I’ve spent the last several days devouring James Gurney’s new book Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn’t Exist.
It’s a treasure. Using samples from his illustrious career, he takes the reader through his thought process and explains principles both basic (setting up an efficient studio, thumbnail sketches) and advanced (shapewelding, counterchange, flagging the head).
Read it once and flip back through to see where he’s applied these principles. You’ll also start seeing your work with new eyes, which is the mark of a great teacher.
Also, I'm very grateful to John Fleskes, the publisher of so many wonderful book titles on classic illustrators for his vote of confidence:
What I enjoy about Gurney’s work is that he knows his fundamentals and knows how to paint a believable realistic figure in fantasy, historical, and real world situations. And, as is testament in Imaginative Realism, he has no trouble breaking down the process in a simple and easy to understand approach.
Finally, thanks to the reviewers on Amazon.com (whoever you are) for your generous words.