FORGING DEATHWING

FORGING DEATHWING

The general concept for this work was spelled out to me by my art director and contact at Blizzard, Jeremy Cranford. We had met the previous Fall at IlluxCon, and despite being in an annoying loud bar lounge we were able to outline the basic assignment and agree to move it forward.

Before starting, the smart thing to do would have been to examine the actual game to become familiar with the feel of it, but instead I just jumped into exploring dramatic dragon poses and having fun with that. Being told from the onset that the image would depict a raging dragon emerging from a giant ocean maelstrom, I felt I had enough to go on.

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A MEMORY OF LIGHT

A MEMORY OF LIGHT

I was honored to paint the cover image for the final book in the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, but it was a daunting prospect given the massive backstory of 14 books written over a span of 20+ years.

Each volume, illustrated by the late Darrell K. Sweet, had a similar look and feel. I decided the last cover should retain a sense of continuation while bringing the epic to a close.

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WARMING HER WINGS

WARMING HER WINGS

In fall, the sun sets on the west side of our property to shine through the trees. On a humid day, the light seems suspended in the thick air, spreading against the dark shapes of the trees, fanning golden brilliance across the green lawn.

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MICHAEL WHELAN.COM RELAUNCHED

MICHAEL WHELAN.COM RELAUNCHED

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you back to Michael Whelan.com!

A few graybeards out there may remember me from the original website. Back in 1995, I began work on a crude version of MW.com. That site grew, of course, into a bona fide web presence. In addition to selling posters and prints there, Michael used his online portfolio to land a one-man art show at Tree’s Place Gallery in 1997, an amazing event for those who made it out to Cape Cod.

I’m sure I didn’t fully realize it at the time, but as I began working with Michael he was moving on from a career as the most recognized illustrator of science fiction and fantasy (he has SuperHugo for that) to build his reputation as a fine artist. Success showing his personal work in galleries around the world would eventually lead to his retirement from illustration. But just as Michael yearned to explore ideas of his own while illustrating book covers, he could never leave his first love of illustration behind.

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HALLOWEEN 2012

HALLOWEEN 2012

We missed out on the actual Halloween day this year due to Frankenstorm, but my mind had been in Halloween for the month leading up to it anyway! After the autumnal equinox each year, night starts to overcome day and my artwork seems to get darker as well.

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PRELIMINARY CONCEPTS 2

PRELIMINARY CONCEPTS 2

The artistic process remains mystery to me even after painting for over 35 years as a professional.

As Norman Rockwell wrote, “Some come easy, some come hard.” And so it has proven for me. Whether in the form of an illustration done as a commission or a personal work painted for myself, there is no predicting how straight or convoluted the path to resolution is going to be.

There are times when I’ve been lucky enough to have an image appear complete in my mind’s eye, leaving me with little to do but render it as if it were there before me, already done. Other times, I’ve known the feeling that I was after, or the ideas I wished to convey, but felt uncertain about how best to express them…requiring rafts of preparatory sketches and studies before I felt ready to tackle the final composition.

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PRINTING A WHELAN COVER

PRINTING A WHELAN COVER

A MEMORY OF LIGHT GOES TO PRESS

Irene Gallo, Art Director at TOR books, recently visited Coral Graphics in NY to review sales proofs for the jacket art of A MEMORY OF LIGHT.

On bigger books, like AMoL, we will go through the entire printing process to create an early version of the jacket for two reasons:

1) To give our sales force a shiny cover to show off to the various bookstores we’d like to carry stacks and stacks of the book…

2) So that we can get a good look at how all the pieces fit together before we print a small forest’s worth paper.

Continue to TOR.com for more insights about the printing of Michael Whelan’s cover for the final book in Robert Jordan’s WHEEL OF TIME series:

http://www.tor.com

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2012 CHESLEY AWARD NOMINATIONS

2012 CHESLEY AWARD NOMINATIONS

MICHAEL NOMINATED FOR CHESLEY

Since 1985, the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists (ASFA) has recognized the achievement of artists with the Chesley Award, named after the late Chesley Bonestell. This year’s awards ceremony will take place at Chicago Worldcon  (Chicon7), taking place August 30th-September 3rd.

Michael is nominated for BEST PRODUCTION ILLUSTRATION for Gift from the Sea, Dragon*Con 2011 promo art.

http://www.asfa-art.org/

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AT THE EDGE: ART OF THE FANTASTIC

AT THE EDGE: ART OF THE FANTASTIC

ART EXHIBITION IN ALLENTOWN, PA

JUNE 3 – SEPTEMBER 9, 2012

The Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley is pleased to showcase an exhibition that will introduce contemporary fantastic art to the museum setting. At the Edge: Art of the Fantastic will not only be the most comprehensive exhibition of fantastic art to date, it will also be the first time that this discipline has been presented on such a large scale.

Among the art on display will be THE WHITE WOLF, Michael Whelan’s classic cover for The Weird of the White Wolf by Michael Moorcock.

The Preview Party is Saturday, June 2 at 6 pm.  Michael and many of the artists will be there.

http://www.allentownartmuseum.org

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SPECTRUM 19 AWARDS

SPECTRUM 19 AWARDS

MICHAEL WINS GOLD IN KC

Michael received a Spectrum Gold award in Kansas City for his painting UNMASKED. The painting, Michael’s personal interpretation of the Crimson King done for Halloween last year, was recognized in the “Unpublished” category.

Congratulations to Michael and all of the artists recognized for their work this weekend. Follow the link below for a recap of the awards.

http://www.tor.com

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