- Paperback: 120 pages
- Publisher: Donning Company Publishers (December 1977)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 091544237X
- ISBN-13: 978-0915442379
- Package Dimensions: 10.5 x 8.2 x 0.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,870,232 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Frank Kelly Freas: The Art of Science Fiction Paperback – December, 1977
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Stated first edition. 8 1/2" x 11", 120 page trade paperback is bound in green pictorial wrappers. A near fine copy. There is a 1/4" diagonal crease at the front wrapper's lower right corner. Color and black & white illustrations through-out.
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This excellent Hugo-winning illustrator doesn't just show his works, but tells stories about them - his struggles to break into the field, pestering art directors and editors, John Campbell prominent among them. He tells of the difficulties and delights of particular artworks. Excerpt: "By the time i finished, about four AM, I was half blind and totally exhausted. I didn't give two hoots in hell what the painting looked like." Across on the facing page is the full-page size painting - most of his works are reproduced full-page with no margins, in some cases shown larger than the orginal work - and you won't care how many hoots he gave, for the painting is rich in detail, tells of time passing, aging, progression of character, and a vast black sky with but two sparkling stars that makes a mood i wouldn't know how to put in words. Many of his images, while physically static as dried ink on paper, do evoke a sense of motion, of spirited interaction. He is a great character designer, too.
If you are an artist, art student, or art admirer, this is an educational book. For one painting, he explains why the swarm of stars swooshed diagonally the way it does, why the rocket exhaust has a large rounded flare to pacify an otherwise abrupt sense of motion. The book ends with a Soapbox, what we might call a rant these days, intelligently written, about what an artist (or art student) should know - how to tell a story visually, to understand colors, light and shadow. Some points he makes include that good art comes out of an alchemy of freedom and discipline, and that a professional artist must reach beyond personal concerns, but reflect the preoccupations of the era.