wealhtheow: sepia close-up of Medusa (medusa)
[personal profile] wealhtheow
There are some great entries for the Chesley Awards this year.  I'm not an artist, but I have seen a lot of sf/f cover art, so I figure I get to pronounce judgement!


Hardcover illustrations: I really like the covers by Kekai Kotaki and Allen Williams--they each really set a scene and a feel to the novel.  Maurizio Manzieri's art is good, but the woman on the cover seems completely divorced from the rest of the background.  Jason Chan's figures are terrible--the woman's breasts are completely different sizes, she has no expression on her face, and their clothes are both generic and deeply unlikely (who goes adventuring in a bare midriff?) .  My least favorite is Michael Whelan's for A Memory of Light--maybe it's just that I've seen way too much Whelan art in my life, but it's pretty boring.  The caves are very well rendered, but the figures seem added afterward, not like they're really part of the scene, their bodies are (as ever) truncated oddly, and where is the light coming from?  The one book I would pick up on the basis of the cover alone is Todd Lockwood's for a A Natural History of Dragons.

Paperback cover illustrations: My favorite is, no question, Julie Dillon's for Crossed Genres Magazine 2.0.  There's a whole story in just one image, with a unique-looking (robot leg! clothed!) girl with lots of expression in her face.  And I love the tilted perspective on this one!  Jason Chan's work for Harbringer isn't bad, but there's no sense of movement or space in it, and each of the characters is so generic.  Justin Gerard's cover is fairly generic too--I mean, I like the robot in the background, but there isn't much in the way of scenery and the woman in the foreground looks like a generic pretty face. Kerem Beyit and Dehong He's covers piss me off with the unclothed hot ladies.

Magazine cover illustrations:   Oh man, I couldn't pick a favorite among these.  They've all got a story behind them, not just attractive humans in generic medieval fantasy garb.  I like them all!

Interior illustrations: These are fantastic as well!  Great use of color, too. Any of these would pull me further into a story.

Three Dimensional Art: I like the emotion in Vincent Villafranca's "Star Smith," and the poise in Devon Dorrity's "Cecaelia, Queen of the Ocean." Michael Parkes's is too classical for me, and Kuebler and Meng's work seems a little clunky or unfinished in comparison to the others.

Unpublished Color: Annie Stegg's fantasy take on the Pre-Raphaelite's is nice, and Donato Giancola's "Huor and Hurin Approaching Gondolin" seems very technically accomplished.  My favorite is the delicate swirls of Stephanie Pui-Mun Law's  "Ships Passing in the Night."

Unpublished Monochrome
: All fine, none really jump out at me.  I like the delicacy of line in Justin Gerard's "The Fox Princess" and the heavy contrast and perspective in Ruth Sanderson's "Descent of Persephone" best, I think.

Product Illustration: Lotta naked or near-naked ladies in this one.  And not very well done, at that!  Like, wtf is up with the breasts in Julie Bell and Boris Vallejo's "Jeannie's Kitten"? (Her face is kinda messed up too, and the light seems to hit her body oddly.)  I like the combination of adorable lizard and scary dragon in Justin Gerard's “Morzag! Lord of Destruction.”  The colors and composition of Julie Dillon - 2014 Llewellyn's Astrology Calendar are good, but the kids' faces are off.

Gaming-Related Illustration: My favorite pieces are easily Steve Prescott's beautiful colors and imaginative idea in "Prognostic Sphinx" for WOTC and the bombastic energy in Chris Rahn's "Ashen Rider" for WotC. Ruric Jacobsen's "Thar the Unbowed" is just silly, the anatomy is so nonsensical, and there's nothing going on around Thar.  Todd Lockwood's "Observant Alseid" is pretty until you look at the details, like Alseid's poor messed up face.  David Palumbo's is boring, and I've seen too many other works like Lucas Graciano's.

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July 2014

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