5 must-have art books

You'll want to get these 5 inspiring art books

2015 has kicked off in style, with a slew of fantastic art books available right now! With the work of animation studios, cult TV series, and classic illustration on offer, there's something for everyone.

But where to start? Here's five of our favourite art books...

01. The Art of Blue Sky Studios

Art books

Founded in 1987, animation company Blue Sky Studios has always wanted to push the boundaries of the form.

It was the first studio to develop ray tracing so that light interacted with virtual objects as it should, rather than requiring artists to paint it in later.

In 2002, the studio tackled its first movie: Ice Age, and went on to create Robots and Rio – all of which is covered here.

You'll want to get these 5 inspiring art books

As an art book The Art of Blue Sky Studios is stunning, and it's packed to the rafters with amazing art and brilliant ideas.

It also tells the fascinating story of one of the most unfairly overlooked animation studios in Hollywood, which has forever lived in the shadow of Pixar.

02. The Art of John Alvin

You'll want to get these 5 inspiring art books

This is an in-depth look at one of the true masters of the film poster, featuring rare examples of WIPs and rejected concepts, as well as beautiful reproductions of his most iconic film posters.

John died in 2008, aged 59, but he's left a legacy of art that's every bit as immortal as the films they represent.

You'll want to get these 5 inspiring art books

Just think of Aladdin, The Lion King or Batman Returns, and it's easy to remember what the posters for those movies looked like.

This book serves as a tribute to the man whose job it was to introduce the public to some of the most popular films of our time.

03. I'd Love to Draw!

You'll want to get these 5 inspiring art books

You won't find any Photoshop tips here. This is a reproduction of art tutor Andrew Loomis' prototype text for his legendary 'lost' instructional book, shelved decades ago.

Until now, it had been tucked away in the Loomis estate's archives.

You'll want to get these 5 inspiring art books

Through his light and accessible series of how-to books in the mid-20th century, Andrew popularised drawing as a pastime.

There are some good tips here, and comic artist and life-long fan Alex Ross supplies plenty of explanatory text based on Andrew’s rough notes.

04. Battlestar Galactica Vault

You'll want to get these 5 inspiring art books

Every bit as important as Star Wars in bringing science-fiction to a mainstream audience, the original 1978 TV series Battlestar Galactica was derided by critics who compared it to George Lucas' blockbuster at every opportunity.

The majority of thsi book, though, is dedicated to the well-received 2003 reboot, and its 2010 spin-off Caprica.

You'll want to get these 5 inspiring art books

The Vault is a letter of love from author Paul Ruditis to Battlestar Galactica, and it's peppered with fascinating behind-the-scenes shots and concept art that bring the story of the series to life.

It's a perfect companion to a reinvestigation of both the charmingly retro original series and its ground-breaking revision.

05. The Art of Robert E.McGinnis

You'll want to get these 5 inspiring art books

One of the greatest interpreters of the stylish female form of the 20th century, the work of Robert E McGinnis will be familiar to anyone who has seen Breakfast at Tiffany's – or the publicity artwork for classic James Bond films Diamonds are Forever and Thunderball.

You'll want to get these 5 inspiring art books

The chic and glamorously chauvinistic world of Bond is in fact almost a millstone around the artist's neck. The famous association gives critics easier leverage for dismissing Robert as a purveyor of softcore sexism. This new collection shows otherwise.

He was one hell of a draftsman, who could convey story-driven characters in compelling siuations with ease.

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Beren Neale
Deals Editor

Beren has worked on creative tech magazines and websites at Future Publishing for 13 years. He started this journey as Staff Writer on the digital art magazine ImagineFX, and in 2012 found himself bridging the magazine/website divide as Commissioning Editor on the newly launched Creative Bloq. Since then he took the editor role on ImagineFX, was Launch Editor of the fine art magazine Paint & Draw, moved to Canon Pro Europe website as Deputy Editor, and then edited the graphic design magazine Computer Arts. In 2020 he moved back to Creative Bloq, the biggest global art and design website, and as Deals Editor has applied his expertise in creative tech to help digital creatives get the best deals on the kit that they need and love. Outside of work, Beren likes nothing better than to climb himself a bit of rock.