It’s been a long time since I’ve had time to sit down and really, really enjoy an art book. Being an artist myself—not to mention, modest—I usually gauge the quality of an art book on its inspirational value…
“Rough Works: Concept Art, Doodles, and Sketchbook Drawings by Frank Frazetta” is a different kind of art book, as you can tell by the title itself. If you’re a fan of fantasy art of any sort, chances are that you’re already very familiar with at least some of Frazetta’s incomparable paintings and illustrations. If you’re a true fanatic, then you’ve most likely read titles like “Frank Frazetta Icon” or “Frank Frazetta: Book I”, among others that comprehensively display Frazetta’s timeless work.
“Rough Works” shows you what happens between those major works.
As co-editor Arnie Fenner notes in the book’s introduction, Frank often did paintings and other works purely off of inspiration, but he also did sketches and comps to gather his ideas before putting a brush to the canvas.
And although Frank didn’t keep an organized file of those sketches, not all of them were mislaid… luckily for us. “Rough Works” shows us everything from mockups of now famous paintings to random sketches done on coffee-stained parchment. The book flows back through the years, exhibiting work done as far back as the early sixties. The content of the pictures is pure Frazetta. It’s all here, from the buxom beauties to the muscle toned barbarians, the tyrannosauruses to the great apes, and the vampires to the spaceships.
A ‘padded’ hardcover with extra heavy pages, “Rough Edges” is not only a feast for the eyes, but a small glimpse into the mind of a genius at work; it’s a brilliant collection that will inspire your mind to explore its darker corners and feed your imagination’s baser instincts.At 127 pages, I only wish that it had been longer.
Rated: 5 out of 5