Selection of Preferred Shots

At the time I was using black and white photographs. Now, I use color slides and put them on a light box, going over them checking the possible choices. An interesting new development is that many illustrators now simply manipulate the actual photograph on a computer, and don't paint at all. It is a lot faster, but would not appeal to me at all. I'd rather paint!

Final Selection of Photo

I send the one slide I've chosen as the best, to have an enlargement made, which I work from doing the painting. I used to draw directly from a live model when I was a fashion artist, but it would be impossible to have these models hold the pose for two weeks while I do a painting! -especially at their prices per hour!!


Before painting, I first draw everything with a small brush (only Winsor Newton Series 7). Expensive, but worth the price, using oil, in the color of burnt umber, thinly.

Painting - Early Stage

Here I've added no other colors yet, but have established the values, where the darkest, middle tones, and lightest areas will be, still using only burnt umber in wash tones.

Painting - Middle Stage

I'm beginning to add the general colors, lightly in oil wash. I've decided the dress will be blue-green, not red, as the model wore at the shooting as a contrast to the warm colors in the rest of the painting. The colors and depth are developing more, but it still looks washed out. It takes Time! I now begin to use oil paint more heavily and to develop the faces and hands, giving them more color and form.

Painting - Finished

Here it is fully developed with a suggestion of a cave they're in. There is a mystery in this book, a suggestion that the hero might actually be dangerous, a killer! That's why I chose to have his hand on her throat, so you don't know whether he's going to kiss her or kill her! The rest of the background is left white as in the entire series of nineteen I did for Victoria Holt books.

Delivering Painting to Art Director

This the reception area of the art department at CBS Fawcett. It is a bit glamorized for delivering work. I always went to the art director's office. Here, I'm sitting with one of the assistant art directors. I regret that the head art director, Dale Phillips, didn't pose here. He was as handsome as any model, looked a lot like Paul Newman, and was every artist's favorite art director, a wonderful man who gave many illustrators their start.

First Proof

Shows color bands along the side for printers to match to and is missing the gold lettering that is to come.

Final Book Cover

The finished book as you'd see it on the stands. The first cover I did for Victoria Holt books, The Spring of the Tiger, was a huge best seller, and for that reason CBS Fawcett commissioned me to do all of her back titles in the same style. This is one of the series, of nineteen covers, The Shivering Sands.

Letter to Romance Lovers
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