Great things are happening in California. Talented artists are creating the animated films we flock to see. Through my search for journal facsimiles of some of those artists I've found other books I've thoroughly enjoyed.
I thought for sure I had already reviewed these two books. Use of the search engine here turns nothing up. Well, they are worth taking another look at if I just missed it (I'm still recovering from the brain overload of IFJM!), and it would be a shame to not mention them. I highly recommend the following two books.
Framed Ink: Drawing and Composition for Visual Storytellers, Marcos Mateu-Mestre
If you make pictures—paintings, illustrations, graphic novels, animation, even t-shirts—that are in anyway narrative, GET THIS BOOK. It's chock-full of clear direction and brimming over with examples that bring the text's point home. Also it's just plain fun to look at.
The jaded artist might start to read it and say, "Oh, I know about lighting, I know about cropping…" But that's like a beginning piano student claiming "I know about scales." There's a lot packed into this book.
Moonshine: Dreamworks Artists…After Dark!
This book showcases personal work from the Dreamworks artists, including Nicolas Marlet. There are sketches and there are finished paintings (natural media and digital). The styles are bold. There is a rich variety of technique and approach. There is an obvious mastery of materials and methods with these artists. But there is also an expressive quality in these paintings that blows me away every time I look at the book. Since these artists are story tellers that makes total sense. It is such a powerful book I hope you will look at it.