When there were still book stores and record stores, one of the most simple pleasures was browsing. You could spend hours looking for that ‘something new’ that would send your imagination soaring.
But actually many times the real magic wasn’t on the inside. It was right there on the cover. So many of these artists and illustrators whose work appeared on book and album covers remained anonymous to the general public. Sometimes they broke through and gained quite a bit of notoriety and success with the general public. Everyone remembers the amazing fantasy art album covers of Roger Dean that he created for Yes and other bands. Do you still have your Uriah Heep Demons and Wizards album? Dean is the guy who painted that one, too.
But the greatest of them all was Frank Frazetta. Frazetta’s art redefined the fantasy art genre the way Marlon Brando redefined acting. Sword wielding Vikings, Amazonian warriors, sabertoothed alien tigers, crazed berserkers, Tarzan, Vampirella, Conan the Barbarian and more. He didn’t just paint them, he brought them to life. His figures looked like real flesh and blood. His colors and composition captured the action at the most decisive moment.
Frazetta passed away on May 10, 2010. Check out his art at www.frankfrazetta.net and you’ll probably say,” Oh, that’s the guy who painted the Death Dealer!”
Now I’m just a dabbler when it comes to fantasy art. But Frazetta did inspire me to create one or two pieces. Here’s The Golden Arrow. It is a little unusual for me in that I used pastel pencil instead of acrylics. Hope you like it. It is available now as an art print or canvas mounted giclee print.