Wednesday, October 06, 2010

WHEN BEAUTY TAMED THE BEAST (A KISS AT MIDNIGHT)


This is a two part cover for the book, When Beauty Tamed The Beast, by Eloisa James, previously known by its working title, A Kiss At Midnight,  Published by Avon Books. The theme is vaguely reminiscent of The Beauty And The Beast, but my illustrations imply that the beast is a statue of a lion, which perhaps contains the handsome prince. Ms. James has been doing a series of Fairy Tale inspired romances, a previous one was Cinderella and they are continuing. I think it's rather cool, and it gives me a chance to play with the fantasy side of romance.  From the start, I was heavily influenced by the 1960s film, La Belle et Le Bette, by Jean Cocteau, a masterpiece of film making that is infused with an incredible atmosphere of magic. Unlike the dumbed-down version of the story that Disney offered up, Cocteau dives into the psychology of the story, exploring the deeper meanings in the myth, with profound results. In my image I tried to stick with the feeling of longing in the girl, alone embracing her stone lion. Why is she there at midnight? who is she waiting for, or is she dreaming it all? The second scene doesn't answer much, she could still be dreaming. But the dream has it's happy ending.
Models were Steven Muzzenegro and Bonnie. Photography was by Shirley Green and costumes by Sharon Spiak. Thanks again, team!
Please leave your comments!

15 comments:

Noelle Pierce said...

I am a huge fan of Eloisa James' books, and these images are simply breathtaking. I love the colors chosen and the overall composition. Just gorgeous. I'm green with envy.

James Griffin said...

Thank you, Noelle! I have worked on a lot of her books and there's a new one coming, I don't know the exact title, but it's The Princess & The Pea theme.
I am grateful for people like you who follow this blog. Lord knows, I don't update it nearly enough. That's something I intend to do more of.
You must be an author, to be "jealous" of her cover. Do you have a website?
James

Noelle Pierce said...

I *am* an aspiring author, waiting for agents to get back to me. I've played with covers on my own (like photographs and Photoshop wannabe), but nothing professional. I was an art minor in college, so much of that envy was directed at your talent. LOL

What I love about the covers I've seen on here is that you capture the essence of romance without them being sordid (and I've seen some covers in stores that make me run in the other direction, without even looking at the pitch). Yours have almost a dreamlike feel to them, a softness that speaks to my style. Regardless of the name on the book, I'd pick up any of the covers I've seen you showcase on here.

Oh, and yes, my website is http://noellepierce.weebly.com

James Griffin said...

Wow! What a nice compliment! I know what you mean about some of the "romance "cover you see out there. I know, I've been doing this long enough to have done some bad ones in the past. I try to make each cover special and as good as possible. I hope I can create a cover for you sometime!Your agent should get back to you. Or else maybe you need a new agent. Just a thought.

Eleni Konstantine said...

Again such stunning work James. I really love the background colour and how it sets off the pink gown. Stunning!

James Griffin said...

Thanks for your nice comment on this piece! When we were doing the shoot, I asked Bonnie to imagine herself alone in the midnight garden,half dreaming and feeling lonely. I think she nailed it, don't you?

Venetia T. said...

I absolutely adore your covers and this one is no exception. Looking at the covers, I definitely feel transported to a far off place. It also doesn't hurt that you are using my favorite color combinations--cool blues and lavenders.

On a side note, it is a rare thing for me to love warm bright colors, but the cover that you made for Kismet just left me speechless. I became a true fangirl after that cover. Keep up the awesome work!

James Griffin said...

Thank you, Venetia! I don't believe I've ever had anyone declare themselves a fangirl before. I'm honored!
Glad you liked Kismet, too. I do so many covers, but some of them stand out as different. That one did, for sure.

Monica Bruijn said...

As a romance reader, I can only say 'Wow'. What a stunning covers. Love the colors.
And your model did a great job as well.

James Griffin said...

Thank you Monica, for you lovely compliment! I love to hear from readers!
James

Noelle Pierce said...

I just wanted to come back and say I just received a cover flat for this book, signed from Eloisa...and it's just as beautiful as it looks on here. You are an amazing artist!

Anonymous said...

I have a correction about the title for this cover art, the actual title is When Beauty Tamed the Beast, using the Beauty and the Beast story. The cover is on Eloisa James's website. I stumbled onto your site looking for the art for A Kiss at Midnight. The plot of a Kiss at Midnight is the Cinderella story. I just finished it tonight. It was very, very good. On the other hand you do absolutely gorgeous work.

James Griffin said...

Anonymous is correct. The new tilte, as opposed to the working title that was used when the project was under way, is: When Beauty Tamed The Beast.
This happens a lot, where I'm given an assignment for a book that has no title yet and it is given a working title;- or two. This one went through a couple. I didn't get the actual title until a few days ago, when they gave me proofs. So thanks for the correction! Now I'm going to change the titles on my postings!

cupidonn said...

beautiful photo

James Griffin said...

Thanks, Cupidonn. I hope you realize the image is not a photo. It's easy to be confused on this issue, because I use photographs in the process, but the end result is what I would call a "digital painting", and the way I do it is every bit as intensive as oil painting.I know, because I did my illustrations exclusively in oils for the first half or more of my career. Recently I was commissioned to do an oil on canvas version of the front cover ( the one with the girl alone ), which I'll be posting a picture of soon. Thanks for your comment.