I have a few projects going on in the studio that I'll be finishing up before I show anything on here. In the meantime I've decided to write about art books that have made a mark on me and how I create. As artists we gain insight and inspiration by looking at the work of other artists, past and present. Websites are great, but I personally love having a physical, tangible source to look at when I'm in my studio. It also doesn't help that I don't get Wi-FI down in my studio :P
While I bought this particular book last June it has remained close to my drafting table and easel, easily accessible at all times to browse through when I need a little shot of creative juice. Many people who follow this blog probably know his work or maybe even know him. Several of us who studied at the Illustration Master Class had the honor of having his father as an instructor, the fantasy illustrator Boris Vallejo. Hosting an all-day open studio in his own home every Saturday or Sunday, Dorian Vallejo is an easily accessible and generous artist who is always willing to help out with technical advice, life lessons, and just a great conversationalist. His portraits capture more than just the likeness of the sitter, he is able to bring their personality to life on canvas. But his first art book doesn't chronicle his career as a portraitist or even showcase any of his portrait commissions. This book is entirely personal work. Specifically they're his life drawings.
Now, don't expect a book with academic drawings of figures created from life. There is nothing Atelier about his work, nor is there any hint of specific formulas. Dorian is a master technician, wielding his drawing tool with the precision of a Ninja swordsman. But he is also playful with his media. This sets him apart from a lot of other representational artists. He has a voice all his own, and every page you turn yields a delightful feast to the eyes. Anyone can place a nude on a page and call it a day. Dorian creates a thoughtful narrative with every drawing he presents. These wonderfully gestural and rhythmic creations appeal to the senses. You want to reach in and join the figures as they dance on the page, or engage you with a beckoning stare. Anyone who genuinely appreciates art depicting the human form will fall instantly in love with this book, and rightfully so. It is a visual feast for the eyes. Here are some images from the pages inside:
For an incredibly reasonable price he will create a drawing inside for you. On his site he has a gallery of some of these Collector's Edition drawings that are enough to entice anyone. For more information on the book and the artist, visit here: