Updated to include info on the limited edition
Star Wars Art: Concept continues the Star Wars series of large oversized hardcover artbooks from publisher Harry N. Abrams. The books before are Star Wars Art: Illustration, Star Wars Art: Comics and Star Wars Art: Visions.
I didn't know what to make of this book before buying. It's about concept art but there are already has dedicated artbooks for all their six movies.
Well, this book features a mixture of concept art in the style of fully painted pieces, such as those from Ralph McQuarrie, some comic style art with outlines and markers, the very textural grayscale scenes you see from Doug Chiang and digital paintings. You can really see the transition from using traditional to digital media for creating art somewhere in the middle of the book. I definitely prefer the traditional media art, even though the digital paintings are also good.
The paintings are beautiful, standard and varies, but mostly look great. The rougher ones are the digital concept art paintings.
There are portraits and character designs, locations and cool scenes. My favourites would be all the locations and background art as they are really beautiful and detailed. There are two paintings I thought are from military FPS video games until I spotted the Stormtroopers and AT-AT Walker.
Artworks are selected from the six films, animated TV series, video games (published and unpublished). Since there are so many Star Wars properties out there, only some can come from each. It's a mixed bag in the sense that you might actually want to see more of the art from the movies instead. While the art is good, the material selection or organisation feels haphazard.
Some Amazon reviewers expected a sizeable amount of Ralph McQuarrie paintings but there are only a handful. Well, this is not The Art of Ralph McQuarrie.
The highlight of this book is its large format. The paintings at huge sizes have more impact and it's wonderful looking at them. When looking at the large paintings, I feel that traditional media is better at handling the fade from detail to non-detailed areas. This is probably which I prefer the traditional media.
In terms of write-up, there's foreword by Joe Johnston, preface by Ryan Church, introduction by Dough Chiang and an interview with Erik Tiemens. The artworks are captioned with name, source and media. There's no explanation of the concept behind the art though.
It's a good artbook overall, with great art but If you want more concept art and read about conceptualisation, I would still recommended the dedicated Art of Star Wars series. Some of the artworks in this book are in those books.
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In addition to the standard edition, there's a limited edition of 350 copies.
The limited edition includes 5 hand-signed giclee prints by Ryan Church, Joe Johnston, Iain McCaig, and Erik Tiemens.
The book is foil-stamped, has real-cloth binding and housed in a lush clamshell case.
Additionally, there are 50 extra pages, bringing this book to a total of 244 pages. What!? The standard edition only has 176 pages.
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