Thursday, October 27, 2016

Kushiel's Dart Art Analysis: Tran Nguyen

See larger versions of the images here!

Subterranean Press recently released a special edition of Kushiel's Dart (which is already sold out) featuring new art by Tran Nguyen.  Being a fan of Tran's already, I was ecstatic to see one of my favorite books illustrated by one of my favorite artists!  As an artist endeavoring to create art for this world, I thought I'd share my thoughts on these illustrations for my own education (and for other curious minds).

First off, that main cover image.  What a risky move it was to portray Phèdre without relying on her iconic tattoo or eye coloration!  The cover relies on atmosphere dripping in sensuality and a dreamlike quality, which suits those moments of divinity that mark the lives of the characters of Kushiel's Dart during their most trying times.  The hint of an angelic figure lifting Phèdre up perfectly plays on her connection to the divine.  The faint silhouette of a city on the bottom right also does well to place the narrative in a picturesque medieval land.  

My only critique would be that the image doesn't seem to crop very well to the front cover, in my opinion.  I would have liked to see more of a hint of wing on the front cover in the corner, since it's such a telling detail.  These are just minor complaints, however, as the whole cover is so dreamy and gorgeous!  It's also a perfect supplement to the previous cover art by John Jude Palencar, Tran's art being a more feminine subtle rendition similar to his.

As for the new interior art, it's wonderful to see Joscelin portrayed, especially!  He's a character that never seems to get as much lime light as other characters when it comes to interpretations.  Tran's portrayal of him is spot on to my mind's eye, though I would have liked to have seen more attention paid to his iconic twin vambraces, which I always envision as metal instead of leather, an important detail to the lore of the novel.  Even still, the simplicity of the composition is elegant and beautiful.

Last, but certainly not least, we have Melisande and Phedre adorned in their masquerade attire for the Longest Night, an image many fans (including myself) have been waiting for!  Melisande's imposing figure in the composition clasping Phèdre's with the leash wrapping around them both is perfection and I love the choice of physical features for both characters.  Melisande reminds me of Monica Bellucci, who I always cast as Melisande in my headcannon.  

I would have liked to have seen Phedre with a more elated expression in this piece to show Melisande's power over her.  I also would have enjoyed seeing them with their bird themed masks, but the presence of the masks may have distracted from their gorgeous facial features.  I'm not a fan of the night gown style for Phèdre's diamond studded sheer dress either, but I can understand the need for it to keep the interior art PG.

All in all, I hope Tran starts selling prints soon!  I know I'm not the only one who would love collecting these images.  I'm always happy to see more official Kushiel's Legacy art, especially when it's this gorgeous!

What do you all think of these new illustrations of our favorite Kushiel characters?  Share in comments!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

New Covers for Phedre's Trilogy

Here are the re-released covers of Phedre's trilogy all together in one place! I'm still a fan of the older covers painted by John Jude Palencar, but I'm always happy to see new art for this series. Definitely inspiring for me to keep going with my own cover re-designs!

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Sun Prince and Naamah Masks

I haven't made this Sun Prince mask in a long time! This particular one is going to serve in a Kushiel themed wedding ceremony along with a matching Naamah mask.
The Sun Prince.

This'll be the first time I've made it with real pheasant tail feathers!

This mask was carved from leather and painted with acrylics. I added the small Swarovski crystal cabochons by hand with tweezers.

I'm currently closed for artisan commissions, but you can find out when I'm available for them again by signing up to my mailing list over at my site, .

The Sun Prince and Naamah masks.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Character Sketch - Joscelin Verreuil - Protect and Serve

8x10 inches, HB and 6B graphite pencils on paper.
The young man standing in the shadows behind me bowed in the traditional manner of the Cassiline Brotherhood, hands crossed before him at chest level.  Warm sunlight gleamed on the steel of his vambraces and the chain-mail that gauntleted the backs of his hands.  His twin daggers hung low on his belt and the cruciform hilt of his sword, always worn at the back, rose above his shoulders.  He straightened and met my eyes.

"Phèdre nó Delaunay," he said formally, "I am Joscelin Verreuil of the Cassiline Brotherhood.  It is my privilege to attend."

He neither looked nor sounded as though he meant it...

- Phedre meets Joscelin for the first time in Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey.

This was a sketch prize for reaching 1000 Likes on this project's Facebook fan page.  I was so happy to get the chance to draw Joscelin Verreuil, who does not have near enough fan art of him, considering what a BAMF he is in the books.

EDIT:  I've also created some wallpapers customized for your desktop, laptops, and phones here, plus a sweet, sweet high res version where you can oggle all the details on Joscelin!  My little way of saying thanks for being an awesome fandom.;)

Monday, June 30, 2014

Fan Art Feature: Jessica Cox aka. Zeldyn

If you haven’t seen the amazing and inspiring Kushiel’s Legacy fan art by Jessica Cox, you are missing out! 

See the full sized images at the Kushiel Concepts tumblr post.

Her work has long inspired me to move forward with my own interpretations of these beloved characters from the series. I especially love her take on Melisande and Favrielle. They are simply as my mind pictured them!

You can see more of Jessica’s artwork at her blog.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Kushiel Concepts Pinterest Inspiration Board

I’ve been busy with my other projects, but no worries. I haven’t forgotten this one! I’m constantly adding inspiring images that make me think of the Kushiel’s Legacy series over at Pinterest with plans to use them for this project.

Be sure to give it a Follow, if you’d like to keep up!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

New Kushiel's Legacy Ebook Covers

Have you seen the new covers for the Kushiel’s Legacy ebooks (UK versions)? So simple and elegant! Read more about them here.