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The Art of James Gurney

The Art of James Gurney
Excerpts of Essays by Jean Bundy, 3rd year IDSVA student

James Gurney’s famed Dinotopia series, enchanting adventures juxtaposing mythical creatures and humans against fantasy backgrounds, morphed into his how-to book, Imaginative Realism. In this book, Gurney takes all levels of artists on his journey from HB pencil and compact sketch book onto maquette construction using garden variety cardboard and modeling clay. Finished 3-D compositions get rendered into oil paintings. These works are then carefully lit and photographed for book illustrations, removing traces of original scale. Imaginative Realism’s sequel is Gurney’s Color and Light. Writing in a convenient cookbook style, he imparts artistic elements, rules-of-the-road, that take painters on a journey wherein they become keener observers while perfecting their artistic endeavors.