Book Rhi-view: The Official Vampire Artist's Handbook by Lora S. Irish

The Official Vampire Artist's Handbook: How to Create Your Own Patterns and Illustrations of the Undead by Lora S. Irish
Art, Illustration, Vampires
Releases: March 1st, 2012
Paperback $14.95 (112 pages, FOX CHAPEL)
How to draw vampire art in simple, easy steps. Instructions could be used to create patterns for various crafts, or for drawing. Lora Irish is the creator of a virtual library of designs and patterns for artisans, including tattoo artists, carvers, woodburners, and woodworkers. A highly regarded artist, carver and craftsperson, Irish is also the author of many top selling books including Modern Tribal Tattoos (one of Fox's top ten bestsellers for 2009), Great Book of Tattoo Designs, Great Book of Dragon Patterns, Great Book of Fairy Patterns, Landscapes in Relief, and Classic Carving Patterns. She is a former teacher and has helped thousands learn the art of woodcarving through her books, website, and online tutorials.
Publisher Site: www.foxchapelpublishing.com

Might Suit a Kid Better (2 stars)

Let me preface my review by saying that I'm not an artist. I'm a vampire and fantasy art geek who loves checking out books I'll never learn artistic skills from for the art itself. I've enjoyed other art titles from Fox Chapel so I wanted to give this one a chance.

What stumped and disappointed me right away was the way the book is presented. I still can't figure out if the author intends to be giving facts or if it's supposed to be more tongue-in-cheek. If she had stuck to the artistic side of it, suggesting anatomical conditions that would be different in vampire physiology and that sort of thing it wouldn't have been as odd. But there're entire sections devoted to supposed 'facts'. I'm not sure where most of them came from but as a fan of vampire novels, films, and such a lot of it felt pulled from random and some even seemed to contradict each other. In effect it all felt like filler between sections of sketches.

The drawings themselves were not particularly thrilling. Perhaps I was anticipating something more 'traditional' but odd piercings, shocks of pink hair, and an awful lot of tattooes gave it all a cheesy fantasy flavor that just didn't work for me. Art is definitely subjective so my opinion shouldn't matter much in regards to the art's quality but while a few of the drawings were likable, the majority lacked the professional polish I had hoped to see from a book with the word 'official' in its title.

Overall, I wasn't impressed with this book. If I were a tweenager I could see this book being entertaining and helpful but as an adult vampire art fan it just didn't meet my expectations. There are some amazing titles on drawing and painting vampires out there (such as How to Draw Vampires and Draw and Paint Fantasy Art - Vampires) that have really beautiful artwork for fans who collect vampire art books for the art itself and this just isn't one of them.

Notes: ARC received via NetGalley.

More Art Books from Fox Chapel Publishing:

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