I'm glad you posted this. It's the first of your work where I noticed your name and resolved to seek out other work by you, as I liked it so much. Mostly, however, I'm glad you posted it for the chance to raise what may be a sensitive question, regarding a problem I see with much fantasy illustration, which tends to involve the depiction of a pre-modern, generally medieval milieu. The characters look more like modern people in dress-up than actual people of the period.
I can't quite frame what there is about these depictions that suggests moderns in dress-up to me, except to say by comparison the figures of Jon Howe and Jon Rush look "period" where most other fantasy illustrator's figures don't, yours included.
But is it even a problem?
This work is a cover for a book about a teen-age girl in Arthur's day. The target audience, presumably modern teen-age girls, will relate to an image reflecting their experience, that's just good-sense marketing. This all assumes the anachronism is intentional, rather than an accidental by-product of using photo-reference, of painting in fact "a modern person in dress-up".
After all this, I guess that's the question, is the anachronism intentional or accidental?
wow man, nice work! So refined and yet you work so small(imo). The sequel cover is my prefered but both are blatantly excellent.
Random story(I hope it was you they were reffering to) : Went down to the local art store(I'm in New Zealand) to get some canvas and got chatting to the couple who had recently bought the place. Saw that he was busy working away on an illustration(very slick pencil piece) and so scooted on over to check it out. So we get talking for ages about illustration and turns out this guy knows his shit inside out and has STACKS(as in more than 2000 he tells me) of books on illustrators from past and present which gives me the preverbial hardon. Turns out his name is Jim Auckland(appropriate considering he's just moved to the city of Auckland) and was one of your old art teachers... atleast I think so!. Bizzare coincidence if I do say so myself. Been back a couple of times since and milled over some of his books and generally geeked out on the fact I've met (bar Rusty) someone who is into this stuff as much as I am.
hi! Good work man, i especially like the fact you're using oils, I love traditionnal rendering! the suggestion of the background is well done, the red and the weapons gives us just what the mind needs to imagine all the warriors behind!
I'm french, and I would like to know if american editors are giving you a lot of time to do your cover, because oil is so long to dry! And also Know how much is payed a cover , to compare with french editors... bye!
You raise an interesting point. I agree that a lot of F/SF illustration can appear too reference bound, and it's something I'm guilty of sometimes myself, even as I work against it. I know that I always find it somewhat distracting when I recognize models, costumes, or props in an illustration, and it's only gotten worse as publishing has tended more and more towards what are essentially photo manipulations for covers. I generally try for as much accuracy as I can in a historical piece (within the demands of the picture), but there is a certain specificity to working with models and photos that can work against a feeling of timelessness. On the other hand, when it works, the right models, props, lighting, etc, can give you things you never would be able to invent.
I know Jim Aukland's work, but I never studied with him. Pump him for all the info you can, though, he knows his stuff!
Thank you very much.
I think I touched on a bunch of your questions on the first page. Drying time isn't really an issue the way I paint because of the acrylic underpainting, keeping the layers thin, and using a drying medium. It's very rare for the paint not to be touch dry in twelve hours or so. As for prices, I think on average U.S. rates are higher than in Europe because the market is larger.
but i have a question about your process. i mean staying so very close to your photo-reference looks not very creative to me.
you would save time overpainting the photo in corel painter or ps. the result in print would make no big difference.
i don´t want to say you where chaeting. i only want to know if it´s the artdirector telling you to have it that photo-look-like... -or is there a reason you are doing so?
don´t get me wrong, it´s no crit on your process only a question.