The process of new cover art and the grand feedback experiment

Last year, I created a cover for author Vincenzo Bilof’s Necropolis Now: Zombie Ascension. So, as is sometimes the case and something I look forward to, he asked if I could create the art for the book’s sequel, the now-released Queen of the Dead: Zombie Ascension II (go get it here).

Most of my year has been taken up by my art hiatus, from doing nearly any kind of art at all. I’ve done a handful of art pieces, as you can see on my site. But being away from it has had two interesting effects: my daily art skills have suffered, but my imagination has become sharper and sharper.… Read the rest

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New Ink Art and Walkthrough: The Revenant

This week for Alphabeasts, which I’m now caught up on, I decided to try something different. With my computer being backed up and doing some maintenance, I thought I would try a larger piece than the others have been.

This week’s letter was “R”, and the first thing that popped into my head was “revenant”. Those with a sharp eye might remember a cover I did a couple of years ago, for Brian Keene’s book A Gathering of Crows. That book featured a number of stylized revenants, and I thought this would be a good time to revisit that creature.… Read the rest

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Designing Foil Stamps for Covers: Maelstrom Set #2

Previously on my site here (well, here), I talked about foil stamp designs. I posted examples of designs from one of the books by Brian Keene, A Gathering of Crows. Earlier this summer I had the opportunity to create the foil stamp designs for the second Maelstrom set of books from Thunderstorm Books as well.

Foil stamp design is a bit different than the usual color work, as I explained in that previous article. Briefly, you don’t have many colors (or even shades of gray) to toy with, you get just one color.… Read the rest

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Graphic Design meets Art: Foil Feathers

Last year, when I was working on the cover for author Brian Keene’s A Gathering of Crows for Thunderstorm Books, I was asked if I could do a design for the foil imprint that was to go on the cover. Easy enough.

It’s a point at which my graphic design production background and my art met, as one could not live without the other.

The concept we came up with was easy. To represent things that happen in the story, we decided to go with five crow feathers falling down the front of the book.… Read the rest

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My art for the Maelstrom books

This is sort of an old story, since the three Maelstrom books, two by Brian Keene and one by Kelli Owen, have been out for a few months now. But, as with many things, life managed to get in the way of posting the art that I did for the run.

I decided to post them all again, save for the two I already posted (here and here, go check them out). I’m happy with them, though with all things there are parts I would change now. But, that’s the way of the artist.… Read the rest

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The part where I destroy a book

Ok, technically I’m not breaking a book. But I am being rude to it.

Some time ago, I started getting an idea that it might be fun to take one of my contributor copies, of some of the books I’ve created art for, and add new ink art throughout. The idea came about because one of my most known books, Night Visions 12, did not end up with the interior art inside it. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to find a way to add it back in.

Now, in the case of Night Visions 12, I can only find my one copy.… Read the rest

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Graphic Design and Art: My cover for A Gathering of Crows

Some time ago, I discussed the genesis of the cover art that I created for Maelstrom’s edition of author Brian Keene’s A Gathering of Crows (check it out here!). For that article, I talked about the content of the art, what it meant for the book, and in general the idea behind what’s going on in the image.

But I didn’t really talk about the design part of it.

Now, I know what you might say. Russ, you’re an artist, not a designer. But the truth is I’ve been a graphic designer for just as long as I’ve been an artist.… Read the rest

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The Golden Ratio or Fibonacci Spiral

Now, before we begin, let’s just say that my years of being an engineering student are way, WAY behind me.

But I was looking at a couple of sites today that discussed the Golden Ratio or the Fibonacci Spiral, a quasi-magical scientific idea (let that roll around in your head for a minute) by which supposedly “better” or “more pleasing” art can be developed. The spiral is better defined on other sites, so I’ll wait patiently while you Google it.

… all done?

Now, I don’t discount such ideas, including the rule of thirds, the rule of not centering your work, those kinds of things.… Read the rest

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