Book Review: Drawing Down the Moon: The Art of Charles Vess

Drawing Down the Moon: The Art of Charles Vess

I like Charles Vess' style. The scenes and images are magical, watercolours are beautiful, and there's a classic feel to his art. He's perfect for illustrating fantasy stories. By the way, he was won three Eisner Awards among others.

Drawing Down the Moon is a well constructed hardcover from Dark Horse. There are 200 pages and a couple are translucent with line art that overlays on the finished coloured piece beneath on the next page. Unfortunately, the overlay is just slightly misaligned, for my copy.

Over two hundred pieces of paintings and comic art are featured, from covers, comics, private commissions and personal pieces, along with them notes from Charle Vess. Creating enchanting backgrounds and fairytale characters is his specialty. So much so that it makes you want to find out more about the story after looking at the pictures.

He has created a whole lot of art for countless publications. The most notable ones are probably the paintings he did for Neil Gaiman's Stardust, which was made into a movie (I love that movie!). A few of the 175 pieces created for Stardust are featured here, not the concept art though. He's able to capture Neil Gaiman's imagination perfectly and make them come real.

The book finishes off with an interesting look at his creation process, how he handles a commissioned project, though there are no pictures of how he actually paints.

This is an inspiring retrospective for Charles Vess. Highly recommended to fantasy artists.

The reason that Charles Vess draws such astonishing things, such beautiful things and such strange things so very well is simple. He draws what he sees. - Neil Gaiman

He's one damn fine artist. - Charles de Lint

It's a rare artist who can produce work which is decorative and, at the same time, charged with emotion. - Susanna Clarke

You can also check out more work from Charles Wess at greenmanpress.com.

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Drawing Down the Moon: The Art of Charles Vess is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | JP | CN) and Book Depository

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