Illustration Friday: Homage

An Appointment Kept
An Appointment Kept 2006 (click to enlarge)

So, I was looking for some different, older, partially-aborted but more-directly-related-to-this-week’s -Illustration-Friday-topic images… but I couldn’t find them. I just got my new backup drive, but I haven’t gone digging through my archives yet to populate it. Somehow we’ll all have to console ourselves with this piece instead.

It’s not directly an homage, but it’s definitely the result of years of reading wonderful fantasy and sci-fi authors who have brought the unreal to life. Yes, I went through an intense Anne McCaffery phase, lol, but read voraciously and doodled fan artwork from many others, including our dearly departed Arthur C. Clark. In particular, I was also inspired by the art of Michael Whelan, who’s used the covers of those books and many others to bring vividly to life countless dragons, aliens, otherworldly landscapes, and the very human people caught in their midst. I’d always admired the rich colors and detail in his artwork and the obvious attention he pays to making sure the the book cover was true to the story inside. (It’s a pet peeve of mine when it’s obvious that a cover artist has no idea about the actual story they’re illustrating… but it does make me a bit sad that this narrative style for book cover art is out of vogue these days.) Is it a weird coincindence that his artwork graced the covers for many of my favorite genre authors? His cover artwork clearly takes the design of the book cover into account, but remains interesting on its own too. Even though I’ve focused on a very different medium, he’s definitely one of my earliest and enduring inspirations.

Detail from “An Appointment Kept”

This is one of the larger ink drawings I’ve done so far — the original is on 19×24 bristol, with most of the details drawn with teeny tiny 005 Micron pens, scanned and colored digitally. It was made as a fine-art piece for display; this image and the rest in the series weren’t from any story in particular but from a general idea for a story I’ve had floating around in my head. I was sooooo sick of drawing foliage by the time I was done, but even I’m amazed at how it looks in a 30-inch-tall giclee print. These low-res images hardly do it justice, alas.

2 thoughts on “Illustration Friday: Homage

  1. Dang, I missed this one. It’s magnificent. I love dragons, and yours is just beautiful. I agree with Eli, I can’t even imagine the patience you must have for this kind of detail.

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