Sunday, August 28, 2011

Gay book cover art again ... soooo pretty, this one!

Somebody said the other day, "There used to be this great digital artist, went by the pen name -- or would it be 'brush name?' -- of Jade. Whatever happened to her?"

And someone else said, "I don't know ... she vanished. I think she might have died. Well, either that or she gave up the painting and got a goat farm in New Zealand, and she lives halfway up a mountainside right now, catching up on her sleep."

Hmmm. Chance, as the British say, would be a fine thing! No such luck, fellow travelers. August has simply been a blizzard of work, added to which, I haven't been well a lot of the time! Art? Yep, there's been TONS of it. All of the commercial variety, nothing creative ... nothing worth uploading, till this piece, which I did the other day.

A while ago I created a new character, using the Jerome skinmap and the Yannis Rasta dreadlocks, and I'd just gotten done rendering him when I thought, "I know who you are!" I hadn't set out to create Rogan Dahl from The Lords of Harbendane, but that's pretty much what happened accidentally. In the last month, I've been repackaging numerous books from our list, and it was just too great a temptation ... I had to do a new cover for Harbendane while I was there.

This is the third cover this book has had, and it's definitely the best. Here it is with its text objects pasted up:

Now, that's pretty! Gay books need quite delicate cover art, because it's entirely possible Aunt Maud might be looking, and we don't want to give her a seizure. But on the other hand the art needs to be representational of the content of the story. Harbendane is a love story as well as a huge epic fantasy taking place in the northern valleys, and the bleaker lands not far south of the arctic circle. I think this piece does the job nicely.

These are two Michael 4s, obviously. Yannis Rastra Dreads and Jerome skinmap on Rogan (face and body morphs my me) while Tristan is wearing the Aether hair and the Mario skinmap. Rogan is wearing the Lockwood pants and the AS Narkilir shirt (all textures changed), and Tristan is wearing the Lockwood shirt and the Cold Life pants (all textures changed). In the background is a digital painting I did a couple of years ago for the original cover. The sky, mountains and foreground are literally cut out of three different photos, and painted together. This was done looooong before I had Photoshop, so the work was done in Micrografx. The foreground comprises the Rodi Design baby fir trees (from Content Paradise), and a bit of overpainting in Photoshop using Ron's Magical Snow brushes (from DAZ). Then the whole shebang was color saturated for extra impact, and shipped into Serif X3 for the text objects to be added.

So sorry to have been absent for eons! I'm almost at the end of the avalanche of work, and in the last couple of weeks I've bought loads of 3D models ... new skinmaps, hair, sets, props, Photoshop brushes ... that I haven't even unpacked yet. I'm dying to get to the end of the overwork, so I can get back to some art -- art for its own same. Ars gratia artis, pardon the Latin.

So, like the man said in the movie, I'll be back! Soon.

Jade, August 28
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