What was your favorite project in the book?
I have to pick just one?! I’ll go with Guardian Angel because its variety of references. To create the powerful archangel piece, John Stanko combines a model holding a sword, two differently posed legs, himself posing in a makeshift tunic, and separately, medieval shoulder armor, as well as a taxidermal bird wing. Stanko is a master at creatively integrating a posed model with everyday objects to produce a stunning, original fantasy image.
What made you decide on the design and structure of the book?
The book is arranged in two straightforward parts. Part 1 is basic instruction for the reader such as tools/materials, how to work with models and the basics of photographing references. Stanko also explains the fundamentals of lighting your references in a super straightforward way. You can learn how to photograph quality reference images even if all you have is a point-and-shoot camera, a bed sheet and a desk lamp! Part 2 is the bulk of the book—16 complete fantasy demos, including 12 character or multi-character step-by-steps, a dragon, a castle and a dagger (FREE demonstration HERE). The fantasy art is gorgeous and the reference are easy to achieve on your own.
Was this art form new to you? If so, what did you like learning about it?
Many artists I’ve worked with work from photo references, but Stanko uses reference in a way that was totally new to me, specifically for connecting fantasy artwork. For instance, take a normal kitchen knife, tape a piece of paper with a hand-drawn design over the blade and voilà, you’ve got an original weapon from the Middle Ages! And did you know you can purchase a sabertooth tiger skull on the internet? Add some feathers and a little imagination and you’ve created your very own druidess’s magical headdress.
- Click HERE for a FREE step-by-step demonstration of how to draw a dagger found in Mastering Fantasy Art!
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