Thursday, July 7, 2011

Day 108 – OMG Cris Ortega is the Most Amazing Artist on the Planet

Alright, so I know I teased this particular entry from way back in last week, but, well, I got busy and other stuff happened, so I didn’t get to it until now. So, to make up for it, I won’t spend a lot of time blabbing and I’ll just get to the image after a tiny bit of set up.

So as you all know, or most of you anyway, my point with the cover was to have a really hot chick on the cover that will be jaw dropping and work to catch attention so that people will pick it up, turn it over, read the blurb that many of you have come to know and love (or hate). That said, I gave Cris Ortega a character description which many of you may have read (you can find that post here), and provided a rough cover sketch posted on my book website.

She has sent her sketches to me, and we have discussed various facets of them, and approved some and are developing others further. Since I thought she had our heroine, Orli, pretty well sketched out, Cris decided to go ahead and paint Orli’s head (hair, face, neck), and she sent me that back to approve before she goes any further.

I admit to have been nearly giddy with anticipation as I went to open the file, my hands almost trembling and something of a childlike thrill to see what I got. It was like Christmas!

When I regained consciousness, crawling up out of the stupor born of ecstatic euphoria, I got off the floor and sat back in my chair and just grinned. It’s perfect. So, without further adieu, here is Ensign Orli Pewter’s lovely face as rendered by the master artist, Cris Ortega:

Wait for it...


Wait for it...

Click to see larger image.


Isn’t that insane?

Can you imagine being that good of an artist? My God! I’m serious when I say Cris Ortega is in there with the brothers Hildebrandt, Boris Vallejo, Rowena… for sure in that class, and I know I should say something qualifying before insisting on names like Rembrandt, Vermeer and Rubens among other names that come to mind, but I’m not going to. Cris Ortega rocks. She’s going to be so famous someday she’ll have to burn anything smaller than a hundred dollar bill just to make room in her stash.

Anyway, okay, I’m done gushing for now. (But she is awesome, and Orli looks awesome.)

So I debated whether or not I want to show the whole sketch. I know I said I would, but it’s almost a spoiler, so I decided I’m not going to. Cris did send me some progression shots of how she was able to get to such an amazing work of art, so instead, I’ll show a piece of the initial sketch, and some of the points along the way. Think of it as a little tour through the mind of an artistic genius.

Isn't that cool? I am so stoked I can hardly see straight. It's coming out marvelously. I will reveal little peeks of other parts as the thing comes along, but I am definitely not going to let everyone see the whole thing (sketch) at one shot because it's just too cool. Plus, it's still in development. Maybe if enough people whine, I'll show the cool stuff I turned down. That might not be a spoiler.

Anyway, I hope you guys love how Orli is coming along as much as I do. And, since nothing I can say will be more interesting than that picture is, I'll just shut up now.

If you want to see more amazing work from Cris, or for information on how to commission her to work on a project for you or your oganization, check out her site: