As you can see, I have decided to use the lichen or whatever it is on the rocks under the starfish as a background for my painting. I loved the varying colors and subtle layer demarcations. This gives me a head start for a solo print of this painting unlike the red seahorse and Sarah Seadragon, which I feel need some kind of background for a print. What is nice is that the layers I use make it easy to peel away the starfish from the background for inclusion in the book illustrations.
I have made a lot of progress, bringing this painting near its end. Eventually I will merge most of the layers so that I can center the image better but that can wait. I like how the various major areas that I have worked on separately are now starting to blend into a cohesive whole.
Mystics and Misfits, what is it? Well, beyond a dream, it is a collection of short stories spanning the gamut of science fiction to fantasy, satire to philosophy, and past to future. All of the stories are fiction but rooted deep within the bones of reality and humanity. But my true desire was to create a book that I would have devoured in my youth when my ideas of what made a book great were still being shaped.
Back then I was just being introduced to all the amazing possibilities that the genre could engender. The worlds contained within presented through maps made in detail or stylistically, appendices of characters or short historical stories, and prologues foreshadowing events or showing their results. One of the things I enjoyed the most were drawing slipped into the story at unexpected places.
Michael Whelan’s inner illustration to Melanie Rawn’s “Dragon Prince was one such lucky find. When I first started thinking about putting Mystics and Misfits together one of the ideas I had been to create an image for each story and place them at the beginning or end of each story. Because some of the stories seemed hard to create an image for, I kind of shelved the idea, especially when I thought I would not even be able to create a cover. Well, I did manage to create a cover and some other artwork I would not have thought it possible for me to do since then. All I can say is that the itch to illustrate this book is starting to come back. Given what you have seen of my work and what you have seen as readers of science fiction and fantasy, what do you think about a book that is illustrated?