Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dave Stevens' Sketchbook

Here's the cover I designed to the new IDW sketchbook coming out from IDW. It continues to be a privilege to be associated with work by Dave Stevens. This is a 256 page hardcover book that collects all of the sketchbooks that Dave self-published. Also included in this book, is approximately 80 pages of additional sketchbook material, being printed for the first time. There is a great mix of both black and white images and full color art pieces. With designing this book, I wanting to keep with the Art Deco influences of the previous Dave Stevens books. I thought it would be a great companion piece to "The Rocketeer Artist's Edition" book, and also "The Complete Rocketeer Deluxe" book. The lightning bolts on this cover are a nod to that similar design element in the Deluxe book.

Inside the book, you get to see how versatile Dave's abilities were. Along side of the pin-up drawings, are hollywood portraits, animation drawings, advertising art, figure drawing, movie poster concepts, watercolors, charcoal, pen and ink, commissions, and personal work. Along with the variety, is also a window into his working style and growth as an artist. To me, the book feels really complete and a valuable resource to fans of illustration.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Walter Simonson's Thor Artist's Edition

Here's the new cover to the latest version of IDW's Artist Edition series. When I say series, keep that in mind, in other words, there will be more announcements soon! This book prints 7 issues from Walter Simonson's run on The Mighty Thor. The art is all printed from the actual art boards at actual size ( a whopping 12" x 17"). Walter provided all of the original artwork himself, which was scanned in at a very hi-resolution and in color. Even though the actual artwork itself was done as black and white, all of the nuances of the original art page appear as if you are looking at an original piece of art. The artboards retain the slightly yellowed appearance of age, along with pencil lines, white out and zip-a-tone. This book is following in the path of last years release of, Dave Steven's The Rocketeer Artist's Edition, (which has been nominated this year, for an Eisner award for book design). The goal on this book, is to have it printed in time for the San Diego Comic-Con.

Bruce Timm Art Book Covers

One of the latest projects I've been working on, is a hefty art book of Bruce Timm's good girl art for Flesk publications. Once again, this project has been nothing but pure joy! What's posted above, is a selection of designs that were presented for approval, for the cover of his new art book. This was a real process of getting to know each other's style, and trying to execute a cover that met with Bruce's vision.

The original source of inspiration for the designs, were based on the great paperback cover art of Robert McGinnis and Mitchell Hooks. During the mid 50's to mid 60's, thousands of these crime/mystery paperbacks were released to the enthusiastic hands of the general public. Bruce wanted to not only pay homage to the cover artists, but also to the design style of that period. I noticed that a lot of the books had hand-rendered title treatments. I wanted to explore that idea and see if in my own way, I could create something that felt authentic. It was a fun challenge to try to create something new and fresh, without relying on a pre-existing type font.

I tried to incorporate floating shapes and complimentary colors to the cover design, which combined with the painting, would look vintage. The cover design ultimately picked, was the last cover posted, which shows a more elegant and less busy design. This actually puts more emphasis on the figure and less on the title. This is a nice simple solution with a feeling of symmetrical balance.