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The Art of How to Train Your Dragon Hardcover – March 2, 2010
The Amazon Book Review
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About the Author
Tracey Miller-Zarneke is the former Production Department Manager for Walt Disney Feature Animation and author of The Art of Kung Fu Panda, The Art of Meet The Robinsons, and The Art and Making of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
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Flipped a few pages, and saw the unique style of Nicolas Marlet, flipped back to the cover and found that Tracy Miller-Zarneke is the author and the movie's from Dreamworks. Those three names instantly reminded me of quality art book The Art of Kung Fu Panda. I'm glad to say that this book is as good and fun. By the way, Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois are the famed directors here.
Inside the book are more than 350 development artwork, including early character designs, story sketches, and concept paintings. The books is divided into three parts, the dragons, vikings and the environment with stuff like props and houses. Discarded art and characters are also included, like Hiccup's mother - who can cook a mean dish with dragon meat. Accompanying the art are plenty of interesting quotes and commentary from the production staff.
Nicolas Marlet and Simon Otto seem to be the lead character designers responsible for the concept art of the dragons and vikings, although a good amount of designs are actually from Nicolas Marlet. There's a wide range of wackiness and creativity to the drawings. The character digital paintings are great and the colours are really beautiful, kudos to Zhaoping Wei.
The environment paintings from Pierre-Olivier Vincent, art director, are beautiful. This guy really knows how to draw scenic yet precarious backgrounds like sloping hilltops, snow-capped sea arches and Dragon island which is like an ice-cream cone with molten lava as topping. Not only that, his tranquil pieces are also spectacular, National Geographic-spectacular. He has created places you want to visit but probably not because one wrong step and you'll roll down the hill.
There are even a few illustrations from Dominique Louis, who did some pastel concept art for Pixar. His using digital pastels now and there's no difference from his traditional work, I'm glad to say. The fun and stylised houses, statues, weapons, boats and other props are from Kirsten Kawamura and Mel Zwyer.
It's a fantastic book showing the creative prowess of amazing artists. Highly recommended.
By the way, if you missed the "About the Author" section above, I have to mention it here again because Tracey Miller-Zarneke has authored some really great art books that you should check out.
- The Art of Kung Fu Panda
- The Art of Meet the Robinsons
- The Art and Making of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
(More pictures are available on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
The book is stunning, from the incredible cover to all the little drawings once would expect from an art book. Cressdia Cowell's preface sets up the emotion of the collection, and everything flows right in that vein of explaining all the art that went into the movie.
The book is well-organized, its chapters focusing on characters, background, dragons, etc., making a straight-through read logical and a delve for something specific easy. To my surprise and delight, even Cowell's book illustrations have been included to demonstrate the inspirations. Sketches as well as fantastical concept art that seems to exist simply for beauty's sake are all in here. And, as every art book should have, the Powers That Be have included plenty of great notes and thoughts about the work.
This should please fans of art as well as those who simply loved the movie.
This book is without a doubt worth reading, it really helps you appreciate the movie and the people that took the time to make that movie as phenomenal as it is. I would recommend 'The Art of How to Train your Dragon' to anyone that loved the movie or the books; this book is fantastic!
Most recent customer reviews
I got this for the dragon concept art, and while I will always want more (I'm...Read more