Saturday, September 29, 2007


JAMES - i'm just really not that psyched with this month's cover. it's good enough i guess, and i was really into it as i was illustrating it, but when it came time to add the photo, it became kinda lackluster. it was a tough assignment, because it had to be about this 'ghost hunter' guy in Asheville, but instead of me just doing a full-on illustration, the publishers wanted me to incorporate a photo. except the photo wasn't given to me until the last minute, and making an exciting composition within the limitations of the photo was real HARD. not to mention the deadline was quickly approaching.

so i came up with the best idea i could, and quickly got to work. first, clean and detailed pencils with minor watercolor washes. then a layer of matte medium, and then more watercolor around the ghosts with charcoal and some acrylic.

tightened it up with red ink lines and more matte medium, then white paint to spook out the ghosts.

once in photoshop, i did alot of color adjusting to get it where i wanted and added that photo - which was tough to cut out and place in my painting. i slapped the logo on and showed it to the folks at the office. the first reaction was "Cool!", then another couple of reactions were like "Oh, look - sperms!"
well, shit, i guess i didn't notice THAT. so back to photoshop for some emergency color adjusting. i have to say the ghosts look cool to me, but as a cover and as a compostion, i just don't think it's effective or clear. striking, yes. good, no. oh well, next month should be alittle easier, since i already know the cover story (the first time i have it so early) so i'll get started on sketches this week. i have a little redeeming to do.


Jon Sperry said...

incorporating photos into artwork is always tricky in my opinion. You did a good job with this though, especially with your limited time frame.

james flames said...

thanks bro - i agree about the photo thing.
i think the whole 'sperms' thing threw me off, but i've gotten tons of compliments on it, so maybe i'm just being too tuff on it.

thomas pitilli said...

Yeah, i can definitely see how this one was a challenge. You were pretty much given a head shot and thats it, thats rough. I think what you did was clever and looks cool, although i can tell you probably didn't have as much fun with it as some of the other covers. Still, it catches the eye. However, i think you shoulda kept it looking like sperms just to freak out the locals...

H. Stewart said...

All the previous comments say what I wanted to say, thanks guys. It looks less "James" than most of your other work. Still a good cover, though.