Thursday, 26 November 2009

ART BOOK REVIEW: Dracopedia - William O'Connor


This collection of 13 dragons is loaded with sketches, drawings, anatomical studies, detailed diagrams, brief natural histories and step-by-step colour art demonstrations for each animal showing the process of making dragon images from start to finish. A cross between an encyclopaedia of dragons and an artist's reference book, readers will enjoy learning all about dragons and the process of their creation.


If there’s one mythical creature that’s travelled the world and woven within each and every culture, it’s the dragon. But how do they alternate from one place to another, how does each culture’s portrayal of these beasts change and how easy is it to adapt and add them to pieces of art that you’ve dreamed of?

Well, that question and more are answered in O’Connors offering, Dracopedia. What I should add however, at this point is that this is quite a complex book and really not for the inexperienced or amateur artist. This is due to the book relying on a lot of the basic concepts having already been learned throwing the reader deep into the world from a fairly detailed basic drawing up through the colourisation and textures required to create the final piece.

But for those who’ve already got the basics down, this is going to be an adventure as it deals with the creatures from worldwide myths demonstrating, not only construction of a piece, but allows the reader to discover without having to delve too deep which dragon will work for which piece. For example differing skin striations to fit with each culture such as the colourful Aztec option or even an Egyptian selection which will add something special to the pieces that each artist creates.

It is interesting and it is definitely a book I’ll look at for inspiration but at the moment, for me, it’s a bit to advanced for my own use. I will get there eventually and it’s definitely inspirational but currently its just something to look pretty on my shelf that will be opened each time I want inspiration for either writing or when exercising my artistic skills.

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