Amongst the artists I came across while reading ‘Science Fiction And Fantasy Artists Of The Twentieth Century: A Biographical Dictionary’ by Jane Frank was Rob Alexander. Defunct publisher Paper Tiger was a steady source of artbooks and one that I missed, especially as their books had page to page paintings with little wasted space.
Rob Alexander works across the board from fantasy to Science Fiction, with much of his work appearing in card games such as ‘Magic: The Gathering’. If you’re into these cards, then having some of the pictures at a larger scale would make this an incentive to own this book if you haven’t got a copy already.
In his introduction, Rob Alexander points out he has a love of landscape but looking at the pictures here, he uses them to convey mood. His snowy scenes look cold and very photo-realistic which when you consider he does many of them in watercolour is remarkable. Rob Alexander’s work here is far more fantasy than Science Fiction orientated but there’s a lot to admire. He’s also versatile, also painting in acrylic and there’s a lot of purely pencilled pictures as well.
To cap it all, in the end section, he shows how he puts one of his water-colours together. I think the key lesson I learnt from that is dark colours go on first with lighter colours on top which should be ingrained to those of you moving into digital painting. It’s quite the reverse to what is often done in acrylic.
I think the biggest lesson I learnt from this book is that I really must spend some time doing a landscape one day, just to say I can do one. Using it to convey the mood as much as a view is something that I hadn’t really considered before.
(pub: Paper Tiger/Chrysalis, 2005. 128 page illustrated large hardback. Price: I pulled a copy for £ 2.80 (UK) second hand but first hands are out there and Rob Alexander will even do a signed copy according to his website. ISBN: 1-84340-203-3)
check out website: http://www.robalexander.com/