I feel bad.
I really do.
I haven’t written anything for a while and I’ve been putting it off because I’ve been busy or felt like I have nothing to say. Which probably isn’t fully true, but hey whatever. Anyways, I’ve been busy doing illustrations for a kids book lately, so yea I’ve been off the grid for a bit.
But I hope that changes! Quite a few changes have been happening lately, which led me to do a few things and one of them was simple enough: clean my room.
Not to difficult I suppose, but when cleaning, I realized how much stuff I’ve held on to for several years. Like books. Oh lord the books. I collected all of my books to put them on shelves and I realized that all of a sudden, I have a collection of sorts. A collection of art books.
Seriously, like 85% of the books I own are some sort of portfolio, art guide, or sketchbook. I found art books that I bought seven years ago that I amazingly still have and even a couple I haven’t even cracked open. How did I get so many?
I guess it is because I grew up to be the boring type of person who asks for books on every gift-giving occasion. This holiday season my list is basically my Goodreads list. Art books are usually more expensive so I ask for those on these special occasions or just use whatever gift cards I get to buy them. It is a collection that is slow-growing, but its not a bad thing. I think having a large visual library is great and I’m planning on keeping it up, I’m just surprised how far I’ve gotten.
Plus I kinda feel like sharing my collection. It is always good to know books before you buy them. And while cleaning I found one of my favorite books: Frank Frazetta’s Rough Work.
Chances are if you have any middling interest in fantasy illustration, you’re familiar with the legend that is Frank Frazetta. I love his work, but I’ve only seen his finished pieces and I’m a person who loves to see a process. This book features what the title states: his rough work. And I’ll tell you right now, his sketchbook puts everyone else’s to shame:
These are sketches?! What?!
Even for sketches, these pencils are well done and thoughtful; loose and dynamic. And best of all, this book has great pictures of these sketches. They are all printed clearly on nice, solid, glossy paper. This book is a bit small, but that isn’t detrimental at all. The sketches are of great size and quality so you can really study his work. Even his famous female illustrations:
Best of all, this book features a good selection of his work and isn’t limited to just pencil. This is truly a mixed-media sketchbook.
A process page
Thank god this book is in color! If these pictures were solely black-and-white, it would’ve been highly disappointing. HIs colors remain as fresh as ever on these pages. The book also features a few process images that reveal how Frazetta takes an image from sketch to final print. I love seeing how an image is thought through, altered, and finally completed.
Rough Works also has some less professionally-focused work and are just really fun pages to look at:
These sketches are uninhibited and actually show *gasp* mistakes! It kinda makes me feel good that even the best make eraser marks. Also the inside cover has this photo of the artist:
Seriously, how can you resist this book? It’s just a bunch of fun and beauty behind a book cover. A strangely puffy book cover, but that isn’t a big deal.
If you want to see some of the best fantasy illustration stripped down to it’s basics, you need to pick up this book. It is pretty easy to find and makes a good addition to any collection.