Monday, April 30, 2012

Countdown to the Art of Death Cover Reveal! #3

The very first thing I decided about the Art of Death cover, before even settling on the Caravaggio/old painting inspiration, was that I wanted to show Riley's face but have his eyes be in shadow.

One of the things I've really enjoyed lately is experimenting with how expressive eyes can be while including as little detail in them as possible.  While a detailed rendered eye can be really cool (which is what I aimed for in my cover for The Dragon Tamer), it can also end up lifeless and lacking in emotion.  I wanted to show only enough of Riley's eyes to get the emotion across, and no more.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Countdown to the Art of Death Cover Reveal! #4

Another preview snippet of the Art of Death cover!

Did I mention something a few days back about attractive guys posing with fruit?  Oh yeah, and wine.  And there's the ultra subtle artist's signature at the bottom!  (It prints a little clearer than it looks here in the jpeg.)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Countdown to the Art of Death Cover Reveal! #5

Ah, I'm a couple hours late with this cover preview.  Sorry!  I spent all day immersed in another cover art job and lost track of time.  Anyway, here's a detail shot of part of the cover!

Hmm... Riley, what's that red liquid in the bottle you're holding...?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Countdown to the Art of Death Cover Reveal! #6

Okay, it's decided!  On Thursday, May 3, I will reveal the cover art for Art of Death!

Until then, every day I'll post a teaser or preview, such as a detail or progress shot.  Today, I'm starting with how I (or perhaps I should say my "other" self) came up with the concept for the cover.

First off, a bit of background: Art of Death is a novel about a starving artist named Riley Burke who works as a nude model at the local art school in order to make ends meet.  Needless to say, he's ecstatic when he gets an offer to pose for a highly lucrative modeling session with Coliaro, a famous oil painter from Chicago.

Of course, there's more to the story than that, but that's where the inspiration started for my cover art.  I always imagined Coliaro's painting style to be similar to Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio's.

Boy with a Basket of Fruit, Caravaggio, courtesy of Wikipedia

I chose to do the cover art with Riley in a manner similar to Caravaggio's early work, which often involved attractive youths with fruit and the like.  The cover depicts Riley as if posing for a Coliaro oil painting, and the technique is meant to recreate the look and feel of oil on canvas.  But of course, this is modern day Sarasota, Florida, not 16th century Italy.  Oh, and did I mention the rumor that the famous artist Coliaro is actually undead?

So yes, the Art of Death cover is like a Caravaggio painting, but with a bit of a creepy twist.

More to come tomorrow!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Art of Death - Things are starting to happen!

I'm very excited right now because production has started on Art of Death.  I finished my cover a couple weeks ago.  I had originally planned to wait until the listing was up on the Dreamspinner Press website before doing the official cover reveal, but I don't think that will happen until June or so, and I don't know if I can wait that long!  I'm really excited about the cover.  I printed a huge 12x18 glossy photo print of it, and it looks way more amazing than I thought it would.  My art tends to look better on screen than in print  because I do it digitally, but I loved this one as a huge glossy print.  I plan to do a giveaway for the print; stay tuned for details!

Perhaps I'll do the cover reveal next Thursday...?

In addition to the cover, my manuscript is now in the editing queue.  I got my blurb draft questionnaire today, too.  Filling it out was surprisingly fun, though I feel I may have been more verbose than necessary.  I always err on the side of giving too much information, because I know I get frustrated if I don't feel I have enough information to work with.  Either way, I'm letting it stew overnight so I can review it tomorrow and make tweaks before sending it back in.

I also got the request for front matter such as dedications/acknowledgments.  I already know one person who's going to get a big fat mention here, but I need to think about if there's anyone else I'm missing.

And finally, I'm 51,000 words into the sequel (which I'm tentatively calling Bonds of Death, unless something else comes to mind in the next month).  Art of Death can stand alone as a story, but I had to write the sequel, and as it stands right now I love it every bit as much as the first, if not more.  When I first started writing it, it felt like I was visiting old friends and discovering new things I'd never known about them.  And I know exactly what I plan to do for the cover as well.

Additionally, I now have the domain name  At this point, it'll redirect to my blogger.  But eventually I'll find the time to build a new website from scratch.

So exciting stuff is happening all around!  As an added bonus, have a quick concept sketch of Porter Gomez, my favorite big-haired art school student.  (disclaimer: I'm not saying this is exactly what he looks like or how you should imagine him when you read.  This is just how I imagined him at the time I drew the picture.)  I'll probably switch my userpic to his face, because Porter is the man.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A quick note to authors with blogs

Are you posting a photo you didn't create?  An illustration?  A webcomic snippet?  Any other piece of imagery from the internet that you didn't license or pay for?  Then for the love of creative integrity, credit the original source!  This is important, especially if you're a professional!