both are great pieces. my only crit is on the boat one.
the boat is painted well, but its a bit bare. Where are the chests, coils of rope, and paraphernalia of sailboats?
love the wave its on
Mike, thanks for the kind words. The bareness of the ship is actually a point in the story, the storm is so bad that everything (and everyone) gets washed overboard. The three main characters only survive because they tie themselves down.
Originally Posted by tou
awesome paintings tristan, the snake one is fabulous. what was your timeline on these paintings?
Originally Posted by Brendan N
Wow, those painting are spectacular!
Awesome job on the waves and the sail in the first, love the rendering on them.
And everything in the second one is just pure eye candy.
How long did these take you?
Thanks for sharing, very inspiring, *****.
Thank you both. Publishing deadlines tend to be fairly generous, so I had a few weeks to a few months for all of these. It's hard to keep track of exactly how much time is spent on an individual job because I'm usually working on several things at once, but actual painting time (not counting research, reference gathering, shoots, sketches, prep work, etc) ranges from a few days to a week or two.
These paintings are all excellent, and I'd kill to be able to paint like that.
I wanted to compliment you on something else though. I dig that signature symbol of yours... The Tau Alpha Epsilon.
Pretty straight forward as far as initials go, but the arrangement is classy, and it gives your paintings an even more refined appeal.
Nice work on that
Glad you like it. It's something I came up with when I was a teenager, based on Tolkien's JRRT monogram. Even though I don't use my middle "A" in any professional capacity, now I'm stuck with it .
Originally Posted by Chris Bennett
Boy oh boy, so this is what your work looks like! This is the first time I've seen this thread (being a little bit newbie still) and it's a real pleasure to look at. Quiet yet confident, strong but with a sense of humility and all the pieces make their statement without overstatement, generally avoiding melodrama. The 'night cat' and the 'fire horse' are my favourites among the work here, all of which is marvelous to look at.
In a general sense I'm going to pay you the highest compliment I can: Having seen this, I think I would know your work almost anywhere - and what is more, (and rarer), this is not achieved by gimmicks, subject repetition, colour schemes or deliberate quirkiness of intent. It's something deeper, down in the 'DNA' of what's happening and is a product of a heartfelt caring about what you do regardless of doing it for a living - someone who really understands that you cannot bullshit your muse.
Gee, Chris, now you've got me all flustered .
Fortunately there's this to keep me in place.
Originally Posted by Seedling
OooooOOOooooo! Thank you for sharing! I'm loving the old-school iguana-t-rex dragons! I may have to pick up one of these books now.
Yeah, those are definitely big mean scary lizard dragons, not the elegant fantasy type. The books are pretty good, which is always a nice bonus.
Originally Posted by Bill
I just discovered this whole thread. All of the paintings are great as usual. It's interesting how many of the the crits can be explained by the influence of layout considerations, story considerations, changing input from an AD... etc. that most of us are unaware of as 'parameters' affecting the outcome of the piece. As a non-pro I learned a little in that.
Also, last month I saw for the first time your technique demo. I switched after my Sophmore year, on the fly, from the business school into a finearts program that wasn't showing us anything like that, or much else regarding technique, process, materials, presentation.... Lesson in life: Choosing your art school based on the university's business program is not the best recipe for success. I imagine SVA is pretty fantastic. Anyway, I would have killed to see something like that when I was student and I thought it was very well done and valuable.
One more. Personally, I like your sketches and and studies (as sketches and studies go) almost as much as the finishes. I think you mentioned on the ISpot a few years ago that you don't do much personal work due to time interests but I wonder if there's a sketchbook with more of those somewhere. It's always interesting to see a persons draftsmanship when you're already familiar with thier finishes.
Again, nice stuff,
Hey Bill, long time no see. Stick around here, I think you'll like it. I don't have much else in the way of sketches posted, but maybe I'll try to get some more up.
Originally Posted by otsopsanig
Say, you did the cover for Tooth and Claw, right? I read that book when I was travelling a long while ago and I really loved the cover, but didn't bother to look up who did it... (Eheh... Sorry)
And then I came upon this website.
And saw it was you.
Your work rules!
Thanks a lot! For everybody else, here's the piece in question (speaking of elegant fantasy dragons):
Yeah, your monogram rules! These latest paintings are all very inspiring, but the most inspiring picture I've found through this forum is still the one with the dark haired girl riding the horse. It's seriously my favourite picture ever.
This stuff is wonderful! Your mastery of oils and fine attention to detail are really breathtaking. You must spend ages doing this stuff. Regardless, it's all wonderfully believable and intricate. Love it.
These two are my favourites out of the batch - which is odd, because I'm usually a stupid fan of warmer tones. The facial expressions here are particularly what I'm liking, sort of unnerving - very believable.
No crits here, thank you for sharing such hugely inspiring work. I'm off to paint sir.
I'm not sure if this has been asked before but here goes.
Are you expected to read the books cover to cover that you illustrate for? What I mean is, what if you are doing several covers at once; how can one read fast enough to also paint them?
It totally depends. Sometimes I'll be given a manuscript with no initial art direction and asked to come up with a bunch of possible cover concepts. Sometimes I'll get a synopsis and character descriptions, but again the concepts are up to me. Sometimes I'll be given a general direction or a scene that might make a good cover. Sometimes I'll be given a very specific brief, describing exactly the image they want. Sometimes I'll even be commissioned for the cover before the book has even been written! Whenever possible I like to have a manuscript to refer to, even if I'm working from a detailed brief, because often there are details or descriptions that may have been missed. Also, there have been a couple of occasions where there were mistakes in the brief that I only picked up on because I had also read the manuscript. I read fast, but also selectively. I'm mainly interested in descriptive passages, and don't always make it to the end of the book, because one rarely includes information from, say, the last quarter or so of a story on a cover (spoilers!).
Always wonderful to see a true professional's work on display, master Elwell. Beautiful imagery.
Apart from the fire horse, which is always going to be a crowd pleaser, I think the other one that really caught my attention among such an excellent crop, is that one of the boat in a stormy sea - 'Crispin - The Edge of the World'. Just love that one.
In fact there's only one thing bothering me. Despite any proof you may think you have, I'm pretty sure you aren't my Dad. For starters, I can tell by the way you type, you are just far too tall and have the wrong hair colour.
Hi - It's a beautiful painting. One thing that gnaws at me is the girls hand - I feel , considering what's happening, it would be clutching onto the horse or it's mane with much more intensity. But that's nitpicking.