Book Review: Beginner's Guide to Sketching: Robots, Vehicles & Sci-fi Concepts

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In 2015, 3dtotal Publishing released Beginner's Guide to Sketching: Characters, Creatures and Concepts which was pretty well received, judging by the reviews on Amazon. Well, that was an useful book so it's not surprising. The followup to that book is this volume that focuses on robots, vehicles and sci-fi concepts.

This is a 216-page almost A4-sized paperback that's filled with tutorials and fundamentals of sketching and sci-fi concept design.

Right at the back of the book, it says these are the skills you can expect to learn:

  • Create unique sci-fi forms from basic geometry
  • Sketch any subject in perspective with confidence
  • Render a range of hard-surface and reflective materials
  • Tackle the concept design process from start to finish
  • Choose tools and materials for dynamic results

That's an accurate description of the content in this book.

The book covers the basics of sci-fi design in detail with elaboration into the use perspective, how to create textures, form and the creative process. There are many step by step examples that you can follow along. Each project starts from the idea development stage with basic sketches, then moves on to creating line art, adding details, and finally rendering the textures, light and shadows.

There's explanation for the type of textures you can create and how to create them. With the step by step pictures alongside, it's difficult to get anything wrong. And because there are so many tutorials, you can expect a lot of practice. As with learning art, the more you practice, the better you get.

Some of the subjects to draw includes armed patrol boat, bipedal mech, quadruped robot, mutant plant, combat spaceship, lunar buggy, abandoned ship interior, high-tech home, floating rock formations, futuristic rifle, breathing apparatus and more.

The artists whose tutorials are featured in this book are:

This is a great book for those who want to draw and get better at sci-fi art.

If you find this book helpful, two related books you can check out are Scott Robertson's How to Render and How to Draw too.

Beginner's Guide to Sketching: Robots, Vehicles & Sci-fi Concepts is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | AU | JP | CN) and Book Depository

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Here are direct links to the book:
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