Imaginative Realism : How to Paint What Doesn't Exist, Paperback Book

Imaginative Realism : How to Paint What Doesn't Exist Paperback

Part of the James Gurney Art series

5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


This book explores the question of how to paint a realistic picture of something that doesn't exist.

It is intended not only for artists interested in fantasy and science fiction, but also for anyone who wants to recreate history, visualize extinct wildlife, or simply tell a story with a picture.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Painting & art manuals
  • ISBN: 9780740785504



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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

Of the many books I've read on drawing and painting, Imaginative Realism by James Gurney is the most conversational and practical in terms of realistic approaches to creating science fiction, fantasy, and other creative scenes. Drawing on a wealth of diverse experiences including the memorable work Dinotopia and his many National Geographic illustrations, James Gurney provides useful insights on a wide range of topics from setting up a studio to plein-air studies. I was encouraged by his use of a variety of strategies including the sketches, models, maquettes, and photo references. His suggestions related to composition were unique, exciting, and useful. Although I'm just beginning the transition from informal sketching to professional illustration, his encouraging words are reassuring. I highly recommend this innovative book for anyone who is interested in imaginative realism.

Review by

From someone who just loves to admire other peoples' art, I couldn't put this one down. Gurney is a great guy to think to share his knowledge and experience in this way. His model building is awesome.

Review by

I grabbed this book on sale from Strand Books a few years ago. It is one of the BEST books out there on artwork, in preparing your work, researching, designing characters and costumes, compositions, and so on.<br/>And from what Gurney discusses in the book, he backs it up with information, examples, and photographs. The confidence projected in the text is one that reveals Gurney's faith in his method of working. I had the honor of meeting James Gurney at Anthrocon in 2010; he definitely knows what he's talking about. <br/><br/>The only downside to this book is that it's meant more for an experienced artist. You probably should brush up on your drawing and art skills before studying this book. Other than that, Imaginative Realism is a winner!

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