A big thanks to everyone that entered last months INKtober giveaway, the winner has now been announced.
This month, we have a very special prizes from our friends at 3DTotal. They have kindly contributed a set of two books, Beginner’s Guide to Digital Painting in Photoshop and the newly released Elysium – The Art of Daarken.
What you need to do
All entries must be in before the 30th of November 2012. Two winners will be selected at random and announced on the 1st of December 2012.
The Review: Elysium – The Art of Daarken
Elysium – The Art of Daarken is the first art book from illustrator and concept artist Daarken. It opens with a personal and rather funny foreword from fellow illustrator and personal friend kekai kotaki. Daarken then takes the helm to explain, in short, his journey to becoming an illustrator. The book is broken up into four main sections—Illustration, Concept Art, Fine Art, and Painting Workshop—and Daarken pops up now and then giving a little background and thought process of certain pieces.
For those of you unfamiliar Daarken’s work, he has illustrated for card games such as Magic: The Gathering and Duel Master, and video games such as Dungeons & Dragons and World of Warcraft. His Professional and personal works are all presented in this book, which creates a wide range genres and styles. To Daarken’s own admission he does not really do speed painting, which does leave an abundance of fully rendered and polished pieces. For those, like myself, who like to see more sketches and workings from an art book there are some great thumb sketches throughout the Concept Art section, as well as section dedicated to his sketches in the Fine Art section.
Daarken has been working professionally since 2004 and in that time has built an extensive portfolio as well as loyal fan base. I feel this book does do a great job collating that history, and pedestalling the skill involved in creating such illustrations. The book is 200 pages of inspiration and testament to Daarken as well as digital art.
The Review: Beginner’s Guide to Digital Painting in Photoshop
Beginner’s Guide to Digital Painting in Photoshop is comprehensive introduction to digital painting. Aimed at the complete novice it begins with a step-by-step tutorial about working in Photoshop, explaining preferences, workspace, configuring your tablet properties and goes into useful details about creating brushes and setting up your canvas.
Following the set up there are a few pages on art theory—colours, composition, and perspective—which tie in with the Photoshop tutorial, elaborating on certain tools and features. There is a section on “Art Fundamentals” which cover subject like lighting, portraying emotion, and storytelling. This section and some of the tone they employ when explaining certain things is perhaps my only gripe with the format of the book. Assuming you are a practising illustrator wanting to learn about digital painting, it may feel a bit of a waste to have colour theory and portraying emotion explained to you. However, of course I see their relevance for students or people coming from different disciplines.
About half way is where the good stuff begins in a section title “Complete Project”. This section has a process breakdown for creating a digital painting. It includes the thought process, planning as well as techniques to use to get certain effects. It does a good job of explaining the tips and tricks needed to make you image truly impressive.
In all Beginner’s Guide to Digital Painting in Photoshop is trove of very useful information and advice. With inspiring examples to learn from. It may take a few reads before you are putting into practice all of the tricks, but it definitely has all you need to feel confident to pick up your interactive pen start digital painting.