"Hello! This is Paul Richmond. It’s nice to be back visiting with my friend Elisa and all of you. I wanted to stop by for another show-and-tell session since all the fabulous gay fiction authors have been keeping me busy illustrating covers for their novels. In fact, not long ago, I reached an exciting milestone – my one hundredth cover! So it seemed like a great time to look back on some of the highlights as well as fill you in on what’s new.
I also want to tell you about plans that are underway for a two-person art exhibit in Provincetown this summer that will feature the fantastic paintings of Tom Acevedo and new works by yours truly. My part will consist of male figurative paintings inspired by vintage circus, sideshow, and burlesque acts. First up, I depicted myself as a ringmaster in a piece titled “Time For Me To Fly.”
For the rest of the paintings, I’m working with some amazing models, including my partner Dennis, as well as some actual male burlesque performers from around the globe. I can’t wait to share the series with everyone! If you’re interested in joining us in P-Town, the opening reception will be Friday, July 6 at the Lyman-Eyer Gallery. I know that there are several from the gay fiction community who have already made plans to attend. I can’t wait to meet everyone! Oh, and if you happen to run into me frolicking shirtless across the dunes that weekend, don’t by surprised if my abs in real life appear a teensy bit different than I portrayed them in this painting. Hey, they invented artistic license for a reason, people!
Ok, ready to see some covers? Let’s start with a few of my most recent.
I really enjoyed trying something different with the lighting in the cover illustration for Lisa Marie Davis’ novel “The End Game.” I wanted to give it a more intimate feel since most guys don’t romp around in bed beneath bright spotlights!
The spec written by John Goode for his novel “End of the Beginning” caught my attention right away because of his request to base it on daVinci’s “Vitruvian Man.” I thought that was a unique concept and really enjoyed developing this cover.
Sarah Black suggested a beautiful park setting for the cover of her recent novel, "Marlowe's Ghost," and I enjoyed creating the vibrant scene almost as much as illustrating her handsome main characters....almost! Side note: You may notice the guy on the left sporting one of my trademark cover art fashion statements - a tiny peek at his undies. :)
Of course sometimes, I get to show more than a tiny peek too, as was the case with Rosina Scott's novel "To Fly Again." After all, if you've got it, flaunt it!
Of course even more important than showing some skin is capturing the connection between the main characters. I really enjoy trying to get into their heads, imagining how they see the world -- and what they see in each other. Thanks to the creativity of the authors in this genre, that’s never a boring process! Below are a few that stand out to me when I look back on the 100+ covers I’ve illustrated so far.
One highly entertaining part of my process is to photograph models in the pose of each character. This helps me render the details of lighting, clothing (or lack thereof), and perspective more realistically. Sometimes I convince friends to model for me, and when I’m all alone, I do it myself. I thought it would be fun to share with you a collage of some of the various photos I’ve taken as reference for my cover illustrations. Can you recognize which novels these became?
Every step of the process, from reviewing the specs written by the authors to completing the final works is an absolute joy. It never stops being exciting to see my artwork on the cover of a published novel, and to imagine that in my own small way, I am helping bring each author’s incredible work to life. That is why I am especially looking forward to meeting many of these talented writers at the Rainbow Book Fair in New York this March! If any of you are planning on being there that weekend, please come over and introduce yourself. I feel like I know many of you through our online correspondence, but it will be so wonderful to finally meet you in person! Don’t worry, I’m not shy! Just look for the guy in the room wearing the loudest outfit and it’s most likely me. I try to live by these wise words from my favorite diva, Dolly Parton: “A peacock who sits on its tail feathers is just another turkey!”
On that note, thanks to Elisa and everyone for letting my inner peacock show off a bit today! It’s always a blast visiting this site, and I hope to be back again soon with even more to share – pics from New York, pics from P-Town, and of course many new covers. In the meantime, check out my blog for all of my latest adventures: http://paulrichmondstudio.blogspot.com."