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    JessHorsley's Avatar
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    REVIEW: Ballstic Publishing Expose 8 & Expose 9

    Two more books full of "the finest digital art in the known universe" available now...












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    Ballistic Publishing continues to impress fans of digital artwork and collectors of digital art with their multiple lines of publications, including the Expose, d'artiste, Exotique, Essence, and Art of the Game series. Now, fans of the most amazing series of digital art books known to man can pick up Expose 8 and Expose 9.

    Featuring over 20 categories of images - including everything from Portrait, Fantasy Femmes, and Robotic/Cyborg to Warriors & Conflict, Science Fiction, and Surreal - the Expose series of books includes a wide variety of artwork sure to please each and every digital art fan around. And these two latest additions to the series are no different. In fact, Expose 8 features over 390 images by over 280 artists from over 52 countries while Expose 9 showcases over 440 pieces of original digital artwork from over 325 artists from 60 countries, the most of any book in the Expose series.

    Thanks to editor Daniel Wade and a talented and amazing advisory board and jury which includes the likes of Lorne Lanning, Phil Straub, Brom, Max Dennison, Stephen Martiniere and more, these two books are filled with - as the series' motto says some of the "finest digital digital art in the known universe."

    Both Expose 8 and Expose 9 open with an introduction by the previously mentioned editor, Daniel Wade, as well as an introduction to the artwork categories and the advisory board and jury. Next, both books introduce the year's Grand Master title to one artist who "has had a major influence through their craft." Expose 8 awards the title of Grand Master to the well deserving H.R. Giger, no doubt a master of his craft whose influence has boiled over into a variety of pop culture while Expose 9 awards the title of Grand Master to Daniel Dociu, an amazing artist in the gaming industry and the current Chief Art Director for the 'Guild Wars' franchise. Both men deserve the title "Grand Master" as is evident by their artwork and influence within the industry.


    Turandot
    Photoshop, Painter
    Chen Ziyi, CHINA

    Each book opens into the different categories, again awarding specific pieces of artwork and their artists the title of "Master" or "Excellence." These pieces include the gorgeous portrait "Turandot" by the extremely talented Chen Ziyi of China (above) and the amazing video game artwork "Guild Wars 2: Charr Canon" by Kekai Kotaki from the USA (below).


    Guild Wars 2: Charr Canon
    Photoshop
    Kekai Kotaki, ArenaNet, USA
    ‘Guild Wars 2’ © ArenaNet

    Other digital artwork well worth mentioning from a variety of genre in Expose 8 include...


    Modern House
    3ds Max, V-Ray, Photoshop
    Client: Inovarte
    Marcelo Eder, BRAZI

    Brazil's Marcelo Eder and his "Modern House" (below), an angular creation that's both appealing to look at and seemingly practical to live in as well and "Big Blue," a fantasy piece awarded the "Master" title by the jury (below). Impressive in it's fantastical and surreal design, the creature at the center of the composition seems almost familiar and yet, so very unimaginable.


    Big Blue
    ArtRage, Painter
    Simon Dominic, GREAT BRITAIN


    Nu Wa
    Photoshop
    Yu Cheng Hong, TAIWAN

    The "Excellence" title in the Fantasy Femmes category was awarded to the gorgeous "Nu Wa" by Taiwan's Yu Cheng Hong (above), a combination of seemingly celestrial forms which make up the beautiful woman at its center. The "Master" title in the Warriors & Conflict category was awarded to the amazing, super-detailed "Knights of Abomination," a photoshopped piece by Reynan Sanchez of The Philippines (below). Truly an impressive fantasy piece featuring a horde of battle-ready warriors, this piece stands out for its craftsmanship, composition, detail, and design.



    Knights of Abomination
    Photoshop
    Reynan Sanchez,
    THE PHILIPPINES


    Unleashed
    Photoshop
    Inspired by: Spawn
    Jeffrey M. de Guzman, THE PHILIPPINES

    Recipient of the "Excellence" title in the Warriors & Conflict category and another fantasy piece which will seem familiar to fans is the Spawn-inspired "Unleashed," a photoshopped piece by Jeffrey M. de Guzman of The Philippines. Reminiscent of Todd McFarlane's Dark Ages Spawn, this armor-clad warrior stands ready for war, flaming skulls in one hand and a sword of burnished steal in the other (above).

    Another recipient of the "Master" title, this time in the Science Fiction category, is Stephan Martiniere's "Out of the Dark," a commissioned piece for Tor Books and an incredible piece that's amazing for its ominous tone and frightening sense of doom (below).


    Out of the Dark
    Photoshop, Painter
    Client: Tor Books
    Stephan Martiniere, USA

    Expose 9 also features an amazing assortment of digital artwork, including...


    Guild Wars 2: Fire Elemental

    Photoshop
    
Kekai Kotaki, USA
    
‘Guild Wars 2’ © ArenaNet

    An outrageous piece of Game Artwork - and well deserving of the "Master" title it was awarded here - is "Guild Wars 2: Fire Elemental" by American artist Kekai Kotaki. This piece shows just how stunning and impressive video game artwork can be when done by the best and most experienced of artists with the best of skill, imagination, and design (above).


    Queen of the Kraken
    Photoshop, Maya
    Steve Argyle, USA

    Other impressive pieces of digital art include the "Master" award-winning Fantasy Femmes piece "Queen of the Kraken" by American artist Steve Argyle. Original in its subject matter, the impressive color work, design, shading, and setting make this a true masterful piece of fantasy artwork (above).


    Hangar
    LightWave 3D, Photoshop
    Neil Maccormack, bearfootfilms, SWITZERLAND

    Likewise, Neil Maccormack's "Hangar," worthy of the "Excellence" award in the Concept Art category, features an impressive science fiction theme; a massive, two-legged mech whose sheer scale and size make too incredible to believe (above).


    Restricted Area
    Maya, mental ray, ZBrush, Photoshop
    Daniil Alikov, RUSSIA

    Another couple of awesome pieces of digital artwork similar to Maccormack's "Hangar" is Russian artist Daniil Alikov's "Master" award winning piece in the Robotic/Cyborg category: "Restricted Area" (above). An amazing original piece featuring a multi-legged construction 'bot and crew member, this seemingly near future composition looks almost real...were it the year 2095. Add to that Carlos Núñez de Castro Torres' "Mecha concept: PDBx100" and mecha fans will Well deserving of the "Excellence" title, this
    de Castro Torres brings to life a mecha that's one-part battle suit, one part robotic warrior, and all types of stunning (below).


    Mecha concept: PDBx1000
    Photoshop
    Carlos Núñez de Castro Torres, SPAIN

    While there's no where near enough space here to talk about each and every category much less all of the amazing digital artwork inside both Expose 8 and Expose 9, for those art fans looking to add to their bookshelf an impressive collection of digital artwork, there are few better books to have as a part of one's collection than these recent collections.

    Both Expose 8 and Expose 9 can be purchased online at Ballistic Publishing or at other amazing book sellers.

    - Jess C. Horsley

    - special thanks to Daniel Wade and Rebecca Foreman for their help coordinating this and other past and forthcoming reviews of Ballistic Publishing's amazing books!



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    "Until next time...have FUN with your figures!!"

    Jess C. Horsley

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