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This Spring I had the pleasure of creating the cover art for Diabolical Plots: Year Three, an ebook anthology of stories from Diabolical Plots, an online magazine of science fiction and fantasy. The editor, David Steffen, was fantastic to work with and it's my hope we will work on future projects. He previously licensed The Alchemist for the cover of the Long List Anthology Volume 3.
For this new anthology I created an original illustration inspired one of the stories in the book. For Now, Sideways by A Merc Rustad is a beautiful, emotionally charged story about a woman at the end of a war on an alien planet. It's not your typical military science fiction and I didn't want the art to be either. The painting is as much telling a story, through the characters, as it is expressing an emotion through color palette.
Prints of Maybe Tomorrow are now available in my store. I'll also have some with me this summer at LibertyCon and DragonCon. Interested in reading the story that inspired the cover? The ebook is available for preorder from Amazon for only $2.99!!
Diabolical Plots: Year Three (Diabolical Plots Anthology Series Book 2)
by David Steffen et al.
Harbinger (left) and Raven Queen Rising (right) were painted only months apart in early 2017. I'd like to say this was planned in advance, but sometimes my subconscious gets the better of me and I paint on auto-pilot. It was only after the Raven Queen was finished that I realized what I'd done. Many of the colors seen in the raven's wings are echoed in the Raven Queen, especially in the background. She herself, is pale like the skull the raven wears around its throat. The two paintings depict the same being in different moments of time.
Though traditionally Morrigan is associated with crows, I decided to stay with the raven. I couldn't get the idea out of my head--the idea of this goddess going into battle only to say, "No more war." I saw her rising up into the sky to shed her corvid form, to break free from her own mythology.
I like to think the goddess might be appalled by the wars of the modern world or maybe she's just grown tired of humankind's lust for blood.
Amidst the flames and stars she rose
To shed her wings instead of blood.
No More War.
© Amanda Makepeace
Toward the end of 2017 I decided to take a look at this drawing again. I don’t often return to pieces I’ve finished, but this one was calling to me. I’m glad I listened! I used a combination of Tombow Mono pencils and a 2B mechanical pencil to help smooth and fill in some of the amazing texture on this paper, bringing more depth to the shadows and intensity to the drawing.
Raven Sight, Graphite, 11x14 inches
I realized after comparing these two images that I'd been lazy, or most likely busy so I rushed her the first time around. Now she is finished and you can tell. This is a good example of why it's important to set a panting or drawing aside for a short time. It's important to distance yourself, even if only for a day or two, to regain perspective. When you've been staring at a piece day after day for a week or more the chances of missing exponentially increase!
I've been asked a couple times and it's true, I used my own witchy face as the inspiration for this portrait. I wanted something between the recent photo of me on the left and the younger me on the right.
The next seer portrait, Owl Sight, will feature my daughter. I'm calling these the Blood Mountain Seers, named after my favorite mountain in North Georgia.