The best fantasy art books

Many authors have picked their favorite books about fantasy art and why they recommend each book.

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The Art of Jeffrey Jones

By Cathy Fenner (editor), Annie Fenner (editor),

Book cover of The Art of Jeffrey Jones

Jeff Jones was a giant of fantasy illustration who followed in the footsteps of Frank Frazetta with great success, although the two men couldn't have been further apart in personality. Tired of restrictive art direction Jeff left illustration to evolve his style into fine art. He was one of those rare fantasy artists whose later works were stronger than his early works.

Jeff was a complex and tortured soul; an alcoholic who changed gender later in life to his own regret– a life lived to extremes. Jeff befriended me briefly online before his untimely death and it was wonderful to engage with him. Once again the Fenners created a labour of love here and the book is filled with full-page images and illuminating text.

Who am I?

As a fantasy and science fiction artist, or imaginative realist, I have always gravitated toward works of imagination and own many books on artists in this field, and love them all. Having met many of my artistic heroes this was a tough call so I picked the five that books that resonated with me during my early life and exploration of this most fantastic form of expression. I hope they fill you with the same wonder as they did with me.


I wrote...

The Sci-Fi & Fantasy Art of Patrick J. Jones

By Patrick J. Jones,

Book cover of The Sci-Fi & Fantasy Art of Patrick J. Jones

What is my book about?

This book is a collection of my fantasy and science fiction art over a period of ten years. Each painting chronicles my place in the world of art at the time and includes anecdotes on how each painting evolved, along with the trials and tribulations of my years as an illustrator transitioning into fine art. The book is also a testament to the pursuit of quality by Korero Press who indulged me by printing the biggest images possible in the highest quality.

The Fantasy Illustrator's Technique Book

By Gary A. Lippincott,

Book cover of The Fantasy Illustrator's Technique Book

This book is full of beautiful illustrations and great advice on creating your own fantastic scenes.  It goes into great detail on how to visualize your piece. While there is a full chapter specifically dedicated to drawing, there is also a section that looks at other mediums such as ink and watercolor and what techniques you can incorporate into your art using these materials. It is full of wonderful tips and advice, and is also a pleasure just to flip through.


Who am I?

I have been drawing fantasy creatures and characters for over thirty years now, and have collected hundreds of fantasy, art, and art instruction books over the decades. Both drawing and reading are a passion of mine, so I am happy to share some of my favorite fantasy art books that I have in my own personal library.


I wrote...

Drawing Fantastic Dragons: Create Amazing Full-Color Dragon Art, Including Eastern, Western and Classic Beasts

By Sandra Staple,

Book cover of Drawing Fantastic Dragons: Create Amazing Full-Color Dragon Art, Including Eastern, Western and Classic Beasts

What is my book about?

Drawing Fantastic Dragons teaches you all the tricks and techniques you’ll need to create your own amazing dragons and bring them to life in distinct and dramatic colors. With easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions, you’ll discover how to draw all types of dragons. Packed with example after example, this hands-on guide features dragons of all shapes and sizes, and includes a special section on how to draw unique beasts. It also features a special section on adding claws, scales, horns, beards, and other details to your dragons. 

Anatomy for Fantasy Artists

By Glenn Fabry,

Book cover of Anatomy for Fantasy Artists: An Essential Guide to Creating Action Figures and Fantastical Forms

This book is a great choice for artists that are interested in drawing humanoid fantasy characters or superheroes. It takes a close look at drawing action poses and includes many sketches and example drawings. It also includes photo references to use. It isn’t as much of a step-by-step tutorial book, but a great reference with lots of advice on creating your own dynamic characters.


Who am I?

I have been drawing fantasy creatures and characters for over thirty years now, and have collected hundreds of fantasy, art, and art instruction books over the decades. Both drawing and reading are a passion of mine, so I am happy to share some of my favorite fantasy art books that I have in my own personal library.


I wrote...

Drawing Fantastic Dragons: Create Amazing Full-Color Dragon Art, Including Eastern, Western and Classic Beasts

By Sandra Staple,

Book cover of Drawing Fantastic Dragons: Create Amazing Full-Color Dragon Art, Including Eastern, Western and Classic Beasts

What is my book about?

Drawing Fantastic Dragons teaches you all the tricks and techniques you’ll need to create your own amazing dragons and bring them to life in distinct and dramatic colors. With easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions, you’ll discover how to draw all types of dragons. Packed with example after example, this hands-on guide features dragons of all shapes and sizes, and includes a special section on how to draw unique beasts. It also features a special section on adding claws, scales, horns, beards, and other details to your dragons.