Video games are not a revolution in art history, but an evolution. Whether the medium is paper or canvas—or a computer screen—the artist’s challenge is to make something without depth seem like a window into a living, breathing world. Video game art is no different.
Drawing Basics and Video Game Art (Penguin Random House 2012) is a bestseller, having sold 10s of thousands of copies around the world, earned multiple 5-star reviews, and been translated into Japanese and Korean. It is first to examine the connections between classical art and video games, enabling developers to create more expressive and varied emotional experiences in games. Artist game designer Chris Solarski gives readers a comprehensive introduction to basic and advanced drawing and design skills—light, value, colour, anatomy, concept development—as well as detailed instruction for using these methods to design complex characters, worlds, and gameplay experiences. Artwork by the likes of Michelangelo, Titian, and Rubens are studied alongside AAA games like BioShock, Journey, the Mario series and Portal 2 to demonstrate perpetual theories of depth, composition, movement, artistic anatomy and expression.
Although Drawing Basics and Video Game Art is primarily a practical reference for artists and designers working in the video games industry, it’s equally accessible for those interested to learn about gaming’s future, and potential as an artistic medium.
This book supports my own 30-year crusade to demonstrate that games are an art form that undeniably rivals traditional arts. It gives detailed explanations of game art techniques and their importance, while also highlighting their dependence on artistic aspects of game design and programming.
JOHN ROMERO, co-founder of id Software and CEO of Loot Drop, Inc.
Solarski’s methodology here is to show us the artistic techniques that every artist should know, and then he transposes them to the realm of video games to show how they should be used to create a far more artful gaming experience … if I were an artist planning to do video game work, I’d have a copy of this on my shelf.
MARC MASON, Comics Waiting Room
This book raises my respect for the CGI artist. [Chris Solarski] is serious about great art which elevates video art to a serious and beautiful endeavour. So those who spend so much time on those games are also getting an aesthetic treat.
JANE LEED, 5-star Amazon review
I'm an art teacher who teaches foundations and I've been searching for years for a book that connects the import of knowing the basics and their application to today's technology and media. This is the book. A Rembrandt on one page, a Halo still on the other. Highly recommend.
COSMO TOPPER, 5-star Amazon review
These are the kind of books I wish teachers would use as textbooks for game art classes because it is a truly respectable piece of text.
EDEN PRIME, 5-star Amazon review
I just finished reading this book and absolutely loved it. I actually got it for my daughter who wants to be a video game artist. I started reading it myself and couldn't put it down. I would recommend it for any artist, not just people interested in video game design.