Artist Iain McCaig, Ever Heard Of Him?

I hadn't heard of Iain McCaig either until last Friday night, but now I'm a fan.

My wife and I had gone out to eat and were afterwards browsing our separate paths through Half Price Books. I wasn't really looking for anything. It's just that books in general have long been a draw.

When I was a kid I could have five or six unread books sitting at home, but if I entered a book store, at least one book would caress my hand and with a wink and a sly smile suggest we go back to my place.

Well, Friday night, as I cut a slow, meandering course through the aisles, I happened on a coffee table book called, Shadowline, The Art of Iain McCaig. With its striking cover, I couldn't help but start glancing through it.

My glances very quickly went from merely nibbling to rapaciously devouring every piece of art.

I am, I admit, a sucker for imaginative art.

I'm an even bigger sucker for creativity. And creativity oozed from every page.

Iain McCaig is a concept designer, primarily for movies.

This means he does drawings and paintings that envision what characters in the movie might look like, what costumes they might wear, what scenes in the movie might look like.

For instance, Iain worked with George Lucas, creator of Star Wars, to envision what Darth Maul would look like, what Queen Amidala would wear, what some of the creatures in the Star Wars movies would look like.

Iain McCaig's inspired art runs the gamut from superbly drawn pencil art to pencil and marker to watercolor, acrylic and computer generated work. The book's cover is a montage of his work in some of these different mediums.

I have to tell you I'm usually not interested in most fantasy and science fiction art, but I stood transfixed for a good twenty minutes, slowly leafing through this book! And when I saw the price – $15 when the full retail price was $65 – I ran, not walked but ran, to the checkout counter.

If you've read what I've written on BeginningArtist.com, you know I am a strong advocate of studying the work of other artists and I enthusiastically practice what I preach.

If you can find this book at your library or in a book store, the search will be well worth your time. I am assuming the book will be hard to find, because when I looked on Amazon, it was for sale for more than $65.

The best you may be able to do is look at his website, www.iainmccaig.com and the blog entries available there. You will also find some drawing lessons like the Basic Drawing: Expressions example above.

While you are there click on the Facebook link to see a few examples of his work his fans have uploaded.

I am sorry I can't share the whole book with you. It certainly got my art adrenaline flowing.

For me this experience is another example of why, as artists, we should be open to inspiration in unlikely places. You just never know when or where or how it will arrive.

Best Wishes,
Gary Gumble
Founder of BeginningArtist.com
(Without art the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable. George Bernard Shaw)

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