Art Fundamentals – 3DTotal Publishing

Title: Art Fundamentals

Author: Gilles Beloeil, Andrei Riabovitchev, Roberto F. Castro and 3DTotal Team

Publisher: 3DTotal Publishing

Year: 2013

Pages: 320

Available at: Amazon

About the Authors

Gilles Beloeil currently works as a matt painter and senior concept artist at Ubisoft in Montreal, Canad. He has worked on the popular Assassin’s Creed video game series.

Andrei Riabovitchev works at NPC London as a talented concept artist with an impressive history of work and experiences such as the Harry Potter films, X-Men: First Class, Snow White and the Huntsman, Clash of the Titans and Prometheus.

Roberto F Castro works at Atomhawk Design studio on video games such as Dead Island and Mortal Kombat.

3DTotal Publishing started off as a simple 3D resource website in 1999 named 3dTotoal. Over the years the website has grown and became one of the leading CG art websites in the world. The website now offers a wide range of products and resources. They have a free texture library, free tutorials on various art subject, an art gallery and other art products.

3DTotal partnered with Focal Press in 2006 and started publishing the Digital Art Masters and Digital Painting Techniques series. These books contain useful information and tutorials on digital art to help inspiring digital artists to learn and improve.

3DTotal Publishing was launched in 2010. Continuing with the Digital Art Masters and Digital Painting Techniques series, it has also published many new books, all aimed at helping to educate and inspire digital artists.

Book Description

Written by some of the most experienced artists in the games and film industries, this books not only provides the information needed for beginner artists to get started on their creative journey but also helps more experienced artists brush up on their fundamentals. To create a decent piece of artwork, an artist will need a solid understanding of the fundamental.

This book focuses on the key main topics of art fundamentals: Colour and Light, Composition, Perspective and Depth, and Anatomy. Each chapter focuses on one of the fundamentals. You will learn about various concepts, conventions and theories of art that are important and essential to create your own artworks. Such as how to decide which colours to use, their relationships, the Rule of Thirds for dynamic composition, how to tell a story and create emotions.


Chapter 1: Colour and Light

First talks about the basic properties and some technical terms of light, shadow, colour and value. You will be introduced to the value scale, colour schemes etc. Then it goes into more details on those topics, explaining and showing you examples of how to choose key values for composition, choosing colours that work, understanding colour temperature etc.

Chapter 2: Composition

Introduces you to how the golden ratio came about throughout history. It then shows you how to construct the golden ratio with a rectangle, square, spiral and how it can be applied to your composition. It then talks about the 5 laws of composition and how light, colour and the placement of your objects can affect your composition. The chapter ends with some rule for making thumbnails.

Chapter 3: Perspective and Depth

Explains the difference between perspective and depth. Introduces you to the 2 different types of perspective before showing you how they’re constructed. Shows you the elements and how to construct 1,2 and 3 point perspectives. Then, it talks about how light and colour can affect the composition, perspective and depth of your artwork.

Chapter 4: Anatomy

This chapter goes through the different parts of the human body in order. For each part of the human body, it shows you the simple construction in basic shapes, muscle and bone structure, different angles and some tips on drawing them. After that, it shows you how different muscles on the face can affect your facial expressions and ends off with how to draw poses and some step by step figure drawing examples.

Chapter 5: Reference Gallery

A gallery of beautiful artworks and explains how the fundamentals of art are applied in them.

Chapter 6: Art Gallery

A gallery of beautiful artworks and explanations from each of the artist about their thought process when making the piece and some tips.

My Review

For me, this books was not only a good refresher on some fundamentals that I’ve forgotten, but it also taught me new things like the golden ratio. I enjoyed looking through the gallery and reading how the artists were thinking when they were creating the pieces and the choices they made to create the final result that they wanted. I’ll definitely be going back to the gallery part in the future for reference or inspiration. This is a great introductory book for beginners, I wish I had gotten this book sooner when I was just a beginner. The perspective chapter was also very useful for me as it’s one of my weak points.

There’s a sequel called’ Beyond Art Fundamentals’ which I’ll be soon and can’t wait to read through.

Interested in the book? Click here to get it now!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this book review if you are interested in purchasing this book please click here. When you purchase a book through the affiliate links I’ve provided, I get a small commission( at no extra cost to you!) which help me keep writing reviews like this one.

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8 Responses

  1. Hello Mary, I must say that this review is very helpful and informative. My friend actually recommended me this book as he knows I am a big fan of art so I decided to take a closer look at it. Honestly, I really like it and I can see it offer value, the price is okay for me so I will definitely get one for me.

  2. I am so glad that I have stumbled across your website.  My niece has just finished her university degree in the UK and is looking to specialise in 3D Creations.  Ideally she would love to work a theatre of, more ambitiously, on a movie.

    I think this book would be a great addition to her collection, so I will certainly be putting that on Santa’s list for her Christmas Stocking.

    Thanks for a great review


    1. Thanks! Although this book doesn’t talk about 3D creations, but the fundamentals it teaches can be used in different artforms. I hope your niece will enjoy the book. 

  3. Thanks for sharing with us such an amazing article.

     I am a beginner in this art industry and for me it is a hobby. I’ve always wondered what is behind these artists who can create such works. I would like to buy this book to give me more tips on painting effects and step-by-step instructions.

    My first thing I want to know  is how to convey fear in a landscape painting and i hope to find some detailed images in which they show you how utilize various painting techniques such as textures and compositions. 

    Thanks again and i hope to see more posts like this. 

  4. Hello Mary,

    I read this book last year. It is awesome for me. I will read this book again to refresh my knowledge. I like gallery part very much. I will check it again for inspiration. I was inspired very much when I read it first time. 

    It is the best book for art beginners. I think every one have to read this wonderful book to know art fundamentals.

    Thanks for giving us light and hope.


    1. Thanks! I’m glad that you agree with me! Yes the art gallery is very good for inspiration and reference too. 

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