Art Books, Reviews

[ART BOOK REVIEW] ‘Fantastical: The Art of Matt Gaser’

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fantastical-book-cover

See, here’s a time when judging a book by its cover is completely warranted. (And it only gets better on the inside!)

Just in time for the new year, the Rotoscopers are here to welcome 2016 with another art book review! Living up to its name, Fantastical: The Art of Matt Gaser brings to life the imaginings of visual development artist Matt Gaser, with 112 pages of illustrations, sketches, and detailed notes from Gaser sprinkled generously throughout. After building an impressive career developing concept art for video games like Eragon and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, the feature film HOP, and Green Lantern: The Animated Series, Matt Gaser released Fantastical as a chronicle of more personal projects.

Fantastical opens with a glowing foreword by accomplished illustrator and concept artist Christian Alzmann, followed by an introduction by Gaser himself. From here, the book is divided into an introductory gallery of work and four

fantastical-castle

One of my favorite paintings from the book, titled “Cloud Spin Victorian Castle.”

successive chapters detailing the inner workings of different imaginative worlds and the characters living within them. Hold on to your seat as you race through the MetaKron grand prix, or follow Dr. Zammsy as he races to defeat a virus from another dimension. Take part in the adventures of Edmund and Hunter, or explore the history of an ancient planet with Berm, a half-human cyborg. These worlds Gaser created are truly nothing short of fantastical, and the accompanying art offers an escape into each and every one of them.


One of my personal favorite features of Fantastical is the amount of attention given to developmental sketches; smaller sketches juxtaposed against fleshed out paintings give a peek into the thought process behind these works and full spreads of sketches offer an even deeper look into the mind of a true artist.

fantastical-sketches

Development sketches from the world of Edmund & Hunter.

The range in character design is also something I’m completely fascinated by; whether Gaser develops characters that fall on the more realistic side of the spectrum or ones that completely defy that spectrum altogether, these characters are full of personality completely different from any I’ve ever seen.

From freehanded sketches to full-page spreads, Fantastical: The Art of Matt Gaser has earned all five stars and is a definite must-own for any art book collector. Keep up with Matt and his work at http://www.mattgaser.com and be sure to add Fantastical to your collection!

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Part of a two-page spread titled “Primrobb’s Threshold.”

Purchase

Fantastical: The Art of Matt Gaser: Amazon

Video Review

A huge and gracious thank you to Matt Gaser himself for mailing us a copy of his book for review!

Edited by: Hannah Wilkes

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About Alex Parker

Alex Parker is a sophomore Visualization (a fancy-pants name for "animation") major at Texas A&M University. When she's not living the dorm life on campus, she lives in her hometown of Coppell, Texas, working as a freelance graphic designer.