Here in Chattanooga, Tennessee, we’re lucky to have a huge used bookseller called McKays. It’s a fantastic place to sell the books, comics, CDs, records, electronics, and games that no longer “spark joy”.
Thanks, Marie Kondo.
The other day I rifled through their expansive art book collection and found some gems I thought I’d share. Gotta love getting some quality books at super affordable prices. These will be great to study from and pick up at any odd moment to get inspired.
Here’s what I got…
First of all, my wife blew my mind when she pulled 100 Tuesday Tips by Griz and Norm off the shelf that I had somehow completely missed. Griz and Norm are two Disney artists who teach drawing online through their popular series of Tuesday Tips they post for free online on Instagram and Twitter. This was amazing for several reasons. One, you can’t actually buy this book in stores, only direct from them. I’ve been wanting to for a while now, but just haven’t set aside the money. I’ve been following Griz and Norm for a long time and I love that they put out their work for free, but also sell printed copies. Well, this copy was criminally cheap. Couldn’t pass it up.
Also, since every copy comes right from the artists themselves, they’re signed…
How cool is that? Prized member of my art library. I still can’t believe someone sold their copy, but their loss is my gain.
The drawing lessons in 100 Tuesday Tips are fantastic for learning lots of dynamic types of movement and character design that are vital in positions such as Animator for instance. Hey, I love learning all kinds of drawing techniques. You can’t learn too much, that’s not a thing. Learn all kinds of methods to do the thing you love.
Lots of great design ideas throughout.
The next find…
Typically I steer away from any books with “How to Draw something” in the title because usually they aren’t very good at teaching you to draw anything, they just show a few process shots of how established artists go from quick pencil sketches to highly-rendered finished pieces. They’re also usually overpriced for a thin amount of information. I made an exception for this cheap copy of How to Draw Zombies. If nothing else, it’s fun to look through. I do love zombies.
Also, it amuses me that this is put out by the same Walter Foster Publishing that put out those huge mid-century art books for learning everything from drawing to oil painting. I even have an old display sign (see above) from a Walter Foster book display.
There’s some very nice looking horror compositions in this one. Worth the price of admission, especially if you can pick up a used copy.
This next book is called Tolkien’s World. It’s a relatively thin book at 144 pages from the late 90’s, but it’s a very nice compilation of some of the best Tolkien-inspired artwork that came out before the movies. Indeed, many of the visuals from the movies were inspired or directly taken from the artwork seen in this book.
And it was $3, so pretty hard to say no to a nice clean copy that will be a great coffee table book if nothing else.
The book isn’t put out anymore, but it looks like you can get an equally cheap copy from lots of online sellers should you be interested.
Last, but not least was the weighty tome, The Art of Fallout 4.
Now, I am not a gamer (other than if you count mobile), but I’m a huge fan of the Fallout series. Fallout 4 looked like such an enticing post-apocalyptic world, I was very jealous of people who got to play it, but I was always more intrigued by the look and feel of the world itself. Luckily for people like myself, companies are compiling their concept and pre-production art for these kinds of projects in wonderful hardcover formats such as this.
Colored full page artwork galore in this book. It is a masterpiece of concept art and world design.
To me, it looks like they were able to compile almost every piece of concept art from Fallout 4. If you enjoy the post-apocalyptic genre, it is truly a thing to behold.
There are some amazing examples of different environmental effects on the same scene as show below…
These are examples of the different times of day and weather events one an experience in the game, but for an artist, it’s an invaluable resource for how to conceptualize different paths in your environmental art. Amazing stuff.
Even very early concept sketches are included in The Art of Fallout 4. These are some of the sketches I love to see the most, “napkin sketches” if you will. Such simple designs that evolved into a highly-rendered and immersive world. A delight to page through.
While I’m still trying to be good about acquiring too much “stuff” these days as I’ve made downsizing my continual goal, I will definitely keep used book stores in mind for the exceptional deals one can find on art books for reference and inspiration.
Have you gotten any art books lately that you love?