I came across the art of John Zeleznik purely by chance and left a copy of his first book, ‘Lightstrike’, in my shopping bag for a while until quite recently. At the start of his career, Zeleznik was mostly involved in doing cover work for role-playing games, conceding to the demands of his publishers as to what they want.
Reading his text, Zeleznik has a preference for the same acrylics I paint with, Liquidtex, so I was interested in seeing his range with them. If anything, I was a little disappointed in his skin shades but I suspect they were typical of the time period and the needs of the painting. It looks skin-like but unblemished so has a touch of unreal to it in my opinion. Nevertheless his design work is good in fantasy and Science Fiction and as the back cover reveals, some 100 illustrations are squeezed between these pages.
At the end of the book, he began to move over to digital so there is an interesting contrast between the two mediums to compare them. There are a couple instances where Zeleznik shows how he creates his pictures but this is, by and large, a book of his art at the time.
I suspect the role-players amongst you into Zeleznik’s art will undoubtedly have gotten this book at the time. If you haven’t then you still have an opportunity now. Good fantasy art is still good fantasy art no matter the purpose it is used for. So even if you’re like me and not into role-playing games, this book is still worth having a look at.
(pub: Cartouche Press/Steve Jackson Games, 2001. 64 page illustrated large hardback. Price; I pulled a copy for about £ 2.40 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-55634-560-9)
check out website: www.cartouchepress.com