Apologies for the lateness of this post; first all of PW‘s blogs were down, and then I was busy watching a woman strap half of her bra to Paul Krugman’s face in the name of science.
Anyway! I’m delighted to introduce the art of Carol Heyer, our featured artist for October. Two-time Chesley nominee Carol specializes in illustrating children’s books; you’ve probably also seen her artwork on the cover of novels published by Baen and gaming books from TSR and WOTC, and one of her paintings will grace the cover of the December ’09 issue of Realms of Fantasy (don’t worry, that link is worksafe).
Carol was kind enough to take this gig with very little time to spare, and she produced some spectacular images for us. Here’s how she went about it:
The first thing I did when I got ready to start this assignment was to check with Josh and Rose and find out if they wanted a straightforward portrait, or, since we all love fantasy, maybe they’d want to be portrayed as their favorite character. Once it was decided to go the fantasy route I did several thumbnail sketches, to determine the look, costumes etc. Out of those layouts I picked four and developed them into full sized drawings. The favorites were selected, tweaks were asked for and made. Then I got my canvas ready.
I use Fredrix’s, Knickerbocker, because it has a fine grain which allows me to achieve details in the hair, eyes etc. I cut it to size and use archival spray glue to mount it onto foam core. For my medium, I prefer acrylic paints. They dry faster, and I can make changes quickly and easily if needed. I lay in my dark colors first, then gradually build up my highlights.
For this assignment, since the final product was going to be so small, I also had to keep in mind that some details would be lost, or detract from the final image once it was reduced. I used a looser, fresher style, which I knew would translate into a livelier, more readable final image.
My last step was to glaze in the warmer colors on the face and hair, cooler colors into the background and shadows.
The payoff is the thrill and excitement of seeing the final product on a book cover, collector card, or online at Genreville.
Thanks Rose and Josh for asking me to work on this project with you! I had a great time!
Below are larger versions of the portraits, so you can see the fine detail. I love my "elfification", and my friends can attest that I really do wear elaborate ear jewelry much like the vine portrayed here. My garb has lovely fall colors, very suitable for October.
Carol gave each of us the choice of two costumes. Josh was thrilled by the idea of being portrayed in classic D&D-style leather armor. He could probably recite the encumbrance stats for you. (I’m sure our nerdiness shocks no one.) And check out the texture on that fur!
We’ve invited Carol to write up a guest post on any art-related topic she likes, so look for that mid-month. In the meantime, her art will be on display in our userpics here and on Twitter and YouTube.