Anyone reading The Art Department for a while knows what a Stephan Martiniere fan I am. Here is his latest for us, it's the third book in Karl Schroeder's Vigra series, Pirate Sun. (The first two being Sun of Suns and Queen of Candesce) Stephan generously saved this series of progressions. More than any other illustrator, I'd love to watch him at a demo -- even seeing these shots his process is still boggling .
I asked Karl to say a few words about Stephan:
Stephan Martiniere brings the eye of a classically trained painter to digital art, with sometimes astonishing and always beautiful results. I've admired his work for years, so I was thrilled when I heard that he would be doing some of my covers--initially, the cover for Lady of Mazes. This piece is simultaneously spiritual and concrete; it looks like a piece of abstract art but in fact accurately represents a scene from the book. This ability to satisfy the particulars of a contract while taking a piece in an unforeseen and wonderful direction is a hallmark of Martiniere's work.Stephan's latest art book, QuantumScapes, shows a progression of Variable Star (also the cover to Quantum) along with his book, movie, and gaming work.
For the Virga books, his images again seem abstract, but are in fact accurate to my vision of specific scenes from the books. It's as if he's taken a snapshot, but rather than an image of light and shadow, his camera captures a moment of perception, with all its subjectivity and emotion. I love his work, and couldn't be happier with the ways he's brought my stories to life.
Here is a quick interview with him that I posted a while ago.