Slow ‘n’ steady wins the race

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Stephan Martinière -

Stephan’s cover for Michael R Un­der­wood’s Shield and Cro­cus re­veals another side to the artist… “This is one of my most re­cent book cov­ers. A dig­i­tal paint­ing like this en­ables me to let go of the pre­ci­sion I ap­ply in draw­ings or paint­ings when I pro­duce con­cepts for film or games. A book cover is a very nar­ra­tive and per­sonal process.

“I do a quick sketch to get the main com­po­si­tion in place and then let the paint­ing process slowly dic­tate the out­come. It’s an or­ganic process. I let my­self be sur­prised as I layer dif­fer­ent colour washes and ref­er­ences, and use dif­fer­ent fil­ters in Pho­to­shop. I’m able to think in a more ab­stract and graphic way, and some­how it feels like a nat­u­ral artis­tic pro­gres­sion.

“It’s in­ter­est­ing be­cause I never ac­tively sought out a ca­reer in the book cover in­dus­try. I saw it as more of a fun thing I’d like to do one day. Em­brac­ing dig­i­tal en­abled me to de­velop a ca­reer in film and theme park de­sign, and that’s the work I was do­ing when I got into the book cover in­dus­try. It’s by pro­duc­ing cov­ers that I found my unique artis­tic voice as a painter.” re­mem­ber why he picked up that first pen­cil to make a mark back in the Greno­ble ten­e­ments? “That’s a gi­ant ques­tion! That’s like ask­ing why the first cave­man drew! I don’t know.

“Maybe it’s some­thing in­stinc­tual that some peo­ple have more than oth­ers. It’s a drive, it’s nat­u­ral. It’s a way to ex­press some­thing. I think ev­ery­one has that de­sire to some de­gree. Some peo­ple are just bet­ter at it, or have bet­ter op­por­tu­ni­ties to ex­plore it. It’s a big un­known. Maybe it was my fairy god­mother above my cra­dle who said, ‘ You will be an artist.’ Ac­tu­ally, I like that an­swer bet­ter!”

March 2015

Stephan epic cover art for Shield and Cro­cus de­picts a city built among the bones of a long-dead ti­tan.

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