Acrylic over pastels on mounted pastel paper - 25 1/2" x 20"
Tales from the Nightside is a collection of macabre stories by Charles L. Grant. I accepted a commission to do the cover art in the gloomy winter of 1980-81. There had been recent deaths in my family and among friends; the weather was bleak; John Lennon had been shot, and so on. Closing my eyes, all I could visualize was a spot of red on a deep, dark velvety black. The first materials that came to hand were pastels, so I drew the art directly onto black pastel paper. Unfortunately, black pastel paper looks dark gray under photo lights, so the reproduction wouldn't have been faithful to my idea. The absolute velvety blackness was essential. in the end, I repainted the whole thing in acrylics, over the pastel rendering.