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Fantasy World-Building: A Guide to Developing Mythic Worlds and Legendary Creatures

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When artists and designers explore or create a fictional setting, the milieu must be completely fleshed out, explained, and designed. In this book, comic and gaming art veteran Mark A. Nelson explores and demonstrates his methods for fashioning visually stunning, believable environments for fantasy creatures and characters. Scores of images and step-by-step examples illust When artists and designers explore or create a fictional setting, the milieu must be completely fleshed out, explained, and designed. In this book, comic and gaming art veteran Mark A. Nelson explores and demonstrates his methods for fashioning visually stunning, believable environments for fantasy creatures and characters. Scores of images and step-by-step examples illustrate how variation and experimentation lead to fresh, original designs for otherworldly beings, their environments, and their stories. Nelson discusses how to find ideas and borrow from history to add the strength of realism to a fantasy world. In describing the best ways to establish a habitat, he offers specifics about climate, terrain, flora, and wildlife. He shares insights into founding societies in terms of their means of survival, manner of warfare, spiritual practices, style of dress, and levels of technology. All visual creatives who work with imaginative material — illustrators, comic artists, and writers — will take a lively interest in this source of inspiration and practical knowledge.


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When artists and designers explore or create a fictional setting, the milieu must be completely fleshed out, explained, and designed. In this book, comic and gaming art veteran Mark A. Nelson explores and demonstrates his methods for fashioning visually stunning, believable environments for fantasy creatures and characters. Scores of images and step-by-step examples illust When artists and designers explore or create a fictional setting, the milieu must be completely fleshed out, explained, and designed. In this book, comic and gaming art veteran Mark A. Nelson explores and demonstrates his methods for fashioning visually stunning, believable environments for fantasy creatures and characters. Scores of images and step-by-step examples illustrate how variation and experimentation lead to fresh, original designs for otherworldly beings, their environments, and their stories. Nelson discusses how to find ideas and borrow from history to add the strength of realism to a fantasy world. In describing the best ways to establish a habitat, he offers specifics about climate, terrain, flora, and wildlife. He shares insights into founding societies in terms of their means of survival, manner of warfare, spiritual practices, style of dress, and levels of technology. All visual creatives who work with imaginative material — illustrators, comic artists, and writers — will take a lively interest in this source of inspiration and practical knowledge.

50 review for Fantasy World-Building: A Guide to Developing Mythic Worlds and Legendary Creatures

  1. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    “Fantasy World Building” is a highly motivating and inspiring guide for ANY visual artist, whether the art you make falls within the "Fantasy" realm or is something entirely different. The tools to create your OWN imagery that is original, plausible and tells the story only you can share are presented with an informative and positive "anything is possible" vibe. The author outlines his own drawing process, discusses mediums, and asks questions to prompt your own line of discovery, in a spirit of “Fantasy World Building” is a highly motivating and inspiring guide for ANY visual artist, whether the art you make falls within the "Fantasy" realm or is something entirely different. The tools to create your OWN imagery that is original, plausible and tells the story only you can share are presented with an informative and positive "anything is possible" vibe. The author outlines his own drawing process, discusses mediums, and asks questions to prompt your own line of discovery, in a spirit of adventure and playfulness. It gives you SO much to think about and explore, but is not overwhelming because the lessons are in manageable, bite-sized chunks. This book will serve as a great go-to guide to refer to again and again, and at the same time is a treasure trove of mind-blowing ART, text aside! You're left impressed, encouraged, and feeling like "I can DO this!" I recommend you have a sketchbook and pencil right alongside you as you dive into the endless possibilities within.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Brendan

    Just looked at

  3. 4 out of 5

    Michael Reilly

    A great sourcebook for ideas and creative inspiration, Mark Nelson’s illustrated guide showcases his remarkable talent and organisational thinking, which combine to deliver some stunning artwork, mostly in a graphic novel style. Nelson links idea development with problem solving and storytelling, constantly highlighting how logical world-building is the result of exploration and the direct connection between how elements are built and how they operate, which then influences their final form and A great sourcebook for ideas and creative inspiration, Mark Nelson’s illustrated guide showcases his remarkable talent and organisational thinking, which combine to deliver some stunning artwork, mostly in a graphic novel style. Nelson links idea development with problem solving and storytelling, constantly highlighting how logical world-building is the result of exploration and the direct connection between how elements are built and how they operate, which then influences their final form and appearance. The book features both fantasy and sci-fi illustrations, with plenty of intriguing characters, weird anthropomorphic creatures, cool vehicles, environments full of ruined structures, future technology and more filling its pages. Nelson shows off an impressive range of drawing, inking and colouring techniques, and uses process sequences and variants of line and value to show how he arranges a composition’s visual hierarchy and develops the focal point. Nelson’s sketching and rendering techniques are superb, and I’ve gained great value from observing his progress stages and the evolution of his art from concept to completion. Most of the text is in caption form, posing questions to consider, noting aspects that are important or worthy of consideration when developing a coherent and professional result. I would've liked to have seen more detailed instructions rather than the relatively brief thoughts that accompany most images, but there’s still plenty here of value to start the reader on their own creative journeys. Nelson’s strength in developing dynamic visual narratives brings a high level of curiosity and wonder to his work – this book should assist others to follow his example by observing life and asking questions as part of their own creative processes.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Agnes Preszler

    Drawing from reality is already difficult enough, so how to create an immaginary world in a credible way? This guide breaks down in manageable steps this overwhelming task. Taking the elements from the richness of the real world, mixes them all up, while answering the five ws (plus how), borrowed from journalism. Characters, their clothing, food, habitat, transportation, buildings, weapons, spirituality and so on, are treated. Characters are build from birds, mammals, insects, reptiles and fishes Drawing from reality is already difficult enough, so how to create an immaginary world in a credible way? This guide breaks down in manageable steps this overwhelming task. Taking the elements from the richness of the real world, mixes them all up, while answering the five ws (plus how), borrowed from journalism. Characters, their clothing, food, habitat, transportation, buildings, weapons, spirituality and so on, are treated. Characters are build from birds, mammals, insects, reptiles and fishes. Also different media as graphite, watercolour, brown and black ink, digital are used. Minimal text, very simple and comprensible, richly illustrated with high quality drawings. Obviously the guide is a starting point and your company on the way, you have to do your own homework.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Felicia

    FANTASY WORLD-BUILDING by Mark Nelson is a great book on everything fantasy. It was packed with illustrations, ideas, and the basics of creating one’s own fantasy world. Whether you are an illustrator or a writer, this book is a perfect way to inspire new ideas. Some of the topics were basic (animals, birds, wardrobe, etc.), while others were detailed (warfare, survival, etc.). I’m busy creating a fantasy world of my own and found the illustrations and topics very useful. It made me think furthe FANTASY WORLD-BUILDING by Mark Nelson is a great book on everything fantasy. It was packed with illustrations, ideas, and the basics of creating one’s own fantasy world. Whether you are an illustrator or a writer, this book is a perfect way to inspire new ideas. Some of the topics were basic (animals, birds, wardrobe, etc.), while others were detailed (warfare, survival, etc.). I’m busy creating a fantasy world of my own and found the illustrations and topics very useful. It made me think further about how I want the world to look, feel, and sound. I definitely recommend this to any creative person who likes creating their own fantasy world and having inspiration close by.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Carissa

    A very fascinating book that combines ideas for world-building with the many thought processes of Mark Nelson. While the material itself is basic (but expansive), and it sparks a desire for exploration, the artwork is the cherry on top. You don't need to be a fan of roleplaying games (but it certainly helps!) to appreciate this small volume that helps get you out and about and thinking. I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. A very fascinating book that combines ideas for world-building with the many thought processes of Mark Nelson. While the material itself is basic (but expansive), and it sparks a desire for exploration, the artwork is the cherry on top. You don't need to be a fan of roleplaying games (but it certainly helps!) to appreciate this small volume that helps get you out and about and thinking. I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Andre Cherkassky Pilli

  8. 4 out of 5

    Steeney

  9. 4 out of 5

    Adrienne

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dave Ellingwood

  11. 5 out of 5

    Robin Hatcher

  12. 5 out of 5

    Robert Barrick

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ann

  14. 4 out of 5

    Michael de Plater

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tomas Bjornstad

  16. 4 out of 5

    Concave

  17. 5 out of 5

    Anna

  18. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ben Nash

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michele I Krause

  21. 4 out of 5

    Izabela

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mason Masteka

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  24. 4 out of 5

    Brian Cook

  25. 5 out of 5

    Hallvard Stangeland

  26. 5 out of 5

    Christian

  27. 4 out of 5

    T English

  28. 5 out of 5

    Boumkil

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mostafa Bdwy

  30. 5 out of 5

    مازن

  31. 4 out of 5

    Kira Lan

  32. 5 out of 5

    Marianne

  33. 5 out of 5

    Anna

  34. 4 out of 5

    Rawan Elhadad

  35. 5 out of 5

    JoJo

  36. 4 out of 5

    Ghiytfufyuhv

  37. 5 out of 5

    Hvxfhty

  38. 5 out of 5

    Sam Robinson

  39. 4 out of 5

    Cormorants

  40. 5 out of 5

    Slaven Milenkovic

  41. 5 out of 5

    Macaela

  42. 4 out of 5

    Kyrstin

  43. 4 out of 5

    Todd

  44. 4 out of 5

    Christina

  45. 5 out of 5

    Ameenah

  46. 5 out of 5

    Buddy

  47. 5 out of 5

    Christine

  48. 5 out of 5

    Jeramie Vens

  49. 5 out of 5

    robert

  50. 5 out of 5

    Fynne Saunders

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