Thursday, May 25, 2006

It's Picacio day at the blog!

Now, I'd be hard-pressed to argue that John Picacio doesn't deserve a blog entry devoted to him on the basis of sheer physical beauty alone... so I won't. Nope, no mock-modesty Harrison Bergeron shtick here. Be proud of who you are, John! Be proud!

But that's neither here nor there. I come here today to praise John Picacio, not to taunt him. Because today marks the official release of Cover Story: The Art of John Picacio from MonkeyBrain:

It's chok-full of artwork that is simply beee-you-teeful. If you buy only one artbook this year, make it this one.

But John's also interviewed in this month's issue of Interzone. The only fault I can find with it is that the interview wasn't conducted by me. But then again, I'm not really doing interviews these days, so that might have something to do with it. Steve Badrich does a good job of getting interesting stuff out of Picacio, particularly when it comes to the actual physical process of creation:
Old-school guy that I am, I assume that I'm looking at computer-mediated works, not at oil on canvas, let's say. Is that correct?

Not quite. The truth is that I'm drawing and painting everything you see via traditional methods and means, and then taking those bits to the computer and scanning them in and collaging them together. Drawing and painting are two things I love to do, but I'm not interested in doing either with a computer and a keyboard. So everything you see on my covers starts off as pencils on illustration board and I usually build up a pretty tight underdrawing. The I spot all of my solid black areas in acrylic. From here, I do a full greyscale oil painting study on top of that, using only black, white and grey oil paints, and that's where all the values come from in the final piece. This is not new stuff. This is old Renaissance method. Rembrandt used to do a greyscale oil underpainting and then build up his color values on top.

Great stuff. Read the interview if you can, but by all means, buy that book!

Now Playing: Tom Petty Wildflowers

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