Here we can share recommendations for reference books, tutorials, inspirational artbooks or portfolios, how-to and instructional books, etc.. If you want, you can also give reviews or warn of books that are disappointing or less helpful than you'd hoped.
I'll start. I've amassed a pretty good collection, I'd say, of various art-related books...
Uh, I ended up writing a lot, so you can just T L D R and skim the titles for anything that might interest you; the rest is just my own commentary ^^; .
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'''Andrew Loomis Books'''
An old and very well-known series of books, great for learning anatomy and the human body, long out of print with used copies selling for ridiculous prices. Free PD Fs
are found online all over. I printed out two of them, hole-punched them and fit them into a 1-inch (or 1/2 inch?) binder.
'''Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art'''
- Scott McCloud
- Scott McCloud
If you're an aspiring mangaka, webcomic artist/writer, or just interested in the subject, these are the perfect books. And they're even in comic-book form, so they're easy to read and very visual!
'''The Animator's Survival Kit'''
- Richard Williams
I considered animating as a major for a bit, since some of my favorite mangaka/comic artists seemed to have an animation degree, and it appears that this is basically the animator's bible, a staple book. Very big, tons of pictures, and useful to understand motion and the body in motion.
'''A Visual Dictionary of Architecture'''
- Francis D.K. Ching
Not exactly catered toward artists, but I think very useful for any artist that has more than a shallow interest in learning the details of drawing architecture. It really is a dictionary, with architectural terms and definitions all over each page, but they're all accompanied with clean detailed illustrations of what's being defined, so it's a great starting point. It's hard to research good references or what types of buildings to draw if you don't even know what's out there to find, right?
'''Anatomy for the Artist'''
- Sarah Simblet, John Davis
BEAUTIFUL book, clean high-quality photos of gorgeous perfect-body models. There are many models, along with ink illustrations of bones and muscles in the body, covering each part of the body. Informative (but not terribly instructive) text is throughout. The photos are the great selling point, great reference, with an even male/female split (so rare!), but these are perfect-perfect models; young, muscled, lean. Body variety must be found in other books (good luck, tell me if you find it) .
'''botany for the artist'''
- Sarah Simblet
Though a very different subject, it has many similarities in how the book is structured and designed to Simblet's other book. Lots of great, colorful, detailed photos, with her own ink illustrations and informative text. Lots of information, many interesting plants, and it covers every part of the plant from seed to root to flower. I've found a good artist's plant-book very difficult to find, so I like this.
'''The Worldwide History of Dress'''
- Patricia Rieff Anawalt
A huge tomb, lots of pictures, but an artist Anawalt is not, and this book wasn't intended for them, I found much to my disappointment. This has tons of text, detailing parts of the cultures and how and why each culture's clothing was how it was. While the photos are useful, the text was a hidden treasure. It has details on things from hairstyles to footwears and the hows and whys of them, the proper terms for garments, etc.. Using this together with the internet may prove most useful. The book covers ALL parts of the world, not euro-centric at all, which I was most glad for.
'''How to Draw Manga: Costume Encyclopedia Volume 1, Everyday Fashion'''
I can't say anything about the later volumes, but this one is surprisingly useful. All only ink illustrations, they're clear and great for reference covering common modern clothing articles in broken down sections like 'skirts', 'coats', etc., plus a variety of smaller details like cuffs, sleeves, collars.. (I would not highly recommend most other How to Draw Manga books though.)
'''Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife'''
- David Burnie, Don E. Wilson
While not meant for artists either, it has clear photo images of thousands of animal across the animal kingdom, common and rare alike. It works best as a wide-but-shallow reference for animals, as it doesn't tend to have more than one or two photos on each animal, since it covers so much ground. A big book, and stupidly cheap at $20.
'''Perspective! for Comic Book Artists'''
- David Chelsea
'''Vanishing Point: Perspective for Comics From the Ground Up'''
- Jason Cheeseman Meyer
The first is done in comic-book form, so as best to illustrate how to show different perspectives, and I own it and heard good things from it. The second one I don't own, but have seen it also recommended quite a bit. I'm not sure which is better.
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Done... Ohgods, I really rambled on. My bad.
[EDIT] FUCK I hate the way this forum parses lines!
edited 5th Jan '11 10:59:44 PM by almyki