Most art instruction books show you how to draw or paint something you can see: a still life, a landscape, or a portrait. But what if you want to make a realistic. “Gurney’s Imaginative Realism is a goldmine for artist’s wanting to create images that sing with Posted by James Gurney at Monday, September 07, Imaginative Realism by James Gurney, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide.

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Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return realjsm Book Page. Preview — Imaginative Realism by James Gurney. From the award-winning artist, gureny to see and shape the world in a way you never before imagined. An award-winning fantasy artist and the creator of DinotopiaJames Gurney instructs and inspires in Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn’t Exist.

Renowned for his uncanny ability to incorporate amazing detail and imagination into stunningly realistic fantasy settings From the award-winning artist, learn to see and shape the world in a way you never before imagined. Renowned for his uncanny ability to incorporate amazing detail and imagination into stunningly realistic fantasy settings, James Gurney teaches budding artists and fans of fantasy art step-by-step the techniques that won him worldwide critical acclaim.

This groundbreaking work examines the practical imaginatige for creating believable pictures of imaginary subjects, such as dinosaurs, ancient Romans, alien creatures, and distant worlds.

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Beginning with a survey of imaginative paintings from the Renaissance to the golden Age of American illustration, the book then goes on to explain not just techniques like sketching and composition, but also the fundamentals of believable world building including archaeology, architecture, anatomy for creatures and aliens, and fantastic engineering.

It concludes with details and valuable advice on careers in fantasy illustration, including video game and film concept art and toy design. More than an instruction book, this is the ultimate reference for fans of science fiction and fantasy illustration. Episodes II and III ” Imaginative Realism is an indispensable, flawless reference for vision makers in any discipline to create their own imaginative realms.

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Lists with This Book. Nov 17, Parka rated it it was amazing Shelves: More pictures at parkablogs. This book is as good as I expected. He dispenses his knowledge as freely as he does on his blog. Here’s what he says about his own book from the introduction: This is not a book about figure drawing, anatomy, or perspective.

It’s not a step-by-step guide on how to draw dinosaurs. It’s also not a recipe book for a particular paint technique, although all these topic More pictures at parkablogs.

It’s also not a recipe book for a particular paint technique, although all these topics are addressed in passing. What this book contains is a distillation of the time-tested methods that I’ve found to jmes most rezlism for achieving realism in imaginative pictures. In every chapter, James Gurney shares with us what he learned when realidm his paintings. There are topics on people, dinosaurs, architecture, vehicles, composition reaism his step-by-steps not gurnwy but process.

The tips he gives imxginative be applied on other subjects as well. The importance of research is emphasized and the amount of research he does really shows. While creating an illustration on ship wreckage for National Geographic, he talked to survivors to get an accurate account.


He found out there’s a drummer boy who used his drum as a float and drew that in. He also acted out the various poses of sailors in distress, rather than drawing them from imagination. The result is a painting that tells its story convincingly. The same goes for many of his other paintings. Another interesting read is the story of him trying to design a Dinotopian fire engine.

When he presented his concept art to a professional fire engine designer, it was critiqued to have form but not function. There’s lack of heat protection for the dinosaur, lack of understanding on how water hose works and a complicated water pump design. The revised concept is a huge improvement in believability that I thought it actually might work.

He has provided lots of photos and his own work in the reealism. You’ll get to see how he stages the props for reference, sketches and drafts, plenty of commissioned work especially from National Geographicthe bird on his shoulder while he’s drawing, the lousy-art incinerator he created from mirrors and other entertaining stuff.

Imaginative Realism is an enlightening and fun read. Highly recommended to professionals, beginning art students and those who wish to push their art to the next level in terms of depth. Be sure to check out more work imaginatiive writing from James Gurney at gurneyjourney. On his blog, he talks about his work, art theories, insights and news from the creative field. Oct 28, Diane Kistner rated it it was amazing.

Imaginative Realism : How to Paint What Doesn’t Exist

Now that I’ve been through it, I know he will absolutely love it–but I loved it, too! I was absolutely enthralled by the book. I had no idea what goes into producing effective fantasy artwork, and now I can better appreciate my son’s skill–and even remark on his technique gutney of just saying “that’s really nice.

Some chapters are subject-oriented people, creatures, architecture, history and archaeology, etc.

Imaginative Realism : James Gurney :

All of the chapters are largely structured to demonstrate under-the-hood methods and techniques to achieve particular imaginativr, and we can see how the works unfolded in Gurney’s studio through various stages.

Gurney even shares timeframes for completion increasing my appreciation for what goes into works like these that I think most aspiring artists will find helpful.

The material and techniques are presented succinctly, in engaging two-page spreads, designed to give names gist so that intermediate-level and professional artists can draw immediate conceptual benefit without bewildering beginners and non-artists with a lot of technical information.

Gurney stresses that his approach is suitable for both digital and hands-on illustration. Excellent Recommended Reading and Glossary sections appear in the back to entice and inform all levels of readers, and the Index is well-organized and complete.

At the beginning of the book, a Studio section takes us into Gurney’s studio and gives some great ideas for making tools at low cost as well as how imaginativ to conserve the more expensive ones. I saw at least one thing I can give my son as a graduation present: Imaginarive book ends with a Careers section that I found especially reassuring. Here I was worrying about my son’s ability to find a job with an art degree, but now I feel a lot better about his prospects.

I liked the typeface on the back cover so much, this seventies-era typographer went on a hunt for it: Engaging with this book really brought back for me my own creative exploits when I was a young adult about my son’s age, and “that’s really nice.


Jun 17, Ben Chandler rated it it was amazing. Gurney’s imaginaitve to painting the imaginary is thoroughly detailed, carefully put together and covers an exhaustive list of topics. The methods and materials he documents, the techniques, disciplines and theories he covers and the examples he provide are not only educational the first time, they’re also excellent sources to reference after reading. I highly gurrney this book to anybody who has learned the basics of painting and wants to begin incorporating some advanced ideas and principles into t Gurney’s guide to painting the imaginary is thoroughly detailed, carefully put together and kmaginative an exhaustive list of topics.

I highly recommend this book to anybody jamew has learned the basics of painting and wants to begin incorporating some advanced ideas and principles into their work. It has changed the imagibative I paint every day at work – I can hardly give it higher praise than this. Nov 12, Void lon iXaarii rated it liked it. The artwork is great, imaginatiev the stories are very interesting, but as per the subtitle I was honestly expecting a bit more on the techniques and teaching rather than showing off his great works.

Still, much reaoism for thought and a lot of inspiring work ethic. Dec 26, daisy rated it really liked it. Jan 13, Trike rated it it was amazing Shelves: My first 5-star book of the year. James Gurney is most famous for creating the Dinotopia books, but he’s a painter who has also done a lot of Science Fiction and Fantasy book covers as well as a ton of work imaginatuve National Geographic. Imaginative Realism is aimed primarily at artists, but if you have an interest in art and the nuts and bolts of creating it, you’ll probably like this book as it is akin to the behind-the-scenes features on a DVD.

By the equivalent of Coppola or Kubrick. It’s amazing to My first 5-star book of the year. It’s amazing to see the lengths Gurney goes to create a painting.

Beyond just using photo references and imaginativw drawings, he builds models and maquettes in order to test shadows and foreshortening, among other things.

Some of his dioramas are quite elaborate. The research he does is impeccable and thorough. He really thinks this stuff out. I have a whole new appreciation of his craft.

You’ll also learn things as Gurney talks about the specifics of how to achieve a certain effect, or the history behind a style of imabinative.

I even learned a couple new words, such as pareidolia, which is the natural human tendency to see faces in objects. It really is jam-packed with information. This book is superbly laid imaginatibe as well, something other book designers could learn from.

Also on display are a variety of terrific paintings, with realissm few suffering from “gutter loss” by being splashed across two pages. This book is a great tool for artists but also extremely informative for those interested in art in general or Gurney’s in particular.

James Gurney — Imaginative Realism

Dec gurrney, I Read rated it really liked it Shelves: An interesting insight into how an artist creates fantastical worlds. This book isn’t really a tutorial book on drawing, but much can be learnt from it. You will gain endless tips from it’s study and it will fill you with ideas and inspiration.