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Workshops & Interviews Learn to paint like the fantasy art masters

Learn to paint

Traditional & digital art

Step-by-step tutorials from legendary artists, including James Gurney, Adam Hughes, Andrew Jones and more!


Learn new art techniques Get inspired and create better characters and creature art!

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workshop files, plus videos, brushes, hi-res images and more!

Learn from…

Brian Froud Frank Frazetta Dave Gibbons Rodney Matthews Wayne Barlowe Chris Achilléos H.R. Giger Chris Foss Raymond Swanland Marta Dahlig Jim Burns Boris Vallejo & Julie Bell


pages of essential art tips

Featured artists

Boris Vallejo & Julie Bell Jean ‘Mobius’ Giraud H.R. Giger Craig Mullins Mike Mignola William Stout Chris Achilléos Brothers Hildebrandt Ken Kelly Nicolas ‘Sparth’ Bouvier Frank Frazetta Jean-Sébastien Rossbach Fred Gambino Brian Froud Marc Potts James Gurney Rodney Matthews Chris Foss Peter Oedekoven Syd Mead Francis Tsai Jim Burns Dave Gibbons Charles Vess Mélanie Delon Dan Scott Adam Hughes John Kearney Raymond Swanland Svetlin Velinov Andrew Jones Christian Alzmann Marta Dahlig Wayne Barlowe Bob Eggleton Henning Ludvigsen


Editorial Ian Dean Editor Mark Mitchell ART EDITOR Beth Collins PRODUCTION EDITOR Simon arblaster DISC EDITOR For ImagineFX Claire Howlett EDITOR, ImagineFX Daniel vincent art editor, ImagineFX cliff hope OPERATIONS EDITOR, ImagineFX Beren Neale digital editor, ImagineFX contact us Post ImagineFX Magazine, Future Publishing Ltd, Quay House, The Ambury, Bath BA1 1UA, United Kingdom Phone +44 (0) 1225 442244 email web Twitter: @imaginefx Facebook: disc problems +44 (0) 1225 822743 Contributions Boris Vallejo & Julie Bell, Jean ‘Mobius’ Giraud, HR Giger, Craig Mullins, Mike Mignola, William Stout, Chris Achilléos, Brothers Hildebrandt, Ken Kelly, Nicolas ‘Sparth’ Bouvier, Frank Frazetta, Jean-Sébastien Rossbach, Fred, Gambino, Brian Fround, Marc Potts, James Gurney, Rodney Matthews, Chris Foss, Peter Oedekoven, Syd Mead, Francis Tsai, Jim Burns, Dave Gibbons, Charles Vess, Mélanie Delon, Dan Scott, Adam Hughes, John Kearney, Raymond Swanland, Svetlin Velinov, Andrew Jones, Christian Alzmann, Marta Dahlig, Wayne Barlowe, Bob Eggleton, Henning Ludvigsen, Paul Tysall Photography Future Photography Studio dan oliver group editor-in-chief simon middleweek group art director ROBIN ABBOTT creative director Advertising +44 (0) 20 7042 4124 Gavin Rodriguez account manager Suzanne Smith account manager Marketing Philippa newman group marketing manager Print & Production MARIE QUILTER production co-ordinator mark constance production manager nOLA COKELY ad production manager Nathan Drewett ad production co-ordinator michelle rogers operational purchasing manager Licensing regina erak licensing & syndication manager matt ellis senior licensing manager Future Publishing Limited Matthew Pierce head of content & marketing, photography, creative & design nial ferguson director of content & marketing paul layte commercial director of consumer revenues Zillah Byng-Maddick chief executive Printed in the UK by William Gibbons Distributed by Seymour Distribution Ltd +44 (0) 207 429 4000 2 East Poultry Avenue, London EC1 9PT ImagineFX is the registered trademark of Future Publishing Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

© Future Publishing Limited 2014. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used or reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. Future Publishing Limited (company number 2008885) is registered in England and Wales. The registered office of Future Publishing Limited is at Quay House, The Ambury, Bath BA1 1UA. All information contained in this magazine is for information only and is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Future cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. Readers are advised to contact manufacturers and retailers directly with regard to the price of products/ services referred to in this magazine. If you submit unsolicited material to us, you automatically grant Future a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part in all editions of the magazine, including licensed editions worldwide and in any physical or digital format throughout the world. Any material you submit is sent at your risk and, although every care is taken, neither Future nor its employees, agents or subcontractors shall be liable for loss or damage.


Fantasy Art Essentials

Welcome Cover art

Boris Vallejo & Julie Bell

This artistic duo are two of fantasy’s leading artists. Having carved out careers separately they married in 1994. They now paint together. (See more on page 8)

From the makers of We’re the only magazine dedicated to fantasy and sci-fi art. Our aim is to help artists to improve both their traditional and digital art skills. Visit to find out more!

Fantasy Art Essentials




Learn to paint like the fantasy art masters Art legends 116 The History of 32 Frank Frazetta Interview: Fantasy art’s finest painter. Workshop: How to paint like the legend. 42 Fred Gambino Interview: Painting classic sci-fi. Workshop: Paint an epic spaceship. 46 Brian Froud Interview: Faerie secrets and advice. Workshop: Marc Potts’s faerie guide. 58 James Gurney Interview: The Dinotopia artist talks. Workshop: Art theory by James Gurney. 70 Rodney Matthews Interview: Alien vistas and creatures. Workshop: How to tell stories in your art.

Art masters 128 Mélanie Delon Interview: From internet sensation to pro. Workshop: How to paint realistic faeries. 136 Dan Scott Interview: Fantasy art and career insights. Workshop: Tips on painting an Elf ranger. 144 Adam Hughes Interview: DC’s cover artist shares his art. Workshop: Adam paints Catwoman.

Core skills

162 Raymond Swanland Interview: Games are just the start! Workshop: How to use custom textures.

200 Custom brushes Workshop: Marta Dahlig shows how to create and use multiple custom brushes in Photoshop. 210 Alien tips Workshop: Wayne Barlowe reveals his 10 tips for creating unique creature designs.

172 Svetlin Velinov Interview: The Russian’s rise to fame. Workshop: Paint a classic fantasy scene.

214 Monster design Workshop: Bob Eggleton shares his tips on painting perfect dragons, claws and wings.

96 Dave Gibbons Interview: The Watchmen artist talks. Workshop: How to paint Rorschach.

182 Andrew Jones Interview:’s founder talks about his art and ambitions. Workshop: Andrew explores Corel Painter.

216 Painting materials Workshop: The tricks to rendering a variety of materials, from denim to leather and silk.

106 Charles Vess Interview: The comic artist’s work profiled. Workshop: How to paint in watercolour.

192 Christian Alzmann Interview: The ILM artist reveals all! Workshop: Get a traditional look, digitally.

74 Chris Foss Interview: An exceptional SF artist. Workshop: How to paint like Chris Foss. 82 Syd Mead Interview: His career and art examined. Workshop: Digitally paint like Syd Mead. 92 Jim Burns Interview: The SF legend’s art on show. Workshop: Paint an alien from photos.


Dungeons & Dragons Art Interviews: Legendary artists, including Larry Elmore, Todd Lockwood and Ralph Horsley share their highs and lows of working for Dungeons & Dragons.

Fantasy Art Essentials

154 John Kearney Interview: Self-taught and successful. Workshop: Paint a realistic cyclops.

222 20 Fantasy tips Workshop: Henning Ludvigsen reveals the 20 ways to achieve better fantasy paintings, including colour, texture and light tips.


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Fantasy Art Essentials



Gallery Be inspired by the legendary artists behind some of fantasy’s most iconic images

Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell T 

he Peruvian prodigy Boris Vallejo, a professional artist since the age of 16, was amongst the core number of artists that defined the ‘classic’ fantasy art of the 1960s, making his name with his illustrations of Tarzan, Conan The Barbarian and Doc Savage. In the 1990s bodybuilder, model and painter Julie Bell married Boris, and since then they’ve produced a

prolific body of hyperrealist fantasy art, that celebrates the fantastical body beautiful with dynamic heroines and mythical creatures galore. With a slew of art books and calendars to their names, the couple continue to push each other on, working together for a variety of commissions, from ad campaigns to Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell 3 cover.

We very much inspire each other, our minds work similarly in all kinds of ways. We spend 24 hours a day together and not only do we do it with ease, but we love it that way

Wise words Perfect the body

“By drawing, you’re keeping your own little file in your head, of the human body and every time you draw from life you’re just adding to it and reinforcing it.”


Fantasy Art Essentials

Core skills




Boris Vallejo & Julie Bell

Fantasy Art Essentials



Wise words

Forget Perfection

Learn from the master and shun the idea of achieving a distinct style: “In France, the artist wants to be known and recognised. They’re not interested in perfection or examination; they look for style. I search for truth.”


Fantasy Art Essentials

Jean ‘Moebius’ Giraud


When I started, I set myself a direction – a trajectory like a rocket in the sky. At the end I will blow up, but I don’t know where

metaphysical. He then went on to help epitomise the face of modern sci-fi. Making his name with the 1960s comic strip Blueberry (initially using the pseudonym Gri), Jean then formed the United Humanoids in the 1970s, a group responsible for the original

Heavy Metal magazine. With Arzach, Moebius popularised a text-free, nonlinear comic style. He was then hired as a concept artist for the films Alien and TRON. Moebius died in 2012, but his distinctive art legacy is assured.

Core skills


t’s easy to forget the influence the man behind fantasy’s most famous alias has had on comics and sci-fi art. Having plucked the name Moebius out of the air at 22, Jean took comics into a new world touched by the surreal and led by the

© Moebius Productions. All rights reserved 2011

© Moebius Productions. All rights reserved 2011


© Moebius Productions. All rights reserved 2011.



Fantasy Art Essentials



HR Giger W  

hether you love or loathe his darkly stylised art, if you’ve the slightest interest in digital art, the chances are you’ll recognise at least some, of HR Giger’s work. From the 1970s onwards he transformed himself from an obscure Swiss surrealist to mainstream Academy Award-winning artist for his iconic work on Alien. Commonly combining themes of elemental eroticism with an aesthetic that involves biomechanical mixtures of machine and alien flesh, his unique style has inspired countless artists. 1998 saw the creation of the Giger museum, at Château St. Germain in the ancient walled city of Gruyères, south-west Switzerland. With this venture Giger signalled a change in his attention towards sculpture and architectural design, which he studied at university. Giger retired in 2008, and put painting to one side in favour of overseeing his bar and museum. The artist and sculptor died at his Zurich home in 2014, but his extraordinary artistic visions live on.

In the beginning I had no idea what I was doing. I just did some clouds, then I would add an eye…

Wise words Making movies

“When I worked on Alien I was in the studio for seven months. If you want to do something really good, you have to travel and work with the film makers.”


Fantasy Art Essentials

Imagine FX Bookazine 19 Sampler