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Visual Arts Books - The Best of the Best

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People often times pop into here and ask about good books for references. We have a stickied link for internet tutorials and we have a sticked list of software (that needs to be updated a little bit), but we're lacking a good reference of visual arts books. I'm going to list up some of my favorites and hopefully we'll be able to build the list into something worth checking out. Animation The Animator's Survival Kit by Richard Willians 2002 Character Modeling Game Character Development with Maya by Antony Ward 2005 Lighting and Rendering Digital Lighting and Rendering, 2nd ed. by Jeremy Birn 2006 Let's get this one rolling. I'll hop on a bit later to add just a couple more books and to try and organize things a littl better. Don't just post books that you've referenced once or twice. Just post books that are really GOOD.

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I'll post the "Books" section in my Inkscape tutorial, as my opinion is pretty much the same. The only interesting new book I have is the Animator's Survival Kit which is already listed; I haven't yet starting practicing animation but the book itself looks really good.

From the tutorial:

A good book can really help with drawing technique. I can only comment on the books I own and I have not got any on computer art specifically, but here are a few recommendations from my present library on art:

If you are a beginner interested in developing a "comic strip" cartooning style, then I recommend getting a copy of Bruce Blitz's The Big Book of Cartooning. While the writing style is more aimed towards children, the content is suitable for all ages, and Blitz's book has a great coverage of everything involved in creating art for comic strips. Compared to most other "how to draw" books it also has the significant advantage of being rather cheap (art books like programming books tend to be fairly pricey).

For the ever popular Japanese cartoon style I also have several of the How to Draw Manga books. There seems to be about at least six dozen of these and they are fairly expensive for their length, but they are pretty useful for the more detailed manga look. For a beginner you will probably only need the first book in a series to start with - although they all have their strengths and weaknesses if I were pushed to recommend just one to begin with I'd nominate More How to Draw Manga: Vol. 1 The Basics of Character Drawing.

Finally, for life drawing - something that I myself am terrible at - the book I have seen recommended the most is Betty Edwards The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. I have tried working through the lessons in this book myself a few months ago but got diverted on to other things; I will give this another go myself some time soon.

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Anatomy Lessons from the Great Masters
THE definitive resource for form and anatomy. A vital read for any artist looking to further their knowledge of anatomy and understand the human body and how it moves.

Painting and Texturing
Digital Texturing & Painting by Owen Dwemers
An excellent, non-software-specific conceptual and practical approach to all sorts of texturing.

Digital Character Design and Painting by Don Seegmiller
Will really help you understand Photoshop and brush techniques and digital painting, which will also help you paint much better textures.

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