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About Digital Art / Professional Senior Member Qing HanCanada Groups :iconpaintingdigital: PaintingDigital
Digital Painting Masters
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15 Artbooks Recommendations

15 books I recommend for anatomy, art fundamental study and art inspiration. Please note that these are simply my personal recommendations and books that's helped me a lot in the past. 

I've taken photos for these books, so Here's a less image-heavy list (on tumblr)

This took so much longer than I first anticipated so I really hope people find this helpful cause, seriously, spending 3 days on this does not feel like it was worth it ^^;

TL;DR Complete List of books

Anatomy Books


Art Book Recommendations

Anatomy Books

:star: An Atlas of Anatomy for Artists :star: |
One of the best anatomy books I've owned, and shows great draftsmanship from many old masters

:star: The Art of Animal Drawing :star: |
Really simple-to-understand animal anatomy book that breaks down animal forms in simple shapes and explanations

:bulletblue: Anatomy for the Artist :bulletblue: |
This book has some really good photo-references with really pretty models. There are also see-through paper that goes on top of some of the photos that has bones and sometimes muscles that goes on top. Pretty neat.

:bulletblue: Figure Drawing for All It's Worth :bulletblue: |
Andrew Loomis's books are all pretty great, I think. You can probably find his pdfs online but I find things on print easier to absorb for me and I tend to carry my books around. Anyways, this one has some great stuff on perspective and foreshortening.

Animation/ Illustration/ Concept art Skill-set books

Colour Theory

:star: Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter :star: |
:+favlove:I strongly suggest this. Seriously, this is one of the best books I have ever bought. It's really great and really thorough. It's also one of the few art books I've read the text thoroughly front to back.

Concept Art

:bulletblue: The Skillful Huntsman :bulletblue: |
This one is really good if you want to go into concept art. It takes you through the steps of brainstorming to final product and there's a lot of great silhouettes to learn from.

Composition/ Storyboarding

:bulletblue: Dream Worlds: Production Design for Animation :bulletblue: |
Wonderful book on pre-production of animation, and covers from compositions to layout brainstorming, to storyboard colourscripts.


:bulletblue: The Animator's Survival Kit :bulletblue: |
A must-have for animation-beginners, this almost-400 page book is definitely worth your dime if you want to be an animator.

Beginner Perspective

:bulletblue: Perspective Made Easy :bulletblue: |
A small handbook for starting perspective, great for beginners and has lots of info on basic perspective rules and tricks. Also pretty cheap so that was a plus for me xD

Perspective and Design Fundamentals

:star: How to Draw: drawing and sketching objects and environments from your imagination :star: |
A 200+ paged book full of great stuff mainly about perspective as well as design and basic fundamental skills; good for artists of any level, really.

Inspiring Illustration Books

:bulletblue: Art of Pixar: The Complete Colour Script :bulletblue: |
Awesome collection of Pixar's colour scripts and illustrations. Great for colour inspiration

:bulletblue: Art of Tangled :bulletblue: |
Actually all of the art-of books are pretty amazing, and are full of character designs, background/layout designs, colourscripts etc.

:bulletblue: James Jean's Fable Cover Collection :bulletblue: |
I know this book is sold out right now but they might do a reprint again so if you don't have the money for it right now, keep an eye out. I remember the original price to be around $40 so it was definitely worth the beautiful illustrations inside. James Jean is one of my favourite illustrators so I just had to put this up here even though the book's sold out xD;

:bulletblue: Spectrum Collection :bulletblue: |
Any of Spectrum's collection of contemporary illustrations are all really great and very industry-standard. Great inspiration illustrations

:bulletblue: Bouguereau :bulletblue: |
I just had to add a master painter in there. Bouguereau is one of my absolute favourite painters along with John Sargent. Seriously, if you have a chance, get their books and do master-studies off of their paintings. They REALLY help with realism.
Thanks for looking~! If you made it to the end, here's a cookie~ :cookie:
If you only have a chance to get just one or two of these books, I've highlighted my top 4 with a star beside it....I tried to narrow it down but I couldn't narrow it down too much. Anyways, I think this list covers a wide range of stuff. 

tip: On top of studying anatomy, do some master studies (that's when you pick an artist you feel has really mastered their medium and skill level is off the roof, and you pick something they've drawn and copy it). They really help.

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Copying artwork then selling it for profit

Journal Entry: Sat Feb 7, 2015, 11:31 AM

note: Please, if you're going to debate, be courteous and have basic manners, and not turn this into a typical internet argument. 
I'll probably delete this if this blows up badly, since I just want to iterate this one thing; so please, be courteous. 

I didn't think I needed to address this at all, actually, but here we are. Please also note, I'm not here to debate with you (edit: Unless you have read all of this very carefully and not just skimmed it like some of you debaters are doing). If you think that it's okay to copy or redraw and then sell the copied art, that's great, please take it up in your own journal or maybe even the forums; i'm sure you'll find a lot of people to debate with there :). There's been drama a'brewin' somewhere, don't bring it here, because my issue isn't with the artist in question anymore (for the most part...), but rather with the fans (some who are decent artists themselves so i'm more baffled about that) who think that the artist did nothing wrong at all.
I'm actually extremely baffled and disappointed with the amount of people who are glossing over or are okay the most important part of this whole issue - selling practice-art which they copied for practice, and I think that's definitely a problem.

Referencing has always been a part of art. We call it "Master Studies", where you take a master's painting like Bouguereau's paintings, and then do your own copy to see parts of how he did it, and through that process, we learn about how they achieved the best skin-tones, cloth folds, etc etc. Master-studying has never been a problem in the art community. This is an extremely good exercise and I have done it many times myself, but...

...passing it off as your own and selling it is not right, even if you copy it in your style or "made it better". This is called PlagiarismPlease don't think so cheaply of artists who create their own composition, pose, and lighting (ie. the original artists and animators people are ripping off of) which makes up a lot of an artwork. You can reference different sources of material to make up one artwork, but that also takes a lot of work and skill, since complete compositions don't just fall into our laps. Just imagine if someone took one of your art, copied pretty much everything, rendered it in their style, and then sold it without ever once mentioning you. Would you really be okay with that? Personally, my biggest issue is with the selling part of this whole thing. Offering incentives to be paid to do these studies also don't sit well with me, since that's also basically still selling copied-art. *sigh* but i won't go into that, since it'll depend on if people still do it or not.

Do these people who support copying-and-selling even know how difficult it is to create a concept and compose the artwork? I've seen artists go through a lot of thumbnail sketches for one picture, and another set of thumbnails for different colour/lighting that would suit it best; it can take so much time and effort. To bypass that, copy their work and making a profit off of them without even acknowledging them is basically spitting on their hard work, and that's not okay in my books. 

and for people saying that people also sell cover-songs, i'd like to point out that a lot of them have permission or have bought licenses from the music companies that represent the original artists. There have actually been several lawsuits over the years because a song is way too similar to another, you can google it for yourself.

Honestly at first, I didn't even think this needed to be addressed, and I'm so SO disappointed in the online art community right now that I actually have to address it at all

edit: There seems to be another thing people are unsure of: selling fanart. First, I'd like to say that if your art is an pretty much a copy of a screenshot or official art that's rendered more, that is no longer just fan art; it's a copied-art or simply a re-draw. Second, with fanart, yes, they are illegal to sell with north american companies (and probalby europe). That's why when you submit into the fanart category on dA, there is no print selection available. Disney is probably the biggest enforcer of this law out of any other company in NA. The reason why fan-artists aren't all sued off their asses by american companies is because these companies don't think fan-merchandise make enough money to impact their business, but that's why at conventions, there are often rules like "no more than 100 copies of one fanart allowed", and at certain conventions, any disney and disney-related (ie. marvel, pixar) fan-franchises are banned. Disney has even sued a kindergarden for having an unofficial disney mural, and they've also sued a couple who were making money doing birthday parties while dressed up as disney characters. Yeah, huge-corporation disney sued a couple for 2 million dollars, just think about that. So yes, legally, it's also not allowed, though the gray-areas are created when companies don't enforce the law; but if they did, a lot of people would lose a lot of money....
Now when it comes to japanese companies, the law is a lot more loose, since a lot of japanese companies condone it and there are professionals who do doujins and sell them at comiket (one of the largest japanese doujin conventions), but even there you will not find artists selling redraws for the most part.  

:bulletred::bulletred::bulletred::bulletred::bulletred: Important edit:

People are either confused about what I mean when I say copy or they just think copying for profit is okay, but whatever the case, I'm going to show an example of what I mean by using another artists' redraw. This artist is actually amazing and doesn't do these for profit, but just for practice, which is awesome and i think totally okay:

Robin Hood and Maid Marian by Murph3

Now imagine doing that, but leave out the fact that it was a repaint and then selling it. That's what I mean by copying and selling. geezus. i'm already tired. 

  • Mood: Stumped


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Qing Han
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Add a Comment:
scarletlightning64 Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2014  Student General Artist
hi qinni! i was just wondering if you have any good tips on painting skin digitally and making it look realistic? the skin you draw looks super realistic and im not fully sure of what brushes i should use for blending all the colors together into a smooth whole. any tips or tutorials/books you might recommend?
(1 Reply)
SmokinRainbow Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
uhhmm hey ^^. I know you went to Sheridan and all... and I'm going to be in animation there soon too! And I was just curious, since your work is gorgeous and all... are there any profs that you think really impacted your overall technique?  Also, did you learn most of this in class? Or did you rely on stuff outside school like books from the labyrinth and such? Did you take fundies before getting in to animation or did you get in right away?
Sorry for the question spam hehe... I just really wanted to know. I know you're probably busy and all so any reply at all would be awesome ;w;
(1 Reply)
copper9lives Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Gorgeous gallery — so very glad to have you aboard! :heart:

Welcome to 
I-Heart-Colors! We're a group dedicated to showing imaginative, colorful and vibrant artists and their work. 

We're an unusual color-oriented group with our own rules--we only accept works that have more than a certain amount of color in them, are extremely color-focused and we really appreciate good presentation. This to only bring you, dear members and watchers, the color-wise best and most inspiring pieces of art! 

We welcome artists of all skill levels, as long as their art is colorful! If you are an artist who is not afraid to use colors, please do join us! If you're only an appreciator of colorful art, you might want to watch the group instead. 

To get started in the group, please familiarize yourself with our Rules of Submission, on the group's front page. If you have any questions, please take a stroll through our gallery — there are many examples of how we categorize art present in each folder!

And of course, if you have any questions or suggestions, please note the group and one of our helpful admins will get to you shortly!

Glad to have you aboard!
:heart: Copper, Monochrome Moderator
 Emoticon Rainbow 
set-sail-sally Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Your art is really pretty!
I love how you draw noses I just want to touch them--
AS05 Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2014  Professional General Artist
Gracias por important part of life 
WildPowerxJ Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I love your short film!!! :happybounce: 
ReneDoodles Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2014  Student Digital Artist
lovely work thanks for the llama :DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD
yusefth Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2014  Student Digital Artist

Awesome gallery!

LightStrom Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Your Gallery is awesome !!!! you are my second sensei after yuumei *^*
frozengerbil Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I am amazed! Wonderful! Splendid! Keep up the beautiful work! :blowkiss:
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