The Work of Cynthia Sheppard

Cynthia Sheppard is a fantasy illustrator from Washington, D.C. she specializes in creating figurative art for video and tabletop games as well as books. She is able to create both digital works and oil paintings on paper and on boards.
Sheppard is a talented artist, capable of creating both realistic and abstract works. She has had work published in ImagineFX and Spectrum 17, and has worked with Zynga, Sinister Adventures, and Wizards of The Coast.
Honestly, her illustrations are far from illustrated maps or, say, cartoon illustrations. She has a strong following among Magic: The Gathering fans because of her creative designs, including the Rush of Blood oil painting :


and the Bloodcrazed Neonate digital work. Her Magic: The Gathering card designs are some of the most popular ones in modern packs.
Sheppard is a particularly fan-friendly and accessible artist. She frequently attends conventions to show off her work, give lectures, and meet fans. She even creates and shares videos of herself working, letting fans get a rare insight into the process of creating fantasy art. She is also an active blogger and can often be found sharing advice and tips with fellow artists online in various artistic communities.
Despite being an experienced artist, she believes that it is important to keep learning. She takes classes in painting and digital art regularly in order to improve her work and learn more about how to tell a story using illustrations. Fantasy art is a difficult niche, and Sheppard does a good job of creating powerful, bold images that evoke strong feelings without treading too far into the shock or gore qualities. She matches the tone and style of the universes that she works in well, handling angels, undead creatures such as zombies and vampires, and traditional fantasy creaures such as elves with equal ease.
In 2013, Sheppard made an appearance at the IlluXCon 6 Weekend Salon in Allentown, PA.

Review – Dorling Kindersley’s Children’s Book of Art

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The Children’s Book of Art published by Dorling Kindersley is a hardcover title that aims to introduce children to the world of art. The book was published in 2009, and offers younger readers a look at the works produced by artists ranging from Andy Warhol to Michelangelo.
In addition to showing children these amazing paintings, the book explains how the art was made, and what inspired the artists. It also suggests projects for children to try so that they can explore their own creative side. The book covers pop art, portraits, abstract works, impressionist art and more. The information contained in the book is well presented and easy for even young readers to understand. The book is 144 pages long, and offers a valuable insight into the works that it contains and the history behind each piece.
This book is aimed at slightly older readers than Usborne’s similar title and explores a wider range of media and art styles. It is designed as a standalone title so you won’t find yourself being pushed to refer to the internet every few pages for more information. It would be a good gift for a child that is studying art at school, or one that would like to become an artist themselves. The projects are practical and sensible, and while you will need to buy some materials if your child wants to try them, they are not unreasonably intricate and don’t demand any obscure or difficult to purchase paints or materials.
The book is well presented and the printing is high quality. Adults will enjoy looking at the prints, and may even learn something from the text too! This is a good title for the whole family to explore together, perhaps trying out some of the projects on a rainy holiday weekend.

The Usborne Children’s Book of Art

Childrens Book IllustrationThe Children’s Book of Art is a beautifully illustrated hard-backed art book that contains more than 30 different works of art, illustrated with photographs and cartoons to help children understand the images that they are looking at.
The book is a great introduction to the world of art for children aged 6+. The author worked with art historian Dr Erika Langmuir to choose the pieces to be included in the book. The art is supported with links to websites containing art related games and activities.
This book is a great way to introduce children to classic works of art (as well as illustrated maps do the same for art students, cartoon arts and not experienced illustrators). The website references in the book provide a good platform for children that want to explore specific works in more depth, and the book would work well as a complement to a museum or art gallery trip. The work is displayed in its true and uncensored form, so there are some nude illustrations present. This is handled quite tastefully, however.
The book includes several artists, including Van Gogh, Michelangelo, Turner, Picasso, Monet and Boticelli. Brief biographies of each artist are given, along with details of the style of art that they preferred and the materials that they used. Some of the topics mentioned in the book may be challenging for young children, so the title is best explored with a parent or teacher present.
Making classic art accessible is a difficult feat, but that’s what this book has managed to do. If you want to get your child to start exploring art and creativity at a young age then this is a good title to start with. It is aimed at younger readers but the quality of the book and its presentation make it a good introduction to fine art for older children as well.