James Gurney Instructional DVD

-By Dan dos Santos

Artist, James Gurney, just released his new instructional DVD today called 'How I Paint Dinosaurs'. It became available this morning at 4am EST, and I admit, I actually stayed up all night just to download and watch it.

The video is available in two formats, as a download, and as an actual DVD. The download costs a bit less, but the DVD comes with a few extras. Being impatient, I went for the download.

The video is just under an hour, which may seem short for an instructional video, but I assure you, James crams a whole lot of info into that one hour! Further more, he does so in a way that does not seem even the slightest bit rushed. In retrospect I think it was actually really wise to make the video so short, as I was inclined to watch it immediately. There are other DVDs I've owned for years that I still haven't watched simply because I don't have the 3 hours needed to do so.

Even though it's called 'How I Paint Dinosaurs', it's should really be called 'How I Paint Stuff', as all the techniques are applicable to any form of fantasy art. In the video, James uses not one, but two paintings, to facilitate the discussion of:
-Maquette Building
-Surface preparation
-Color Theory/Mixing
-Painting Technique
The video jumps between time-lapsed and real-time painting smoothly. Admittedly, I always prefer real-time video, as I could sit and watch James paint slowly all day long. But that's just not practical, and the time-lapse was done appropriately, never leaving me to feel like I missed something.

Some of my favorite parts were watching James thumbnail some concepts, as well as watching him freehand his drawing directly onto his painting surface. He does a great job of demystifying the working process, but when you watch him draw this stuff so effortlessly, you can't help but feel like you yourself have got a long ways to go!

In general, this DVD is a wonderful overview of James' working process. It is not the kind of DVD that's going to answer questions like, 'How come my colors always get muddy? How come my faces don't look real?" What it is going to do, is show you a solid working method (from pencil to paint) that will help facilitate the creation of your own informed, believable paintings.

The DVD is $32 plus shipping. The download is just $15, and worth twice that in my opinion.

You can order the DVD HERE, or download it right now HERE.
And of course, more info can be found on James' stellar blog HERE.