Featurin' Pop Art

You'll find various articles on pop culture artists or artworks featured here. This is James Jeans' "Rift"

Featurin' Anime/Manga

You'll find various articles on anime + manga artists or artworks featured here. This is KYMG's "butterfly M82A1"

Featurin' PC/Video Games

You'll find various articles on PC + video game related artists or artworks featured here. This is Jeong Juno's "Last Rebellion"

In complete honesty, I was a bit hesitant to purchase Krenz's Art books. I love talent in many different forms, but his focus on cute looking females isn't really my thing. If I see an artist that almost solely draws moe girls it really takes something special or exceptional to pique my interest.  Well, I was pleasantly surprised at how his females had more variety than the usual moe girl (or what his covers falsely led me to believe), but well... don't judge these books solely on their covers. There's enough variety to please most fans of anime/manga inspired art. These books are further personal hobby releases so I'll further provide some advertising and information on how to directly purchase them from the artist. I love promoting lesser known artists so please support Kreuz!!!! :D

Due to the similarity of content and presentation of Krenz's books,  I have decided to review all three books in one cumulative review.

* I apologize for leaving out photos of Book I+II. I didn't have it on hand at the time of this review, but books 3 and 4 are very similar to the first book.

Basic Stats
Title: Krenz's Artwork I+II, Krenz's Artwork III, Krenz's Artwork IV
Author/Artist: Krenz (Cushart)
Publisher: Gain-How Printing Co. Ltd.
Pages: 40 pages, 48 pages, 48 pages
Dimensions: B5, A4, B5 :: Softcover
Date of Publication: July 2010 (Reprint), July 2009, July 2010
Retail Price: $7.00 USD each :: Shipping worldwide is an additional $5.00 for each book when purchased directly from Krenz.

                The quality of build on these books are above average for  doujin releases. I love the smooth matte covers. They're thicker than the usual fare and look like they'll withstand a fair amount of damage for being single ply. They're definitely a heavier and treated cardstock.  All of the pages are glossy, and I found this helped incredibly towards the polish of the presentation. It might just be my monitor, but when browsing Krenz's gallery, I felt the images were just a bit too washed out, or the colours just a bit too soft and subtle. I can happily say that the print reproductions look even more fabulous than what you see online. There's just enough pop and contrast to add a layer of vibrancy, while at the same time they're still soft and close enough to be faithful to his original digital paintings. Perhaps... it's just me, but I felt that his images online pale somewhat to his images in print.

As for the format, I'm sure that my readers are now well aware that I believe that size matters. Although big is almost always better, I found myself preferring the perfect binding done on the B5 books (1+2, and 4) instead of the simpler staple binding of the A4 book (III). I noticed that there were some crease marks in the back of the A4 book due to the staple binding. Now, if future books are perfect bound AND A4, well that's the icing on the cake.  (nudge, nudge Krenz XD)

                Krenz's Art books feature a mix between his professional and personal works. I believe his professional work comprises mostly novel covers with some game related character designs mixed in among the pages. His earlier books have more original artwork while his newer volume (IV) is more focused on character designs.
                I prefer the older volumes because they include more full blown illustrations and less sketch work or character designs (not that his sketch work is any less impressive, I'm just a fan of all over colour). He wisely presents these paintings in either double page spreads or full page bleeds. There is no white showing and I remain firm that this is the best way to have artwork formatted on a page. I have to admit though, I liked the creative way he used to display illustrations in book IV. He would have a three quarters of the page for the finished piece, and three mini images of the work in progress, from rough sketches to basic colour blocking. Refer to the blonde elf to see exactly what I'm talking about. 
                Krenz is effortlessly versatile. He likes doing fantasy, but his true passion appears to be drawing real world characters, or atleast characters that wear contemporary clothes and live in worlds that mirror our own real world. Just as his colouring and shading is soft and subtle, he's not an artist that tries vainly to go all out. He prefers to keep his art understated, with his style the only thing needed to give the artwork a spark of fantasy. I admire how he doesn't try too hard to capture the eye of the viewer. His art remains  serene and ultimately evokes a sense of a comfort.
                If I could find any fault in his art, it would be that he strongly prefers to draw and paint females. I would like to see more males as they only make up 15-30% of the representation in his books. He's very capable of drawing males, I daresay he's better at drawing males than females. His pretty boys look great, his gruffer middle aged men look good as well, hell even his old bearded grandpas kick some major ass!  His men manage to look different, both in terms of demographics and personal characteristics. They have different faces, body builds, etc. Personally, I couldn't help making a comparison with Range Murata in this aspect.


Ending Notes
-  The books are hella cheap (price not quality) and a worthwhile purchase for anyone interested in anime/manga styled art. His work will appeal to both males and females, even if most of his subjects are young women.
- His dragon is eye popping fantastic. I wonder how skilled he is at drawing other animals, both real and imaginative.
- He likes pink. He likes pink alot. XD

Final Rating
- Strongest point: Krenz's portrayal of males displays not only his skill and understanding of the male form, but he's not afraid to show a strong degree of variety. His males all have different characteristics.  
- Weakest point: I couldn't think of a real fault so.... I'll just make one point. I wanted MORE males. Male to female ratio is WAY TOO LOW!!! :D:D:D:D:D:D

7.8 /10 <- Above average and great quality.

*** Please contact Krenz at hydrakrenz[@]hotmail.com or visit his DeviantArt page at http://cushart.deviantart.com/ for full details and to place an order.  

5 Responses so far.

  1. Vector says:

    Nice Blog man!!

    I love collect artbooks too. I want one of Jingai Makyo from Nitro+
    but I don't know which is better or if they are similar, I hope you make a review of those soon.

  2. Jenn says:

    Hey Vector! Thanks for the comment~

    I always take reader requests into consideration, so you might see a review up soon!

    From what I remember, Jingai Makyo - Hyakka Emaki Official Book is a "complete" art book of the game covering sketches, character designs, and illustrations. You have some B/W, colour and text. It is the most comprehensive available for the series. Pornojester is also notable since it's full colour (mostly illustrations I recall) but it covers all of of the games NiΘ did concept art for (Demonbane, Jingai Makyo, Satsuriku no Django).

    Naturally you can expect some overlap in the two books.

    Hope that bit of info helps. Thanks for reading!

  3. Vector says:

    Thanks for the reply, so if i have to choose from Hyakka Emaki and Jingai Makyo Concept Works...then the best choice is Hyakka Emaki.

    You really help me with this, Im from Argentina so is a little expensive buy this books and I have to be very careful.

    So thanks for the help and keep the good work. I will keep reading your blog, is really interesting.

  4. Jenn says:

    Yes, I remember alot more black and white sketches/roughs.. than colour. Plus text was pretty heavy in the Concept Works.

    Hyakka Emaki was released later on and it features more finished illustrations meaning more coloured pieces and coloured character designs.

    I think you'll be happier with Hyakka Emaki, since I personally prefer it over Concept Works. :)

  5. Abelcosta says:

    Hy, beautiful work. Krenz have a great work.

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