Thor_cover

What’s great about these Art of books is the evolution of the character designs and The Art of Thor continues that tradition.  There is a big emphasis on character design and costumes are all excellent and each design is intricate.  Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir is also given due dedication as the hammer itself goes through a myriad of design variations.

ironman_cover

Sequels, they’re always bigger, badder, bolder and The Art of Iron Man 2 is no exception.  At over 220 pages, this volume in the series continues to pack its pages with eye popping art work.  Like any good sequel, all the stars are back.  Robert Downy Jr or Gwyneth Paltrow you say? Pfft, they’re nobodies; the real stars here are the talented artists.  Adi Granov, Ryan Meinerding and a superb supporting cast return in fine form.  Right away we’re straight into the action as Granov graces the slipcase with with his inimitable force of a talent.   From thereon in, it’s tag team between him and Meinerding for ultimate design supremacy.

The back stories are gone, we’re in the thick of it as we kick off with Stark’s Mark IV designs.  Building on from it’s predecessor, Iron Man’s suit is now more  refined and a little buffer while true to its roots.  Not for long though as the designs continue on to the Mark VI;  a crazy and experimental body armor designed for emergencies that fits in a suitcase.  The range of concept art here is amazing with full figure poses filling each page.  The intricacies of the design itself from briefcase to transformation are neatly sketched out.  The journey continues into the Mark V suit and beyond with hefty chunk given to War Machine’s body armor.  The remainder of the characters including the big baddie Vanko and his alter ego Whiplash along with a range of drone designs are given due respect.

Once again, this excellent book provides the orgasmic visuals for any concept art lover; double that if you are into robot/mech designs.  With the latest Art of Iron Man 3 volume due for release mid may, that legacy is sure to continue.  9/10.

Batman

A quick piece I did right before DKR was released last year.  I’m a big Batman fan :)

Image  —  Posted: 25/04/2013 in My Artwork
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Art of Iron Man

Oh yeah, color me excited, Iron Man 3 is released in cinemas today! BRING. IT!  **Deep breath**, OK, let’s track back several years to the original film by reviewing The Art of Iron Man.  For the life of me I don’t know why I didn’t grab the Hardback edition when it first came out.  I’m kicking myself because not only is this book filled to the border with gorgeous artwork, it’s now got an asking price of over a thousand bux! Crazy!  Sadly, I have to contend with the paperback edition, which, price tag aside, is no less impressive content wise (i.e, they’re identical).  I have read paper quality isn’t on par with it’s hardback counterpart, and if the other Marvel ‘Art of’ books are anything to go by, I’d say it feels slightly bit thinner.

But, I digress.  The main attraction lie bound within its covers and boy oh boy, it’s good, VERY GOOD.  Setting the precedent for all the Marvel ‘Art of’ books that followed, The Art of Iron Man excels in the sheer volume of artwork on display.  The cover features a stunning key battle scene between Iron Man and Iron Monger illustrated by mega talented artist Adi Granov.  Unbelievably this was my first introduction to Granov’s work and I’ve been a fan ever since.  Adopting a mixed media technique, Granov sketches, outlines and shades his designs using pencil; the process is then taken to Photoshop where color is added and finalised.  The result is a distinct visual style that is refined, fluid and incredibly detailed.  Granov, along with talents such as Phil Saunders and Ryan Meinerding are tasked with designing the characters, including the main man himself and his iconic body armor.  If you are any kind of mech fan, armor fan, you’ll drool at the artwork on show.  Each suit – Mark I to Mark III is shown from early concept to final design.  Intricate details like arm movements, helmet structure and exploded views showing a suit’s hidden weapons and underlying body armor tell you that these guys have thought about every detail.

Continuing on, Iron Monger is given no less attention with his imposing suit going through a range of design variations before settling on the get-up we see on screen.  The middle section focuses on set pieces, my favorite being the Suit up Gantry (that crazy contraption that fits the Mark III onto Stark) as well as interior design renderings of Stark’s stunning cliff hanging mansion.  Inter cut are storyboards as well as production stills that round out this fantastic book.

Like most of these Marvel volumes, the art to text ratio is excellent, in this case, I would say 80% art, 20% text.  If you can get your hands on this for a decent price, I highly recommend it, a solid 8/10.

Oddly, though, even the paperback edition is going for over a hundred on Amazon.  If you like this book, the better value for money option would be to purchase the The Art of Marvel Studios that not only gives you this book, but also three other excellent volumes in the series – The Art of Iron Man 2, Art of Thor and Art of Captain America.

If you would like to purchase the aforementioned volume, please kindly use my referral link below as I will get a teeny bit of ‘munnies’ for it.  Cheers

Buy the Hardcover edition from Amazon US

You can also purchase the paperback edition from Amazon UK

I was kinda lukewarm to the original Thor movie so I can’t say I’m terribly excited for the sequel due in late October.  Still, the trailer, like all trailers, looks really good.  What I’m looking forward more to though, is the accompanying art book which no doubt will continue the legacy of past Marvel ‘Art of ‘ books in excellence.  I’ll review the original Art of Thor book soon.

Batwing

My artwork.  I made this piece for a friend.  Combination of 3D & Photoshop.  I’ll post my personal stuff from time to time.

Image  —  Posted: 23/04/2013 in My Artwork
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Art of Marvel The Avengers

Avengers_CoverWith Iron Man 3 just around the corner, I thought I’d kick start my first post by reviewing The Art of Marvel The Avengers.  At over 270 massive pages this kick ass edition to Marvel’s line of ‘Art of‘  books is chock full of crazy amazing artwork.  Sketches, concept designs, 3D renderings and illustrations, they’re all here and boy, they’re a feast for the eyes.  The book comes with a slip case featuring a live action cast shot but the actual hardcover mirroring the scene is illustrated by one of my favorite artists – Ryan Meinerding. (Seriously, this guy is amazeballs.)  Being a lead concept artist on the movie, Ryan fills many pages with his super dynamic renderings, including a double fold out panorama.   Of course there are plenty of Hollywood’s best artists and designers here to enjoy;  many who, no doubt, have had and will have prosperous careers in the business ahead of them.  Two of those are super talented Andy Park and Charlie Wen whose character designs of the Superheroes and the famous actors playing them are spot on.

From rough sketches to digital illustrations and 3D renderings you get a real feel for the entire movie making process and how each artist’s individual contribution add to the final movie.  Each superhero is given plenty of page real estate don’t you worry about that; from the cast of the Avengers to Loki and his mob of Chatauri, this is some of the best artwork you’ll see.   There is also enough written information that provides great insight into a designers thought process; from working with the brief to final approval; these details add to the experience without being bogged down in walls of boring text, it’s an artbook dammit!

At the end of the day, it’s all about the puuurrty pictures, and The Art of Marvel The Avengers delivers in Hulk Smash style.  If you are a Marvel fan, Avengers fan, art fan, or fan of a fan, this book is a must.  10/10

If you would like to purchase this book, please kindly use my referral link below; I will get a teeny bit of ‘munnies’ for it.  Cheers

Buy from Amazon US : Amazon UK