surrealist studies in its own right. As lavishly illustrated as you could hope for (no less than 300 colour illustrations) the strength of the book really lies in the quality of the essays that make up the catalogue's text, which come from some of the best art historians around. Professor Dawn Ades, the consultant editor, contributes "Surrealism, male-female" which builds on themes of sexuality, and the notion of the fluidity of the category of gender so important to the surrealists, that she (and others, see particularly Surrealism and Women and The Surrealist Look) previously addressed elsewhere (her book on Marcel Duchamp, a constant reference point for so much modern art, is particularly good); Hal Foster (well known for his argument that the 1990s saw the return to bodies and spaces in art in his thought-provoking The Return of the Real) adds a superb essay on the objectification and fetishisation of women within surrealist photography; David Lomas walks us through the influence of Freud (arguably the first theorist of desire) on surrealism; and Annie Le Brun rounds off the book with a look at the invention of desire by surrealism and its adoption by modernity. Desire, as a category and as an impetus, compelled much of the art and thinking of the surrealists and this excellent volume does much to explore and problematise the issues surrounding sex, gender and identity (the sub-heading of the essential Women in Dada which should certainly be consulted when broaching these issues) that obsessed these important artists and their often iconic art. For a beautifully documented study of previous exhibitions it's well worth checking out Displaying the Marvelous. Surrealism: Desire Unbound is a big, beautiful and bold book that does the surrealists proud." An Amazon.co.uk review by Mark Thwaite

MTIV: Making the Invisible Visible
cover  Hillman Curtis : "With his first book, Flash Web Design, Hillman Curtis quickly earned "Flash Guru" status, and deservedly so. MTIV expands upon that. Like the coolest mentor one could ever hope to find, he strikes a chord with his audience by sharing, not just the nuts and bolts behind his creations, but his ideas on good design methodology.
Here he shares his respect and excitement for New Media, gives a blueprint for design challenges of all types, taps into the myriad of visual and literary inspirations that fuel his imagination, and shows readers how to get past their own moments of "designer's block".
Curtis is a fine storyteller. He takes anecdotes of coffee breaks, book tour lectures, work, life and art, and weaves them around design maxims. For every morsel of advice, there are three or four personal stories that illustrate how he arrived at it and puts it to use. He shows how books, movies, print ads, just about anything, can be used in the search for creative solutions.
The seven steps in "Process" comprise the bulk of the book. These are the exact steps Curtis' design team applies to each project. Without giving too much away, they are: Listen, Unite, Theme, Concept, Filter, Justify and Eat the Audience. (Well, you'll just have to get the book to find out about that last one.)
In "Inspiration", we learn that Curtis draws from Hemingway, Mies van der Rohe, Sidney Lumet, David Mamet, Leonard Cohen, Mark Rothko and Joseph Müller-Brockman, among others. And the book finishes with a bang in the third chapter "Practice", a collection of helpful tips in typography, colour theory, XML, grids and much more, from experts such as Joseph Lowery (author of the Dreamweaver Bible) and usability authority Steve Krug.
MTIV is not just an easy read; it's fun, warm, encouraging and, yes, inspiring. A self-taught artist, Curtis has made MTIV the perfect Boy Scout manual for those who have stumbled on design as a new career or just languished through too many uninspired afternoons in front of the computer" An Amazon.co.uk review by Angelynn Grant

Animating Facial Features and Expressions by Bill Fleming, Darris Dobbs : "The challenges of modelling and animating realistic faces and emotions with computer software are confronted and easily worked through in Animating Facial Features & Expressions. If you have any interest in computer-based character animation, this book will be a valuable addition to your reference shelf.
The book starts with an exploration of the anatomy of the head, including underlying facial muscles and proportions; continues with examples of displaying different emotions; and ends with a series of appendices that list different expressions and emotions for human faces, cartoon faces, and non-human (monster) faces.
Of all the material, the most important section discusses speech/lip-sync animation. Imagine the difficulties not only in creating a realistic sculpture but animating it as well. While you will encounter the normal problems of modelling everything within proper proportions, you must also constantly alter the facial features and mouth shapes with very specific timing to achieve realistic-looking movement. If either the timing or proportions stray from the given norm, the illusion is shattered.
The author starts with an explanation of phonemes (defined as "the sounds we hear in speech patterns"), how they sound, and how they look. A timing chart is then created, also known as reading a sound track, where the specific frame numbers are noted for each phoneme. With this in hand, it then becomes a simple matter of producing the proper shapes at the proper times to create a talking character.
Good facial expression and lip-sync animation remain anything but "a simple matter". A practised ear is required for reading a soundtrack, and a trained eye for creating the facial features that match those shapes. However, this book is an excellent way to start tackling the problems involved.
One more note: the book is completely nonsoftware-specific, to the point where not one software package is mentioned. This may keep the book generic and focused on important issues, but it also places the burden of properly modelling and manipulating any faces or heads (not to mention software) in the hands of the reader. If you are new to 3-D character animation, you might want to better learn the features of the software application you will be using before tackling the complexities of facial animation." An Amazon.co.uk review by Mike Caputo


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