The Ultimate Illustrations
As far as fantasy art is concerned, Boris and Julie have been at the forefront of fantasy illustration since the '70s. In this book, the sketches span more than fifteen years in the craft with a hundred pieces previously unpublished by the couple. Their individualistic sketches show fairy wings behind athletically posed women. Unlike many people's idea of an artist's work being experimental or purely for pleasure for fans at conventions, there are also those that were originally commissioned for companies yet never used. This happens to many artists during their careers, even the famous ones.
The first sketch the reader is met with is “Hands,” one of the more recent ones that would not look out of place on the cover of a rock band's DVD. For its entire foreboding attitude, it does bear jewelled horns (as most of their designs do) that add a touch of femininity to them. Some of the best illustrations in this book also serve as detailed studies of the human form. Boris and Julie partly share their distinct style filled with imagery of flowers, slight backgrounds and mossy rocks left sketched and unfinished.
Their art is meant for either sex to appreciate as it shows the feminine aspects of the figures and poses of the models. Every sinew, muscle and limb is reproduced in its glory in every picture. One example of the beauty of fantasy art is Boris's “Angel.” The picture is for a fan who previously contacted the artist to appear as a model in his drawings. Fairy wings spring from her back as though they have only just emerged, but she is far from taking flight in such a relaxed sitting pose. Julie's “Tattoo Fairy” contains much more detail mainly in the wings that have random tattoos etched on them. Her pose is what makes the picture look lovely. This piece was done for a tattoo art company.
Most of the illustrations are done in pencil, yet a few are composed in pen and ink - they produce much starker images with less tonal value. For fairy fans though, some images will be favourites: “Pandora's Hope,” “Russian Fairy,” “To Fly Again,” “Bird Woman” and “Fairy Lady.”
Boris's first pencil drawings were seen in a book called Mirage far back in 1982, and their result was the style seen in the majority of his pencil work in here. The Ultimate Illustrations is a wonderful book that shows the artists in a different light where normally their paintings would be between the pages. This proves their black and white art is every bit as great as their colour works.