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Elysium - The Art of Daarken Hardcover – November 6, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Mike "Daarken" Lim is an exceptional painter, draftsman, designer, and all around artist.”
-- Michael Phillippi, Lead Concept Artist, EA Mythic, managed Mike "Daarken" at EA Mythic, December 12, 2009

“Consummately talented, Incredibly hard working. A true master and pleasure to work with.”
-- Phillip Chan, Assistant Designer, EA Mythic, worked with Mike "Daarken" at EA Mythic, May 10, 2009

About the Author

Mike "Daarken" Lim graduated Cum Laude from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco back in 2004 with a BFA in traditional illustration.

Daarken began working professionally in 2004 and has worked for clients like Wizards of the Coast, Blizzard, Honda, EA, Fantasy Flight Games, Kabam, Trion, Big Huge Games, Widescreen Games, Digital Extremes and BreakAway Games. Some of his projects include Magic: The Gathering, the World of Warcraft TCG, Rift, Kingdoms of Amalur, Warhammer Online, concepts for the 2012 Honda Civic commercial and various other incarnations of the Warhammer IP.

Daarken specialises in traditional media (oils, watercolor, acrylics), Photoshop, After Effects, HTML, Flash, Google SketchUp, BodyPaint, Illustrator, Painter, and Camtasia. In 2003 his work was selected for his school's annual Spring Show, and in 2004 he won 1st place in Advanced Art Elective. In 2009 Daarken's painting "Poised" was chosen to hang in the Museum of American Illustration in New York for the Spectrum Annual Exhibition. He has also been featured in Spectrum 12-18.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: 3DTotal Publishing (November 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956817130
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956817136
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 9 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #608,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Parka TOP 50 REVIEWER on January 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Length: 1:25 Mins
Here's the artbook of Mike Lim, better known as Daarken. His website and blog are worth checking out also if you can't get enough from this 200-page hardcover.

This is a concept art book featuring mainly character designs he has created for publications, video games and other projects. The focus is on fantasy art so you'll see work from Magic: The Gathering, World of Warcraft, Dungeons & Dragons, Kingdoms of Amalur and his other personal projects.

The character designs are great. Very cool and striking. The later pages departs from the fantasy genre with pages of figure drawing sketches, portrait paintings and his landscape drawings of urban city streets. I had thought that the city street paintings were actually photographs at first because of the amazing realistic lighting. On closer inspection, you can see how the scene is interpreted and painted.

Right at the back is a walkthrough of the cover creating process. Throughout the book, there are also commentary for selected illustrations.

Recommended to fantasy art lovers and Daarken fans.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Black Diamond on October 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Elysium has just arrived today. I really love it! The printing quality, the layout and design are all perfect together. I love to collect Artbook but this book is the best artbook I have ever had. I have read through it all in one day and it's also insightful and helpful for every artist. I think even for the people who are not artists can learn many things through his experience too. For artists this is absolutely right one that we all should have on the shelf.
Many work that are in the book have description for techniques and guides for specific purposes such as styles and clients. The short tutorial at the back is really good and easy understanding. All the questions that I have, this book have answers for them.
It's such a inspiring and I'm looking forward to future book. I'm glad that I purchased it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Fred on November 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is a must-have book for the aspiring digital artist as well as for the professional who wants to compare notes and techniques with an exceptional artist. It is a very well-written book that includes tons of fantastic illustrations showing the vast, all-encompassing talents of Daarken as an illustrator and as a concept artist. I found this book to be educational and enjoyable and came up appreciating the artist more realizing the talent, hard work, planning and design that went into its production. For the rest of us non-artists but art lovers it is a book worth having as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P Czyzewski on July 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This art work was one of my favorite in games and in this book. I highly enjoyed the work that was put into this and am hoping for more to come. I hope the Kindoms of Amalur and this artist will make a longer lasting game . The art and the game that had this type of art was flawlessly ,perfect , beyond , perfection. Thank you.
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Format: Hardcover
The team at 3DTotal never cease putting out great publications. The quality of everything they do is top notch, and "Elysium - The Art of Daarken" is no exception. This is a 5-star print, no doubt.

The art featured inside, however, is probably 3-star or 4-star if I'm being generous. I LOVE fantasy art and concept-style illustration. But after perusing "Daarken's" portfolio via this book, I was left a little under-impressed. He has a number of technical flaws that persist through a lot of his illustrations and digital paintings that really catch my critical eye. While he is fantastic with light, shadow and color, perspective and scaling mistakes distract me on a number of the full-page illustrations in this book. The work on hard-surface (armor, metal, etc) painting within the book is superb. But I can't escape those half-dozen or so "glaring" technical flaws.

So, why five stars? Well, I can't in good conscience subtract points from a book as well assembled and produced as this one, just because I have a few hiccups in appreciating the featured artist. A thousand people could look at this art and never see the problems I see. For example, I was telling my wife that the art was interesting, but I couldn't get past the flaws. I showed her an image, and my wife said, "Oh, that's pretty good." And I said, "No, it's not. Look at this leg. Look where it bends, and the direction it goes. That's either anatomically incorrect, or the use of light and shadow there is completely and utterly wrong." Upon closer inspection, she agreed that it was off. But she would have never seen it without it being pointed out. And that's why the art is still valid. My knack for finding flaws is a flaw in the translation of my appreciation for it. It is not a reflection into the book itself.
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By Ricco on November 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is the first "Art of" book I check out for an Artist rather than, say, a game or movie; and not just any artist, but Daarken. I'm trying my best to stay focused on reviewing the book rather than the artist so forgive me if I veer off.

What made me give this book a 5/5 is not because it's Daarken's book but because there is text and not just filled with a bunch of paintings slapped together. Obviously, "Art of" books are not tutorial books so I don't expect the artist to describe what he's doing. Besides, trying to guess and making your own judgement is part of the fun of "Art of" books. What I like is the fact that Daarken separates the different types of paintings and writes from his experience a bit on each type.

The book has a hardcover whose artwork was done by, of course, Daarken himself.

The chapters, as I mentioned above, are split into types of artworks: Illustration, Concept Art, Fine Art and Painting Workshop. Daarken shares artworks from his personal portfolio, work he's done for games or his own studies from past workshops. I like this side of him that makes him so down to earth; rather than just show his best works and leave it at that, he shares process, thoughts and growth. I think that's brilliant.

The book is a great resource for ideas as well as understanding more of how it is to work as a professional artist [self-employed]. Get it, you'll enjoy it.
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