Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Three Dimensional Abstract

Usually abstract paintings are two dimensional shapes laid out on a flat surface. But you can also create abstract shapes in perspective, resulting in what I like to call a “three-dimensional abstract.”


Science fiction book covers are a perfect setting for such images, because it’s fun to contemplate strange forms whose function is a mystery.

This wraparound book cover, which I painted in oil, has just been released from IDW Press. It presents a starship interior going back into space. Like a child looking at the adult world, I don't know the purpose of each of the forms. I imagined that the forms were not so much designed by humans, as “grown” according to crystal-like rules.

Some forms have luminous panels, but overall, the scene is lit from a warm inside source behind us to the left, along with a cool sun out there in space, half-hidden by the window.

Read more about this deluxe edition of the novel by Harlan Ellison at IDW, the publisher's website.

7 comments:

Bastian said...

Wow. The best illustrator doing a cover for the best sci-fi writer there is. It can't get better than that!

Awesome art as well!

James Gurney said...

Thanks for the compliment, Bastian. I forgot to mention that this edition includes a graphic novel version of the novel by Alan Robinson, followed by the text of Harlan Ellison's novel.

Bastian said...

Seems quite a catch! Would get it if I hadn't gotten myself a video from Gnomon. And mr Giancola's DVD.

(don't worry mr Gurney, Imaginative Realism and Color and Light are already there. I got the chance to pre-order them from Amazon after catching some promo material on an ImagineFX a while ago :)

Bastian said...

"there"= the desk where I usually work.

John-Paul Balmet said...

Great painting Jim! It feels classic and modern at the same time.

hak said...

Out of curiosity, do you read the book before creating the cover concept? Or do you work from an abstract of the book?

James Gurney said...

Hak, yes, I always read the book at least once before doing a cover. Readers especially in the science fiction field expect it.