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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 42 MASTERS of SCIENCE FICTION and FANTASY ART
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JOHN PICACIO
“I like drawing and painting the elements of a nal picture
in the real world and then use Photoshop to combine them
into the nished picture. I keep my hands dirty via pencils
and paints, while allowing room for surprise and spontaneity
when combining them via digital means.”
John Picacio is a World Fantasy Award–winning illustrator
of science ction, fantasy, and horror. His artwork is noted
for its dramatic composition and bold use of color as well
as its diversity and range, often combining traditional
drawing and painting with dynamic digital effects and/or
unique handmade assemblages.
“I use different working methods for different assignments,”
says Picacio. “My work is often a blend of traditional and
digital means. Sometimes it’s 100 percent traditional but
never 100 percent digital. I’ve always tried to stay open
to new media, as tasks call for them.” He adds, “I think
the pencil is still my favorite tool, because I love to draw.
Everything I do starts with pencil drawing. I sketch with
Ebony pencils and I like building up value with Faber-
Castells for a nal drawing.”
Picacio has painted covers for a pantheon of writers,
including Dan Simmons, James Tiptree Jr., Fredrik Pohl,
Robert Silverberg, Jeffrey Ford, and Joe R. Lansdale.
He has also provided cover artwork for franchises such
as Star Trek and the X-Men.
Gateway. Oil on illustration board/mixed media/digital. Cover illustration
for Gateway by Fredrik Pohl (Random House/Del Rey, 2004).
San Antonio, Texas, USA
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A Thousand Deaths (above). Oil on illustration board/mixed media/digital. Wraparound cover illustration for A Thousand Deaths
by George Alec Effinger (Golden Gryphon Press, 2007). Fast Forward 1 (below). Oil on illustration board/mixed media/digital.
Wraparound cover illustration for Fast Forward 1, edited by Lou Anders (Pyr, 2007).
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COMBINED TRADITIONAL and DIGITAL TOOLS page 45
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Elric the Damned. Pencil on illustration board. Interior illustration
for Elric: The Stealer of Souls by Michael Moorcock (Ballantine/Del Rey, 2008).
Elric of Melniboné © & ™ Michael Moorcock.
Fast Forward 2. Oil on illustration board/mixed media/digital.
Cover illustration for Fast Forward 2, edited by Lou Anders
(Pyr, 2008).
The artist creates a preliminary grayscale
painting and scans it into the computer. Next he
paints big abstract swatches of color on separate
boards and scans them, then composites the color
swatches over the grayscale painting to build up
layers and juxtapositions.
This mixed media/digital illustration won the 2009
Chesley Award for best paperback cover illustration.
Drood. Oil on illustration board/mixed media/digital. Cover
illustration for the limited edition of Drood by Dan Simmons
(Subterranean Press, 2009).
Drood is an amazing novel about madness,
murder, and Charles Dickens’s final years,” says
Picacio. “I wanted to put a portrait of Charles
Dickens on the cover unlike any other. Illustrating
his inside became as important as illustrating
his outside.”
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