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Art Books

This page compiles links to art books on anime and video game art, perspective and figure drawing books, and reference art books.

Art and Illustration

Manga: Artbooks and Art Collection Despite the name, this repository includes non-anime themed artbooks as well, though it includes plenty of artbooks for anime, manga, and video games. A gold mine, especially really niche or retro anime or games.

Color and Light by James Gurney Although I am linking the eBook resource which probably is a copyright violation, I actually own a physical copy of this book. James Gurney hosts a wonderful blog and his YouTube videos are really relaxing. This book made me aware of some aspects of light and colour I was not aware of prior to reading it, like reflected light and how a lot of reflected light outdoors is blue because of the sky.

Perspective Drawing

How to Draw by Scott Robertson and Thomas Bertling Like Color and Light, this book is one I physically own. I even asked the vendor at one stage if the book was legally available as an eBook, but it isn't. This is one of the major limitations of many artbooks I find. Anyway, How To Draw taught me how to wrap my brain around perspective and get started drawing environments. I highly recommend this book, it's huge. I still refer to it often and one day I will muster the courage to follow their instructions to draw a car in perspective.

How to Render by Scott Robertson and Thomas Bertling I own a physical copy of this one too. It expands on the content in the first book by focusing on drawing more complex volumes in perspective, complex lighting situations, and drawing textures/rendering volumes so they look three-dimensional and convincing. Like How to Draw, this is a large book but information dense.

Perspective for Comic Book Artists by David Chelsea This perspective book is much more about narrative storytelling done in comics, and includes perspectives for both Western and Japanese comics. It is presented like a comic itself, so it is fun to read.

Figure Drawing

Figure Drawing: Design and Invention by Michael Hampton This is a case of me using this eBook version so much that I ended up purchasing a physical copy. It helped me learn anatomy because I find it really simplifies the shapes into basic volumes like cubes. Drawing the hips and torso as a rectangular volume really helped me improve my drawings and I still am learning from this book years later. It is not the most anatomically correct but if you are struggling to get started with learning anatomy I highly recommend it.

Figure Drawing for All It's Worth by Andrew Loomis If you need help learning how to draw figures then this book will help. It helped me learn the proportions of the human body and some basic perspective.

Reference Artbooks

I found these through the Manga Artbook collection above but there are many more. I am just including a few rare (and old) favorites.

Santa Lilio Sangre - Ayami Kojima Artworks Art Book Ayami Kojima is the artist behind the Castlevania series but her artbooks are notoriously rare to the extent where a physical copy of this is worth over $1000 last I checked, so I have no problems sharing an eBook version. It features high quality scans of her mixed-media illustrations, many of them with a gothic horror and body horror theme. I highly recommend it.

Daicon Films III & IV Art Works The Daicon Opening animations (see the 7-minute animation on Youtube) was the precursor to Studio Gainax which produced anime like Neon Genesis Evangelion. Due to the use of copyright infringement in their animation and choice of music (Electric Light Orchestra) they could never formally release this animation. The artbook shows some of the designs they used, and generally, I would just recommend watching the animation anyway because it's full of energy, great animation, and enthusiasm.

Other Resources

If you want more art and design links check out Art Resources.

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