October 10, 2010

I received a number of books in the mail this week from a big Amazon order. I’m quite the sucker for art technique books (especially older ones) although I feel there’s only so much you can learn from them.

First up is Burne Hogarth’s DYNAMIC WRINKLES AND DRAPERY. I don’t think drapery is as difficult to understand as flesh and bone, but it certainly can be problematic. I’ve only read the first few pages and suspect a few Hogath’s tricks can go a long way in rendering the wrinkles of cloth.

I’ve wanted to learn more about the Neoclassical sculptor Antonio Canova and, unfortunately, THE WORKS OF ANTONIO CANOVA probably won’t fill me it. It appears to contain very basic descriptions of his work and nothing more. If anyone knows of a good Canova biography out there, please direct me to it.

Also picked up 50 ROBOTS TO DRAW AND PAINT. Again, I haven’t read it yet, but in flipping through it, I’m liking the overall information about how to render robots both digitally and traditionally more than the specific designs of the robots they are presenting. I’m kind of a snob when it comes to robot aesthetics and have much to say on the subject.

Finally, I received THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET, the 2008 winner of the Caldecott Award for best picture book. I’m blown away by how ambitious and innovative a project it is. I am a big fan of Selznick’s illustrations in THE DINOSAURS OF WATERHOUSE HAWKINGS but feel “Hugo Cabret” surpasses them. I find it very inspirational to see an artist pour so much into his or her work. You can real feel the passion that Selznick has for the subject matter. I’m hardly surprised to learn that Martin Scorsese is turning it into an upcoming film.

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