Friday, July 28, 2006


This digital painting was a cover illustration for the first of 2 books for Luna by P.C.Cast. The second is called, Divine By Choice. I enjoyed creating this image, even though tons of work went into it. Another opportunity for fantasy and a goddess! Most of the work went into creating the dias she stands on. It was made entirely in 3d. The horse heads were made in Poser and imported into Cararra, where they were flattened and attached to the steps previously made to form a frieze. The other motif used on the step fronts was made in tiny parts, assembled and stuck on the steps. The bronze incense burners were also created in Cararra. I applied and refined the stne and bronze textures in Cararra, too. The rendering from all this was brought into photoshop, where I added the background, running horses and grass. All this before the shoot. Actually, I made a girl figure to stand on the dias in Poser, to help the art director and photographer visualize thow it would look. On the day before the shoot I found an area of wild grass growing by the roadside and cut a large pile of it. My wife, Tabita gathered it into a tight bundle and braided some strands for a rope and we trimmed the bottom flat. I bought about 6 yards of flowing white cloth and lugged it all in to the studio for the shoot.
I had worked before with Maria, a tall, voluptuous Russian model, and she seemed right for this part. Sharon Spiak, costume designer, dressed her and Shirley Green, Photographer, set up lights and a platform to match my sketch and we were off!
The shoot was like a ballet, with various participants. I believe all the work plus my enthusiasm helped everyone get into the spitrit. This wasn't an ordinary, everyday shoot. We all knew we were creating art!
I don't want to forget another key ingredient in this process, the art director. I had the priviledge in this series of working with one of the best, Kathleen Oudit. It is not an exaggeration to say in many ways she was a co-artist on these two. We often work closely, inspiring each other with flashes of imagination. It is a rare pleasure to work with her !
As you can probably tell, I love my job. I often do way more work than necessary, going beyond what is called for, but I don't care! There is something about creating beauty, about giving a project your whole heart that is wonderfully fullfilling.
Very few people know what goes into making these images. Now you do!


PC Cast said...

James! I'm so glad that you shared this post with me. It gives me another opportunity to publicly sing your praises! I adore the two covers you've done for me. You completely captured the spirit of the two books, and I sincerely hope Luna has contracted you for Divine by Blood. Thank you thank you thank you for making my covers such amazing works of art!

james Griffin said...

Hi PC, I aim to please! I'm so glad you liked the covers! I really enjoyed working on them, with your imaginative story and interesting heroine. I hope the powers that be get me to do your next one, too! Thanks fo getting in touch. JG

Nicola Marsh said...

your art work is beautiful.
I write for Harlequin Romance and am eternally grateful when I see my covers for the first time and think 'the artist has got this just right'!
Keep up the great work!!

james Griffin said...

Nicola, Thanks for the compliment! It means a lot to get feedback like yours. I looked at your site and you have some beautiful covers on your books. II especially like the Tycoon's Dating Deal! I don't think I have worked on any of your books yet , but it could happen! The contemporary Romance look seems to be still highly photographic and I'm going more in the painterly direction. Good luck with your new release!

PC Cast said...

James, if you get a chance I'd love to see a post about how you created the FABULOUS cover to the sequel to DbM, Divine by Choice. It's my favorite cover of the two. I find it so incredible that you captured the essence of the book so perfectly. Thank you!