James Gurney is the incredible artist behind the awesome book series Dinotopia. If you haven't already seen it, do yourself a favour and get yourself a copy. The gadgets, the machinery and of course the dinosaurs are fantastic, but for my money the really cool thing about the books is the amazing locations/layouts he created.
If you are studying animation and want layout reference - you need to check out these books. I have met a lot of young artists who discount storybooks because they have 'words in them'. I know this sounds dumb, but many of these young artists fail to realize the goldmine of ideas and design styles to be found in what would normally be classified as 'Children's books' . To be fair, there are many smart young artists which are already finding inspiration in books like Dinotopia, I just wish there were more.
Now James Gurney has a new book showing techniques and how to - It will be arriving at the Labyrinth on Tuesday. I personally, can't wait for Tuesday.
Check out James's blog here.