Art of Barbara Ciardo

BooksILove

These books are a personal ongoing source of study and inspiration; since I buy lots of them, I'll keep posting new titles and personal reviews here when possible. 

All books are listed in casual order.

Book I love n.1

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When I bought this book I was looking for some guide to add a more cinematic look to my colors and to give my work a better sense of focus, visually speaking. It really opened an entire new world to me about rhythm and visual hierarchy in a picture and I applied what I learnt here to my digital painting. The author wrote more than twenty books about photography (I bought another one too), his writing is clear and the wonderful pictures he takes around the world make this book a special one.

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Barbara Ciardo
Book I love n.2

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This book is written by a photographer for photographers but I find that his way of talking about color and light totally fits the digital painter needs. It contains sections about color language and symbolism (each colour is discussed in detail), temperature, saturation and brightness, classic color schemes, harmony, unusual combinations and the effect on people. Plus some technical chapters about monitor regulations and color spaces. I chose this book for its simple and clear content organization and the beautiful pictures but I discovered so much more.

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Book I love n.3

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The most accurate book I've read on composition! Really a precious source for professionals and students of design who need to understand and successfully apply the "less is more" rule to their own work. The author is a master in the field and I love the way he teaches using a an in-depth and super clear approach. Moreover his drawing and inking style is amazing... 

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Barbara Ciardo
Book I love n.4

This is an absolute must have for a comics colorist! The whole meaning and complete workflow of the art of coloring from technical set up to color aesthetic and storytelling choices is masterfully explained and illustrated; plus an entire section is about how to do an effective lettering with samples and step by step. I was already working in comics when I approached this book and it really made a difference in my way of thinking about storytelling with color. Still a favorite of mine on the subject.

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Barbara Ciardo
Book I love n.5

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This is THE BOOK for what concerns painting and color theory. The author is an amazing traditional painter and a really dedicated artist and teacher who puts in this book all his passion for the craft and his long time experience. I love the clarity and arrangement of the chapters where the main issues related to types and temperature of light are discussed and supported by amazing oil paintings by the author. It's a must have for the art student and a beauty for an artbook collector like me.

Your digital or traditional painting won't be the same after a journey through these pages!

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Barbara Ciardo
Book I love n.6

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A really engaging reading through the symbolic aspects of color. It is not for beginners but it is an amazing theoretical book about colour in art history which, if you're passionate like me, you will find an essential piece of your library. It covers the history of colour from the Middle Ages to the 20th century; some chapters required me more than one reading due to a bit of complexity, but the overall impression was totally worthy.

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Barbara Ciardo
Book I love n.7

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This is a complete historical and technical guide about animation and it covers everything from storyboard to the final product in a detailed and specialistic language. It has got the feel of something thought for people already studying/working in animation or for people seriously interested in approaching that world. The visual content and the amount of information is huge and impressive, it’s an amazing book overall and I’ve enjoyed knowing more about the evolution of animation and the many artists who made all that magic possible.

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Barbara Ciardo
Book I love n.8

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A book on production design for animation which is really for every artist, illustrator, comic artist,  painter and that’s basically because it’s all about fundamental principles of design and composition at the base of the visual language. There’s a lot of art from Disney’s classics and the artist himself is the designer of “Mulan”. He takes you along his storyboarding and staging process, composition, color and style decision making, all done with the support of wonderful art. Language is simple and for everybody.  I consider this book an essential part of my educational bookshelf, I keep it on my desk and read it again and again...

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Barbara Ciardo
Book I love n. 9

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Simply, I had to get this book!

Hans Bacher is the author of “Dream Worlds” a favourite of mine, so as soon as I discovered he had written another book I didn’t esitate a moment. “Visions” is even richer than the first one, it’s full of tips and samples on composition, rythm and camera shots; a deep and complete analysis about the anatomy of images. The book is for everyone interested in pursuing a career in visual arts, from illustration to comics, animation or videogames. Every principle of design, color, lighting is discussed with clarity and supported by a huge amount of pictures. Beautiful and essential.

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Barbara Ciardo
Book I love n.11

“Fine art is that in which the hand, the head, and the heart of a man go together”.

John Ruskin was an absolute master painter, art critic, philosopher, poet, teacher who wrote this book in form of letters to a student. He put here all his knowledge about drawing and composition going from the philosophy behind making art to his specific technical approach to drawing, leading you through a series of practical exercises like a zen master would do. He really seems to transmit a mindset more than an art to me and you follow this magic with faith until the last page. If I can find a bug, it is that I really expected to see more pictures of the master inside, anyway there’s no a single word in this book that is not exceptionally worthy.

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Barbara Ciardo
Book I love n.15

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This book is a little gem, it’s all about creativity and how to boost it. The author is an artist and teacher who puts all his experience in these pages full of strategies and practical exercises to to simply start filling the paper and let the magic happen. I found lots of inspirations in this book, it really helped me to overcome some blocks and to gain a more free approach to drawing and painting. To be less rational and more instinctive or to better balance at least. Very useful and enriching read.

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Barbara Ciardo