Category Archives: Books

2 Influential Art Books

Recently I finishes reading 2 books on the subject of painting, and both just blew me away. Even though both of them are somewhat related (both discuss the topic of fantasy / imaginative paintings), and still quite different, both had a way of teaching things most of us do not even consider while painting.

The first book I read was ‘Bold Visions – The Digital Painting Bible’ by Gary Tonge (http://www.visionafar.com).

Bold Visions
Bold Visions book cover

This book discusses digital painting techniques for painting fantasy and sci-fi, both of my ‘hot button’ topics. Even though the author uses Adobe Photoshop, very few pages are dedicated to the actual PS controls used. The main focus is on painting techniques, what to look for in a given scene, how colors major up against each other, and so on, which is a good thing.

It’s truly amazing to see how Gary brings to life such things as newly forming galaxies, sunrises on a distant fantasy worlds, sorceresses and angels, how the mood of a picture changes drastically when the color scheme changes, and how much of thought process goes on behind every painting.

This book is meant for the painters who want to go up a notch in their understanding of the painting techniques.

The second book I read was James Gurney’s (http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com) ‘Imaginative Realism – How to Paint What Doesn’t Exist‘. The title, as well as the book cover of the strange elf caught my eye, and I decided to buy. It proved to be the right decision.

James Gurney is a traditional medium painter, who has presented mostly oils in this book. The paintings are extraordinary, and the understanding of color and light is amazing (In fact JG has written one more book ‘Color and Light’, which is on my wish list already). The specialty JG brings here is his great sense of almost lifelike painting, which have some very unlikely elements in them. Just have a look at any Dinotopia picture and you will understand what I mean.

All in all, these 2 books have been some of my best investments in myself and my self development, art wise. I will heavily recommend these to anyone who truly want to move ahead in the world of painting.

License to Live!

Yesterday, late in the night, I finished reading a highly motivational and engaging book called ‘License to Live’, by Priya Kumar.
What makes License to Live even more interesting than the messages that it gives; is the manner in which the story is told. The author has managed here to constantly keep the readers on the edge of their seats. The book changes track midway to bring the reader onto a roller coaster of adventures. And the funny thing it … even if you somehow realize what to expect next, you never know in what form will it strike!
The most appealing message I found was when the protagonist meets Jade, the keeper of the present. The concept of time trap was so simple, and yet so complex at the same time. I could practically view myself in that situation a few years ago. I am sure everyone will be able to relate to the book in one way or the another, and that’s the book’s main strength.
I heavily recommend this book to anyone interested in improving their attitude, and consequently, find success in life.