Draw Dragons & Other Fantasy Beasts || Garry Spencer Millidge & James McKay

This is a simple and unpretentious guide to fantasy art that will show you how to build up basic shapes and work toward what can be quite complex subjects. Where it falls down is that there tend not to be any intermediate stages between the simple outline drawings and the finished result, so that the beginner may land up feeling left adrift after the initial stages and the experienced artist get a lot of basic drawing instruction they don’t really need.

If you can square that circle, however, the book offers probably the best selection of fantasy subject matter around. It is a good source of ideas if you use it in conjunction with some of the other books that offer more technical information, albeit with a more restricted range of subject matter.

It’s hard to know where to pitch this. As I said, anyone with only a limited amount of drawing skill is going to feel quickly at sea, so I’m wary of recommending it for children, who would find the starting point of basic shapes particularly helpful. On the other hand, its slight tendency to superficiality might be annoying for the more experienced artist. I think what it comes down to is that you need to have a look at it. If you like the variety and the finished results, then it’ll spur you on to develop your own ideas further. As a basic manual of fantasy art, though, it has its limitations.

New Holland 2008


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