Beauty And The Beast by Chris Achilléos (book review).

Upon examining Chris Achilleos’ book “Beauty and the Beast,” it appears to be the first of four art books he has released. The introduction notes that when Achilleos opted not to use an airbrush, he favored acrylics. Surprisingly, half of the artwork in this 1978 collection was not airbrushed, suggesting it represents some of his earlier work. The colors in these pieces are notably muted.

This shouldn’t be too unexpected, as even commercial artists need time to develop their art and style, adapting to what sells best. Achilleos clearly found success in the airbrush market, but also underwent a transition in his color schemes while maintaining his meticulous attention to detail. This collection offers a wide variety of subjects, including cowboys, numerous fantasy pieces, and even a certain Time Lord featured in work for Radio Times and Target publishers.

The introduction also emphasizes that each painting took between a week and a month to complete, with extensive preliminary work often involving live models. Some double-page pieces are included, but the book’s binding ensures that the center of the artwork is not lost in the fold. This quality raises the question of why modern-day publishers do not return to this type of binding.

GF Willmetts

March 2023

(pub: Paper Tiger, 1978. 92 page illustrated softcover. Price: ISBN: 0-905895-12-6)

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