Book List 002 – Concept Art/Genre Illustration & Traditional Painting WIP

The books below I’ve tried to catagorise in order to help those with a limited budget or book space… the lists will be arranged in order of importance (my opinion obviously), I’ll also keep the lists fairly short, only adding those books/artists that I think are truly essential reads or texts.

For books on Drawing rather than fully finished visualisation look >HERE<

Historical Precedent:

Designers for entertainment media seem to have no hang-ups when it comes to developing imagery for what some might suggest is somehow “low brow” art. Whether as an entire medium (TV, Comics, Summer Blockbuster movies…) or genre (Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror etc). They by virtue of this interest invariably have to be able to paint anything from Prehistoric chase scenes, through to unseen futures on far flung planets, and everything, every historical, social, and geographical situation inbetween; and all in a way that is openly representational and accessable.

This, for me makes the concept artist (with their ability convey a sense of physical reality and mood) the inheritors of the roles occupied by historical representational artists (Rembrandt, Vermeer) more than the contemporary fine art practitioner worrying over “how to maximise the existing dialogue of this gallery space”, or the young turks “creating a discussion on the validity of the politicising of colour in the urban setting”.

Instead, through representational craft, and a focus on narrative, capturing fleeting moments in time, in the lives of people and/or cultures (whether those cultures have existed or not) that are immediately recognisable to a broad audience.

The list below hopefully goes some way to acknowledge this inheritance and tradition of representational craft and narrative image making…

…you should make time to take a look at anything by, or on:

Historical –




N.C Wyeth & Howard Pyle

Edward Hopper

Norman Rockwell

Frank Frazetta

Andrew Wyeth

Contemporary/Near Contemporary –

Edward Hopper

Lucian Freud

Jenny Saville

The “How to…” books…:

Not all of these are official tutorial oriented books, some are made by educators, some by students and some are just simply so well constructed as to show the full process for a designer/concept artist for entertainment media working in industry or a comprehensive setting.

The Skillful Huntsman

Into The Future –

Digital Painting Techniques 4

Contemporary Concept Art Practitioners/Collections/Monographs:

Blast – Scott Robertson and others

Structura – Sparth

Structura 2 – Sparth

James Gurney

Craig Mullins

…and of the Spectrum Collections

Art of the Film/Game/Animation Books:

These usually have a range of content from thumbnail sketches to character designs, colour tests to storyboards, as well as the sweeping scenic concept art and maquettes that show us the full scope of concept art for entertainment media.

Prince Of Egypt – A new vision in animation

(The art of) The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Batman Animated

Judge Dredd (the first movie, the art of book is great)

…and some useful Web Links: WIP

This film about a book is great… an insightful peek into the practice of artists for entertainment media.

~ by hesir on January 29, 2014.

One Response to “Book List 002 – Concept Art/Genre Illustration & Traditional Painting WIP”

  1. […] For books on finished concept image making, painting, illustration rather than just (the under-structure of) drawing look >HERE< […]

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