I'm really glad that I picked this book off the shelf at the comic book store. It's very well worth the money.
It is written in Chinese and I can't seem to find any English version of the book on the Internet. But I'll share some images from the book with you here.
The book is a collection of concept art paintings on the world and background settings used in some of Studio Ghibli. Four films are prominently featured, namely My Neighbour Totoro, Only Yesterday, Pom Poko and Princess Mononoke. Not all are from Hayao Miyazaki as you can see.
The beautiful scenic paintings are done in traditional media, mainly water colour and oils. There are several tutorials on painting, with one that explains the process of painting, with step by step photos of the painting in progress. Other subjects include colour mixing, composing the scene, brush choices, challenges when drawing for film and lessons learned during the research process.
As a bonus, sort of, there are a few pages of paintings included from Whisper of the Heart, Spirited Away and The Cat Returns.
This book, published by Front Media, seriously deserves a translation into other languages.
Updates (14 Sep 2008):
It appears that the background painter in the book is actually Kazuo Oga. Discovered that thanks to fellow blogger, blauereiter. Check out his entry on Kazuo Oga's art exhibition in 2007.
If you like this book, you might also want to check out the other art-of books I have reviewed for Studio Ghibli's movies.
Check out more photos from Miyazaki's Magical World from my Flickr photostream.
If you're interested in other art books, there's a complete list reviewed, with pictures, on my blog.
Here are some DVD links from amazon.com since I can't find the art book link.