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Masters of Science Fiction and Fantasy Art by Joe Haldeman, Karen Haber

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(23434) Job No:01-23425 Title:RP-Masters of Science Fiction&Fantasy Art
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page 28 MASTERS of SCIENCE FICTION and FANTASY ART
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DAVE SEELEY
“Even if I bury the entire photo collage with oil paint, it would
never look the way it does without the digital exploration
that’s at the core of how I approach image-making. The
computer allows me to experiment and ‘happen into’ things
that are then preserved and incorporated in the nish.”
Dave Seeley was a decade into an architectural career
when he won a traveling scholarship that changed his
life. “Suddenly I was seeing all this incredible historic art
mingled with architecture,” he recalls. “At the same time,
I was also seeking out the phenomenal art of European
graphic novels because I was a comics fan. That infusion
of art within the big-picture context of a four-month
‘walkabout’ ultimately inspired me to move from art-fan
architect to artist.” He adds, “By the way, Michelangelo
was an amazing fantasy artist!”
Shortly after his return to the United States, Seeley gave
up his career as an award-winning architect in order to
become an illustrator. Since then he’s won accolades
from art directors and fans for his textured, painterly
mixed-media images used as covers, posters, and Star
Wars tie-in book covers.
Seeley has been making art for as long as he can remember.
Born in Boston, he earned a degree in architecture and ne
art from Rice University in Houston, then returned to his
hometown to practice architecture. In his spare time
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Unincorporated Man. Digital.
Seeley begins by working up a digital image from as many as fifty or sixty photographic elements. He sketches over these
in Photoshop until he’s about 75 percent finished. Next he prints it out and begins to overpaint in oils.
COMBINED TRADITIONAL and DIGITAL TOOLS page 29
Virga 1.2. Oil on digital underpainting.
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Star Wars: Rogue Leader. Oil on digital underpainting. Collection
of George Lucas © Lucasfilm, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Seeley takes photos of himself in an orange flightsuit,
holding a light-saber toy. In Photoshop, he merges
several shots to get an exaggerated dynamic pose. Next,
he adds photos he’s taken of an X-wing model kit and
creates a background using National Aeronautics and
Space Administration (NASA) starscapes and Lucasfilm
archive photos to craft the dogfights. To bring more
attention to the main figure, Seeley brings in explosions
from U.S. Department of Defense photos, then refines
Luke’s likeness using Lucasfilm reference photos. When
the digital underpainting is done, the artist makes an
archival paper print, mounts it on a panel, seals it with
acrylic medium, and paints in oils the figure of Luke
Skywalker and the X-wing spacecrafts.
Unincorporated Man. Digital.
Seeley begins by working up a digital image from as many as fifty or sixty photographic elements. He sketches over these
in Photoshop until he’s about 75 percent finished. Next he prints it out and begins to overpaint in oils.
COMBINED TRADITIONAL and DIGITAL TOOLS page 29
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Star Trader: David Falkayn. Oil on digital underpainting.
Marque and Reprisal: The Vatta War. Oil on digital underpainting.
MARQUE DEVELOPMENT SEQUENCE: Seeley photographs a model for reference but only uses her face in the final image.
He also shoots—and then warps—photos of a motorcycle in Photoshop to use for armor. For spaceship wreckage in
orbit, he samples royalty-free photos of NASA spacescapes and U.S. Department of Defense aircrafts. For the ship’s interior
he sources an industrial stock photo and warps it. He also photographs his own gloved hands and a metal clip for the final
elements of his underpainting. He next makes an archival paper print, mounts it on a panel, seals it with acrylic medium,
and oil-paints the figure and ship interior.
Star Wars: Healer. Oil on digital underpainting. Collection of George Lucas.
© Lucasfilm, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
CryoBurn. Digital.
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