Your Favourite Art Books From 2008 Contest Results

Thanks to everyone for participating in the 2008 favourite art books contest. The response is not bad. Maybe I'll hold another one for 2009.

The winner for this contest/lucky draw is yash gupta. Congratulations, you've won yourself a $20 Amazon voucher!

Below are the other entries from other readers who left their comments. I've provided links back to the readers' websites, and the books are linked to Amazon.

There are lots of books I've not seen before. Thanks for the recommendations!


1. Shadowline, the Iain McCaig artbook. It has some of the nicest printing I've seen in a while, and as I'm particularly fond of his sketches, it's definitely one of my favorites. Link: Iain McCaig homepage

2. Art of Paul Bonner. Lots of art, very high quality prints, and plenty of stuff I hadn't seen before. Link: Paul Bonner homepage

3. Mark Schultz, Various Drawings 3 - I really like seeing the process work in these, and I think this one's the best of the bunch. Mark Schultz doesn't get nearly as much attention as he merits, IMO. Link: wikipedia page for Mark Schultz.

Francis Vallejo

1. N.C. Wyeth: Catalogue Raisonn: BEAUTIFUL repros over 700 pages. A staggering amount of his work is reproduced. Finally a fitting book for this legendary and influential artist. Great photos of his studio. A good balance of smaller thumbnails and full page spreads. Good literature as well. Link: wikipedia page for N.C.Wyeth.

2.VICTOR PROUVÉ (1858-1943): Terrific book on the often overlooked French artist. With a hint of Toulouse Lautrec and Sargent, along with scupltures, Prouve is a great inspiration.

3. JC Leyendecker by Laurence S. Cutler
Again one of the greatest illustrators to live receives a gorgeous book with great reproductions of all his covers from Colliers to the SE Post. It's a good year for Golden Age Illustrators. Now we just need a Mead Schaeffer book!!!


1. Fables Covers: The Art of James Jean. With preliminary sketches included for the works it is a wonderful capturing of one of the hottest illustrators recently. Link: James Jean homepage

2. Classical Painting Atelier: by Juliette Aristides. A detailed look into the return of realism in figurative painting. This book is flat out wonderful, a great read, and print wise has great color. Her drawing book companion from 2006 is also a must for any artist.

3. Spectrum 15: Consistently good printing, wonderful imagery, and where else do you ever get to see an collection of talent of this caliper? Link: Spectrum homepage


1. Art of Kung Fu Panda: What can I say? This is one of the best "art of" books out there. It's up there with The Art of Mulan and The Art and Making of Monster House (also my favorites). Nicolas Marlet is brilliant too!

2. The Totoro Forest Project: Sadly, I do not own the book, but from seeing pictures of the book and all of the artwork on the site, I can already tell that it's an amazing book. All for a good cause too! They're in the talks of a second printing, so I'm prepared to pounce on that! I might just break and get the 1st printing (goes for $200!!).

3. Art of the Modern Movie Poster: International Postwar Style and Design: A monstrous book with movie posters from around the world. There are more than 1,500 images in it. A great book for illustrators, designers, and movie buffs alike.


1. The Art of Kung Fu Panda
The art book of the year.

2. Street Fighter Tribute
I love Street Figther and Udon.So this album had to be second.

3. The art of Walle
Great movie and great art book.

Vinod Rams

1. Shadowline: The art of Iain McCaig
Been waiting for it forever. It's great to see some of his non-Star Wars stuff, like the Princess of Mars concepts. I love the personality and sensitivity in his sketches.

2. The Art of Paul Bonner:
The level of detail in his art is amazing and it’s great to finally have a huge collection in one book! The book is big and chunky too!

3. Blade of the Immortal Illustration collection
Another book I’ve been waiting to come out for years! It has a good mix of his old and new covers as well as the amazing grayscale chapter heads.

Peter S

1. "Walt Disney Animation Studio Archive: Story." A wonderful collection of storyboards, showing not just just how pencils drawing depict and diagram movement, but how pencil marks can themselves seems to move.

2. "Willie & Joe: The WWII Years." Watch Bill Mauldin develop as an artist in wartime, with cartoon linework steadily transformed into slumping, slouching, muddy, inky masterpieces.

3. "Alexander Calder: The Paris Years 1926-1933." The catalog captures the playfulness of Calder, whose uses wire and metal like a kind of drawing in the air.

Three runners-up: Lynda Barry, "What It Is" (a wonderful comic/diary/sketchbook/writing workshop/collage); Kramer's Ergot 7. (comic artists working at tabloid size, like the Sunday funnies of the early 20th century; Hiroshige, "The Sixty-Nine Stations of the Kisokaido" (like floating).


1- watching the watchmen - an exhaustive look at Gibbon's work on a true classic of the genre. anyone who wants to be a comic artist should be held and down and forced to look at the amount of work needed to do 12 issues.

2- retroactive - darwyn cooke a neat coffee table book by someone whose style can actually stand up to the enlargement of the pieces!

3 - the art of herge vol 1 - a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes of a master - the foremost practicioner of the belgian "clean line" technique

Sanndra SF

1. Kungfu panda - Amazing artbook,saw this book review from a magazine, then found this book in KINOKUNIYA. From character design to environment setting, this book give quality information and really worth to have it.

2. The art of Sparth, Structura - I am a big fan of sci-fi art. i can't wait to see the book after i ordered it from Amazon. The author,Nicolas Bouvier is a very creative person. I like all his works.

3. HellBoy Library Destruction Devil V.1 - For me it is super good book, the book in hardcover, full color printing,high quality paper. The art works is great and fantastic.


1. Okami official complete works
The book has beautiful artwork in one of my favorite mediums - watercolor & ink. I haven't even played the game, but the art in this book is just stunning and there's nearly 300 pages of it. The US version was finally released last summer, I recommend picking this one up ASAP.

2. Iain Mccaig's Shadowline
Ok, I don't actually have this yet (on order), however I've really liked Mccaig's linework since I first saw it in the SW Episode I artbook. There's something nice in his character drawings, expecting more of the same goodness in this book.

3. An Illustrated Life
I haven't bought other 2008 released artbooks this year, so my third pick is something I don't personally have.
Anyway, this book looks interesting and it's quite cheap. Although it doesn't have pro quality art the content still looks intriguing, kind of like what's in the Postsecret-book or a collection of flickr posts of sketchbook pages. There's a preview video on the youtube for this

yash gupta

1. Kungfu Panda
Awesome character designs. Love how they've managed to play with the big round body of Po.

2. Art of wall-E
Explores everything from robots to aliens to fat blobby humans. bonus:Eve is designed in collaboration with apple product designer.

3. Art of Bolt
Ordered it on will be getting it soon. Love character designs of Rhino. And the book does not contain too many movie stills is a plus.

Andre Kishimoto

1. The Art of Kung Fu Panda
Lots of character designs. The setting of the movie is beautiful and the book is superb (loved the dragon pressed in the front hardcover)

2. The Art of Halo 3
After beating the game, seeing the (art)work behind the masterpiece is something I really enjoyed.

3. Udon's Street Fighter Tribute
Udon kick a**, and the fact that this book contains hundreds of incredible works from around the globe is just great. You can notice various styles and influences here.

Here's my list of top ten art books for 2008. All links are to my book reviews.
linesandcolors has also compiled a useful list of list of art books. The lists includes a variety of art books across different genres, styles and mediums.

That's all.

Thanks everyone for participating!

The Venice Chronicles from Enrico Casarosa

The Venice Chronicles from Enrico Casarosa

If you love sketchbooks or watercolors, you'll love The Venice Chronicles. It's a sketchbook, travelogue, comic thrown into a sturdy hardcover book with a love story at its core.

The artist is Enrico Casarosa, a story artist at Pixar. He has a blog where he post lots of artwork and thoughts so be sure to check it out!

The sketches in the book are wonderful and watercolor beautiful. The characters are appealing and, well, real. I can't remember if I've seen water colour comics before but there it is in this unique book. The story is about his travel with his girl.

Included also is a section on how they met, and how he used his drawings to attract her attention — of course!

Enrico has created a Flickr set for the book where you can read the pages, best viewed in slideshow mode.

The Venice Chronicles from Enrico Casarosa

The Venice Chronicles from Enrico Casarosa

You can also check out the creative process of the book on Enrico's Flickr photoset titled The making of The Venice Chronicles, also best viewed in slideshow mode. I love the photo of him painting and carrying the baby at the same time — multitasking creative talent.

The Venice Chronicles from Enrico Casarosa

If you like the book, do support him by purchasing a copy.

The books are available on:
Enrico's online store | | | | |

Amazon sells it cheaper though. Reviews are already in on Amazon and they are very positive.


This is a nice short film that shows that everyone could do with a little validation, and a smile.

Superman and Emma Frost Speed Paint Tutorial

These are done by friend Kelvin Chan, who also collects a lot of art books. He has a deviantart page also, with lots of great art.

One's on Superman, obviously, and the other is on Emma Frost.

Fantagraphics BEASTS Art Exhibition & 2nd Anniversary Gala

Beasts! Book 2 is coming out. And Beasts! Book 1 is in the third reprint and is also coming out. This entry is more on the art exhibition for the two books!

Fantagraphics Books just held a Beasts! exhibition & 2nd Anniversary Gala on 13 Dec 2008. It sure looks like lots of fun from the pictures.

Somehow I managed to find out that they have a Flickr account. They do book previews like I do, and they flip pages too!! They have a Youtube account as well, where they post their event videos, in additional to their flipping-page videos.

Here are some photos from their event, which I found on Flickr.

And video.

There are more photos on their Flickr set.

You can also check out the list of books they have on their online bookstore.

Beasts! Book 1 (slightly cheaper) and Beasts! Book 2 are going to be available on Amazon soon as well. Meanwhile, you can read the reviews for Beasts! Book 1.

Laundry day by Guillaume

I thought this was freaking hilarious animation done by Guillaume.

Simple set. Almost real situation. Great acting (expression) and voice acting. Good twist at the end. All elements of good storytelling.

Animation Road Show Blog

Animation Road Show BlogThe animation road show blog is part of the Labyrinth bookstore in Toronto, Ontaio Canada. They specialize in books on illustration, animation, as well as thousands of graphic novels and manga.

I think it's really cool for art book stores to have blogs. It's great for keeping customers up to date with new books and providing recommendations. Not only that, it also increases the exposure for the books, especially so if the customer is not local, like me.

This is a great website to bookmark, or add to RSS feed, if you want to keep up with new art book releases.

Typobloger: A Typography Class Blog

TypobloggerI found another blog that's almost as interesting as

This one's called Typoblogger. It says on their welcome that it's community site for ALL of Genevieve Williams' typography classes at SVA. The main site features lots of typography resources.

It's the links posted on the sidebar that's interesting. It seems to me that everyone in the class has to create their own blog. Not only that, they have to post up their type assignments online. It's great to see the fresh ideas from students starting out.

Vector Infographics from 24horas

Infografia 24horasThis website features mainly vector style infographics. They are for a Portuguese newspaper called 24 horas.

I downloaded some of the graphics from But I never actually found out which paper it was from because I kept typing the wrong keywords. Today, I found that it had a blog called infografia 24horas.

I really love the vector style, tight control and yet bold colour usage. Every graphic is eye catching, every one so inviting to read. The paper really have a great art department.

This website is in Portuguese. But you can easily translate it by searching for the site in Google and then hitting "translate this page" link provided.

Different Hits for Flickr and Deviantart

Empire State Building
This same photo currently has over 1500 views in deviantart and less than 100 views in Flickr.

I don't think it was because I featured it on my deviantart profile page. It already had way more views at that time.

Interesting how different web community works.

Rise in Infographics Blogs, Websites And Resources

I do a lot of search on infographics blogs and websites for examples and references where artists use graphics to present information.

There has been an increasing number of websites devoted to the topic of infographics over the years, although I can't put a number to it. I've bookmarked all of the ones listed below on Delicious tagged infographics and even more that were not listed.

Here's a list that I frequent, via RSS. Also check out their blog roll, or favourite links, as they point to even more resources.

News Page Designer
This is where page designers, graphic artists, and infographics journalists submit their work to. It's like the Flickr or Youtube for newspaper page design. The variety ranges from simple graphic charts to award winning infographics.

Cool Infographics Blog
This blog was created in July 2007. Currently, it has over 200 postings. The blog features interesting infographics that appear in print and on the web.
I'll quote from their About page. " intends to be a unified resource space for anyone interested in the visualization of complex networks. The project's main goal is to leverage a critical understanding of different visualization methods, across a series of disciplines, as diverse as Biology, Social Networks or the World Wide Web."

In short, they try to bring across information with cool, and sometimes abstract, graphics.

Designing the News
This blog looks at the visual elements used in newspapers, including infographics.

Presenting numerical information through graphics is what this website is all about.

Infographic News
Yes, now there are news about infographics as well. This blog features a great collection of infographics in print and on the web.

information aesthetics
Their tag "form follows data, data visualization & visual communication". There are lots of examples on data visualization on their blog.

Simple Complexity
Another great blog with lots of infographics from around the world.

A Beautiful WWW
This blog is about creating graphics for the web. Their tag "information retrieval, information visualization, data mining, artificial intelligence, web programming"

Stat Graphics & Data Visualization
Presenting statistics with graphics. Lots of charts, pies and lines.

Illustrations Infographics
New blog with infographics

War infographics
New blog with infographics

Seattle Sketches
When sketches and infographics meet.

This artist has some great infographics. His illustrations has a strong lines.

Pasión por Ilustración
That's Spanish for Passion for Illustration. Lots of behind the scenes blogging for graphics produced.

Infografia 24horas
I really love the simplistic style. Infographics that does the job superbly, bring information across in an easy to absorb way. This blog is in Spanish

This blog is in Spanish and it features some stunning infographics and thinking.

Alberto Cairo's website
There are courses, student projects and other lots of infographics related resources and content.

Book Review: Work: The World in Photographs

The 190 evocative, wonderfully varied images collected from here span well over a century, from photography's early decades in the 19th century to the first years of a new millennium.
- A section from the book jacket

The collection of photographs showcases people of different jobs going about with their daily chores.

I like how each photo transports me to the scene where the photographer stood. One moment, I'm beside people cycling to work in the rain, the next, I'm watching workers mine sulfur. And it goes on and on. Although I might never visit these places, the feeling of being there just by looking at the photos is satisfying enough.

This book is not just about the different occupations, it's about religion, culture and people's way of life.

Book Review: Brother Bear: A Transformation Tale

I would say this is more of a production diary from one of the artists. Included are some concept art, paintings and storyboards.

The book details the journey for creating the animated movie. It's like how the artists look at their work and think about what they have done, how far they have come. It's more emotional talk than technical talk.

I wish they had included more art because they are terrific.

Visit the link beside to read more reviews on Amazon. If you buy from the link, I get a little commission that helps me get more art books for review.

Country-specific Amazon links for this book: | | | |

Check out other books I've reviewed also, with pictures:
Art book list | Design book list

Book Review: A Bug's Life: The Art and Making of an Epic of Miniature Proportions

This is a gigantic book. It is actually quite difficult to shoot the video of me flipping the huge landscape pages.

This book is a delight to read, just like the first Toy Story art book. It's filled with great stories from the production floor, tons of storyboards, pastel drawings, movie stills, concept art, character design and inspiration.

The focus of the book, other than the art, is on the story aspect, the function behind the form. Explanation in details were given on why things happen, why characters behave like who they are and how they evolve, in terms of design.

Too many books out there are just compilation of great art pieces with nothing to say about it. This book is different. This book made me feel. And that's what's set this book and the Toy Story art book apart from all other art books. It's the emotional connection that's almost impossible to create just by art itself, story is needed.

The Art of A Bug's Life

The Art of A Bug's Life

The Art of A Bug's Life

The Art of A Bug's Life

The Art of A Bug's Life

Visit the link beside to read more reviews on Amazon. If you buy from the link, I get a little commission that helps me get more art books for review.

Country-specific Amazon links for this book: | | | |

The Making of F1 Infographics 2008

The Singapore F1 night race is finally over. Over the past few days, The New Paper has been publishing some infographics as coverage for the event. Here's a look at the making of one we've published. Putting together an F1 graphics with so much detail requires great team effort.

F1 Infographics

This is a huge collaboration effort of 4 artists, Chng Choon Hiong, Kelvin Chan and Fadzil Hamzah aka Fuzz. Chng did the caricature for Lewis Hamilton in the middle. Fuzz provided the 3D racetrack. I modeled and rendered the F1 car. The whole thing was then laid out by Kelvin.

Making of F1 Infographics 2008

It's not easy to come up with a fresh concept for F1. As you can see from my collection of F1 infographics, from, most of the ideas have already been used before: racetrack, pit crew, moves, and car designs. Ours is a combination of pit crew, racetrack and the drivers' race suit.

Making of F1 Infographics 2008

This is the wireframe of the McLaren MP4-23. I spent about 2-3 weeks modeling it.

Making of F1 Infographics 2008

Making of F1 Infographics 2008

I've only the blueprint from the top, and even that's a photo of an illustration from the wall at the McLaren press conference. For side profile, I had to rely on photos sourced from Much of the modeling is done by moving the vertices around in 3D with reference to photos. Eye modeling.

At the start of the project, I was actually modeling the Ferrari car. But it became increasingly difficult to do so because of the lack of reference photos. I just couldn't see the form and detail behind the wheels. It didn't help that I don't have the blueprints for the Ferrari 2008 car too.

Luckily, supervisor Hup just came back from a McLaren press conference with tons of close-up high resolution photos. Meanwhile, I received information that there's a McLaren displayed at Paragon shopping centre. And so I went down and took another ton of photos for the McLaren MP4-23.

After that, it's the 2-3 weeks of modeling. It was long because that was on top of other daily work.

Making of F1 Infographics 2008

Here's the render without the official sponsor logos on the car body. I have no idea why but it seems that we don't have copyright to display the official logos. That sounds pretty silly, I know.

Making of F1 Infographics 2008

Making of F1 Infographics 2008

Here you see Kelvin doing some research. We had some F1 magazines and guide books. They provided us with information on the pit crew and graphics on how the cars tackle turns and overtaking.

Making of F1 Infographics 2008 Making of F1 Infographics-2

Making of F1 Infographics 2008

Kelvin had brought his toy model to pose as the pit crew. The model was was fitted with a generic orange uniform. 18 photos were taken, one for each crew.

After the photo shoot, the tedious process of laying out the whole infographics began. The whole project was concluded within an amazing 2 days, excluding the weeks that I spent modeling.

There are some more photos from the Making of F1 Infographics on my Flickr photos set, and the tons of McLaren reference photos.

Book Review: Alchemy of Mirrormask

This book contains a stunning collection of collages by Dave Mckean. Every piece of collage is showcase of creativity and fantasy. The pages are visually saturated from the cover to the last page, a feast for the eyes.

The premise of the book is on the production of the movie Mirrormask. It talks about the production of the movie exclusively. Very little is mentioned about the story, which is not a problem if you have watched the movie.

The thing with collages is, they are typically filled with great textures. This book is no different. It is through the textures of these collages that give this book so much depth.

I felt there could have been more write up on the making of the movie. But this book is essentially 5 stars for the art displayed.

The Alchemy of Mirrormask

The Alchemy of Mirrormask

The Alchemy of Mirrormask

The Alchemy of Mirrormask

The Alchemy of Mirrormask

Visit the link beside to read more reviews on Amazon. If you buy from the link, I get a little commission that helps me get more art books for review.

Country-specific Amazon links for this book: | | | |

Check out other books I've reviewed also, with pictures:
Art book list | Design book list

Book Review: The Art of Spirited Away

The copy I'm reviewing is a Chinese version. The English version from VIZ Media Publishing is essentially the similar in content. Some of the English versions end with movie scripts, some don't.

As usual, there are lots of beautiful sketches on character design and concept art for the environment. They are all painted in traditional media. The bath house on one full page on its own is just breathtaking. There are only a handful of movie stills. Captions below the sketches describe the scene and ideas behind.

At the end of the book are is a short write up on how they used computers to composite some of their cel animation onto the big screen.

I like the movie very much and this book is a perfect complement to it. If you collect Studio Ghibli movie art books, there's no reason not to add this to your collection.

Note that there's another book called Spirited Away Picture Book. It's essentially the movie published as a book. It comprises only off movie stills and the story is written for kids. I actually made the mistake of buying that book before The Art of Spirited Away, which is the real art book.

PS - Oh, the soundtrack for the movie is simply fantastic. One of my all time favourites as well.

If you like this book, you might also want to check out the other art-of books I have reviewed for Studio Ghibli's movies.

The Art of Spirited Away

The Art of Spirited Away

The Art of Spirited Away

The Art of Spirited Away

The Art of Spirited Away

The Art of Spirited Away

Visit the link beside to read more reviews on Amazon. If you buy from the link, I get a little commission that helps me get more art books for review.

Country-specific Amazon links for this book: | | | |

Book Review: Princess Mononoke

Technically, the title of the book should be Princess Mononoke The Art and Making of Japan's Most Popular Film of All Time.

The poems right at the beginning sets the mood immediately: This is going to be a magical film.

This book is generous with concept art, movie stills, paintings, storyboards, layout drawings and a few computer animation tutorials. They are presented chronologically based on the progress of the movie. Captions for the art pieces explain the scenes instead of the concept behind it. In a way, they help relate back to the film.

The environment paintings are fantastic. The richness in details tries, successfully, in creating a world that looks as if it really exist. There's a certain sense of peace in each of them. Character designs are done in water colour, and a delight to look at.

The 3 computer graphics tutorials covers the making of 3D images, multilayer compositing and digital painting. The technology behind the movie's creation process is explained clearly.

This version of book I'm reviewing is published by Miramax Books, Hyperion in 1999. It's pretty much out of print and hard to find. So if you can locate it, you should really buy it. Fans will be jealous of you.

If you like this book, you might also want to check out the other art-of books I have reviewed for Studio Ghibli's movies.

The Art of Princess Mononoke

The Art of Princess Mononoke

The Art of Princess Mononoke

The Art of Princess Mononoke

The Art of Princess Mononoke

The Art of Princess Mononoke

The Art of Princess Mononoke

Visit the link beside to read more reviews on Amazon. If you buy from the link, I get a little commission that helps me get more art books for review.

Country-specific Amazon links for this book: | | | |

Check out other books I've reviewed also, with pictures:
Art book list | Design book list