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CULT OF DEATH! by mdjackson CULT OF DEATH! by mdjackson
Cover art for Jason Thummel's novel Cult of Death ([link])
IllustratorErik Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Great composition! A lesser artist would have made this set up all too crowded or played to the "floating heads" card.
mdjackson Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you, Erik. When doing these kinds of covers I usually look at a lot of the work of Jim Steranko. He was a master of these sorts of compositions.
IllustratorErik Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Steranko huh? Interesting.

I did a lot of compositional collages like this during college, but it didn't take long to burn out on it. I think my problem was that I saw what Drew Struzan was doing and just tried to copy that without understanding why he composed it that way or how colors balanced and things like that.

Steranko was someone I wish I had been introduced to earlier in life because he seems to incorporate typical comic book features with a sense of not only composition but graphic design which is something that we're seeing a lot more of these days with the likes of JH Williams III, Tony Harris, and Paolo Rivera.

Well no time like the present to catch up. Thanks for the tip!
mdjackson Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I love Drew Struzan's work too, but he is just so awesomly good I get overwhelmed looking at it and can't deconstruct it.

Not to belittle Steranko. I love Steranko but because he comes from a comic book background I felt a bit more grounded in what I was looking at. Examining his collages I caught on to his technique. It seems really simple but it is more difficult than it looks and I have not yet mastered it to my satisfaction.

Look at some Steranko collages and see if you can spot the technique. Once you figure it out it seems simple but only because Steranko is so good at it he makes it look easy, but it really isn't.
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Submitted on
October 1, 2012
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