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The Art of Silver Hardcover – April, 2004
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The introduction portion briefly covers his professional career from mall caricaturist to character designer for the big studios. The first two pages show us Stephen's earliest works, to encourage the reader that no matter where they are at - they can improve with due diligence and practice.
"Passion" is a word that Stephen Silver uses in his book - and it exemplifies the work we're seeing within it. I highly recommend "The Art of Silver" for students young and old who are interested in illustration and drawing. Make no mistake, this isn't a how-to book - think of it as an album of great artwork collected over the years, fit for admiration and further study.
This book would have received a 5 star rating - but I detracted one star for the book's binding. Handle this book with care, as the binding is incredibly weak. (The first copy had its binding split, and the replacement copy I received is also showing similar signs...)
I'm a fan of classic Disney, Rockwell, Racham, Maria Pascual, Peter De Sève, Claire Wendling... I like realistic illustrations, or ones with beautiful lines. I'm not a fan of graphic characters -- with one exception: Stephen Silver's style. There is so much movement in his work and the lines are so beautiful that I do not mind the oversimplicity of the shapes. I still prefer to create more realistic illustrations in my own art, but I continue to be charmed by Silver's work.
Bottom line, this is a great book. If you are looking for more polished work, perhaps you should choose one of his newer offerings, but if like me you wish to see how a young man becomes a famous artist, this is the one to get.
The Art of Silver is his personal sketchbook filled character sketches, a few caricatures and figure drawings, as well as some work he did for various animation studios. He uses a variety of medium including pens, colour pencils, markers, charcoal, etc. The myriad style and versatility is amazing, as it's the asset of a good character designer. Be it the rough sketches or smooth lines, all his characters have character and looks fun.
Throughout the pages, he also shares a few tips on drawing and creating characters, including how he manages to create so many different styles. There's even a short but inspiring autobiography on how he started out.
Note that the third edition of the book sports a white cover, with an additional 16 bonus pages. I'm not sure if Amazon's actually selling the third edition. If not, you can get it at Stephen Silver's online store.
Character designers should find this book an interesting reference.
(More pictures are available on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)