Out of the entire story, there was this one scene in the book where the main character was having a sort of 'wet dream' about a mysterious snake handler that was helping her out on her property while she is working on her house. A mysterious man; snakes; sex - you can do the math on this one. I decided to go for it with my sketches and Irene went with it. A few of them might have been a bit overt but sometimes, you have to take a chance and see what sticks.
This piece is a little tighter than I normally go. Lately, I've been in the mood to render and my vision for the piece required it. I've been combining a bit of rendering and graphic-ness to my work lately. I am not sure if I'll continue doing it as I am starting to feel a bit restless and want to be more expressive as I normally am. Still, I really love this piece and very happy it came out the way it did.
Thank you Irene at Tor! It was a fun job and got to watch quite a few reruns of Columbo while making all those scales.
Here are the sketches I sent in to Irene and below are some process shots during the course of the painting. I did have a false start there early on when I put a black texture down all over the piece. I couldn't see the transfer anymore. With some other paintings, its not so bad but since this painting was so involved I had to rethink how I needed to do the piece.
I ended up re-prepping the board and starting from scratch. It was no biggie - I thought I was going to save time, instead I spent more time. Such is life.
You can see the colors I chose to be in the piece and the final sketch I used to do the painting. With the way I work, the art directors rarely see that final sketch. I usually get approval on the rough sketches you see above and tighten it up for me. Because my work has a tedency to be random when I am making a piece, I don't like to show sketches that are too tight because I may change bits here and there. Actually, those are some of the most detailed sketches I've sent in a while. If it's a significant alteration for some reason, I'll talk to the art director but it is incredibly rare that it happens.