EXOTIQUE 5 by Computer Graphics Society

(9.0/10) Exotique 5 proves itself as being just as good as the previous issue.

Ballistic Publishing’s previous art book Exotique 4 had a nice mix of fantasy art, sci-fi and concept art thrown in, Exotique 5 however has all that and more as in this edition this character art book features art from the most awe-inspiring fantasy and RPG game art around in a more updated layout on the pages. Its digital art is only the best around with inspirational art from all four corners of the globe, Europe, Asia, North America and beyond with artists who use a combination of traditional and contemporary styles to bring fantasy art to the masses.

The sheer quality of the book as with the others is astonishing and shows Ballistic’s devotion to bringing a wonderful product out such as this to a wider audience. Similar artists have worked on the art in Exotique 5, and there are also new artists who lean more toward the D&D, and RPG sort of art who have their work published within these pages. The emphasis is on the individual’s characters from games, for concept art to full illustrations and more. This book shows the reader the quality of digital art out there now, and as most will have noticed, it is just growing in leaps and bounds.

This book, like others in this series would be ideal for those who enjoy collecting quality art books, especially ones like these. They would also be helpful to potential artists who want to know what kind of art is accepted by publishing companies and individual clients. Whatever the reason, the reader has an entire collection of fantasy art that tends to have all different styles that fit in with the theme of fantasy, whether to do with book covers, or concept art for gaming companies they can be assured of the quality it has.

To expand on the artists, Exotique 5 contains many artist portfolios of three or four images or more. Tu Hun from China, has a two page spread of four of his pieces that had been chosen for it, as the guys at Ballistic found his work so original in style and concept, his use of wispy smoke tendrils in these pictures of fighters in motion inspired them to use his work. Tu Hun has created Ilidan, Gouki, Demon and Gouken, all are powerfully rendered and show a sense of other worldly strangeness. Mario Wibisono has his own art style and way of drawing characters as detailed and life-like as samurai men and women that evoke a time in history – his work is also featured in popular UK magazine ImagineFX. Marek Okon’s work is as photorealistic as it can get with his Combat – K: Hardcore drawing of a gun-toting woman rendered in Photoshop. She is caught in a moment of intense action gaming fans would admire. Even though there are only three of his pieces in here, his work stands out as realistic enough as the emotion he gives off with his characters is a mixture of daring, power and inner turmoil. Leonid Kozienko’s SF Yona is of a warrior woman clad in the most unusual armour that accentuates her curves, but also shows she means business. His work in LightWave 3D, Painter and Photoshop is detailed and striking to the reader. Karim Beyit’s Dark Elf is a combination of emeralds and golds and dark lined armour reminiscent of Elf art from Wizards of the Coast. His character gives off a feel of dread that is normally hard to capture.

For portraiture however, Sara Biddle’s Hour of Succession, Michael Oswald’s Last Race, Taris Yaehu’s Demon Princess and Marta Dahlig’s Bubbles are remarkable studies that any artist would be proud to have in their portfolio collection.

Exotique 5 proves itself as being just as good as the previous issue, if not better, and contains more than 200 illustrations that test the boundaries of what people view as art.

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