After years of skimming through issues of ImagineFX and other "digital painting and illustration" books, it is hard to find sources of information that will provide both original and thoughtful material. The reviews were strong for the first volume so I gave it a chance, and wow what an amazing book. Picking this volume up was a no brainer. These books are clearly geared for the entertainment designer, breaking sections into subjects like vehicles, matte paintings, character designs etc, but what this book does that others don't is provide extra little details that really help demonstrate how the artist achieved the final product. One complaint I have, as do many of my fellow friends at school, as well as other reviewers online, is that many digital painting help books skim over many crucial details and use generic blanketing statements that assume that the reader has a strong foundation in photoshop knowledge. Digital Painting Techniques, both volume 1 and 2 aren't completely guiltless here, but each artist does make a nice effort within there 4-5 page tutorial to either describe little details or show it. It is important that the reader look closely at the provided images to look at things like brush settings (opacity and flow) as well as blend mode, layer controls and brush type etc.
I don't subscribe to online magazine that this book is a reprint of because I love holding a book and being able to reference it when ever I want. This book doesn't just do Dragons, swords and spaceships that other less- than successful books do, it covers things like portrait painting, a little figure drawing and one of the most important sections- custom brushes.
At a discounted price of around $30, this is impossible to pass up, new learners might find some missing details that might frustrate, but read and read again, and it is important to get on Photoshop and play yourself to work out some key ideas to creating interesting art. Pick this one up along with Volume 1, because they don't repeat, this volume is a terrific continuation to what looks to be a very promising series