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 art, and revisiting the past

Just the other day, Thunderstorm Books posted their newest book, Bryan Smith‘s Grimm Awakening. I was lucky enough to do the cover art for it, which was a great thing for me because I also did the cover for the original version way back in 2004.

It’s not often that an artist gets a second shot at the same work, and coming eight years apart was fascinating. It’s a great story, and Bryan’s writing with the character of Jack Grimm has been some of my favorite writing of any story.… Read the rest

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The game is afoot: Ebook cover art and design

Recently, I’ve had a couple of commissions to do ebook covers. Which is great, because I really am a starving artist (unemployed and all), so commissions help me survive. But that’s only part of why we’re here, the other side of it (and the point of this article) is designing for ebook covers.

Now, at the end of the day, the design really isn’t radically different. You still have margins, it still has to be proportionate, and so on. But there are some things to keep in mind with the ebook cover design that are very important, both with the artwork and with the design of the cover.… 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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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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From start to finish: The Cover of Brian Keene’s Scratch

I like seeing how art evolves, from the beginning of the thumbnail sketches all the way through the final product. I think you can literally see an artist’s though processes as they work through issues, try new things, and complete what their vision is.

In my case, it might be more like watching chaos unfold in front of you.

I created a video/slideshow of my cover art for author Brian Keene‘s novella Scratch, which was recently released by Cemetery Dance Publications. It hopefully shows the genesis from the initial thumbnail sketch through the final product, and as always let me know what you think.… Read the rest

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