This is Why I’ll Never Be a Magician

In a good magic trick, or a well told story, or even a simple joke, timing is important. The flourish, the punchline, comes at the end. Once you give that to the audience, you’re done.

I’d been intending to save the blue sky for my final post. It was supposed to be the big change that makes the whole image shine. And then I would be done. But I’m not done. I was so exhausted yesterday that I just couldn’t face noodling away on wildebeests, little shadows and minor highlights. I needed to work on big loud things to stay awake. Hence the blue sky.

There’s at least another hour or two work to be done. I’ll post the stages as I go but they’ll be quieter adjustments, smaller changes.

I don’t tell jokes too well either.

5 thoughts on “This is Why I’ll Never Be a Magician

  1. What a difference a blue sky makes!
    Changes the whole tone of the picture. As I said before David, I think you’re up there with the best of the Cthulhu illustrators. Hopefully this is the first of many more.

  2. Fantastic work. Secrets of Kenya will be all the better with this artwork on the cover.

  3. Nice work ! I was going to suggest as a late touch a circling buzzard or two in the sky 😉 but that’s just my black sense of humour and besides, the title logo will probably obscure it…

  4. Adam –
    Of course there will be many more. I’ve got you on my side! (Assuming that I don’t make next Black Seal too late.)

    Hisham –
    Secrets of Kenya is pretty good all by itself. Hopefully this illustration will grab those folks who weren’t expecting it and seduce them into (buying it and) taking it home with them.

    Anonymous –
    The biggest challenge for me in doing cover images is in scaling back on the detail I put into an illustration. A cover needs to stand out from the crowd and too much detail, too many objects create a visual white noise.

  5. David

    I don’t know where to post this. here will do ;-))

    i’m a french novelist and have played CoC since 1983. I found your first drawings in the Black Seal and was awed, fell instantaneously in love. The way you manage to “unhinge” normal perceptions is breath-taking. I often feel that something is wrong just on the edge of the scene you’re depicting. Great work, bravo!!!! I hope you will keep “illustrating” our nightmares for a long long time.

    christian lehmann

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