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Robert Hunt
Jade Man's Skin
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I was asked to make a cover illustration for The Jade Man’s Skin by Daniel Fox, a fantasy novel  set in an alternative,  re-imagined feudal China. It is the second book in a trilogy, the first being  last years’ Dragon in Chains, for which I also created the cover art. The art director was Dave Stevenson at Random House.

The green “Jade tigers” that stand like sentinels in this alternative world were to be the focus of this cover. I spent a fair amount of time studying and photographing tigers for reference.  I started to build a reference sculpture, but since tigers are real-world animals, it seemed that getting real tigers to pose would be easier...well, maybe...

I spent an afternoon at the Vienna zoo with these two...
Unlike their American counterparts, these tigers were being fed beautiful fluffy bunnies! It's the law of the jungle!
Taxidermied tigers like this one at the Field Museum in Chicago are also helpful...
A preliminary sketch, this didnt work because it wouldnt work with the typography, and was generally just plain dull....
after many sketches, this one seemed to start to have the right feel...
sketch...
starting the painting
working my way towards finishing...
detail of the finished face

This needed to have a distinctly Asian vibe, but at the same time it had to feel set in a fantasy world. Hopefully I have achieved this goal. It might seem like a lot of work and hassle to make a painting like this, but it's pure pleasure for me.

I like having an original artifact of the work I do. This is the final art hanging at the CCA faculty/alumni show earlier this month. Also pictured, students Dean Stuart, Alyssa DeVille, and illustrator Owen Smith.




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