The Fantastic Art Of Rowena (book review).

January 3, 2021 | By | Reply More

I like a challenge in finding things. A lot of the time I’m also very lucky at being at the right place at the right time. After reading ‘Illustrators’ and discovering I’d missed Rowena Morrill’s first book, I decided to track it down. There are still a lot of copies of the 1983 ‘The Fantastic Art Of Rowena’ out there, some even in mint condition.

There are very few paintings used in her second book in 2000, ‘The Art Of Rowena’, so ideal for completists.

There are two introductions from Boris Vallejo and Theodore Sturgeon, both highly praising her before Rowena Morrill enters centre stage.

Two things quickly become apparent, apart from her history which I’ve gone over elsewhere, after trying acrylic and there is an example here, she prefers oils and not to leave brushstrokes. She also demonstrates how she creates a painting and her colours of choice for her palate.

I was interested in her choice of two greens, dark and light, and from what she infers, it’s the addition of white that gives the unusual tone. She also relies on the motion of hair and clothing to give motion to her work. Common knowledge now, but this is 37 years ago and artists were only slowly being explaining their techniques and few doing so well as Rowena in the book cover business.

A joy to own, and the art demonstration is a surprise bonus.

GF Willmetts

December 2020

(pub: Pocket Books, New York, 1983. 64 page illustrated softcover. I bought a mint copy for about £20.00 (UK). ISBN: 0-671-47055-8


Category: Books, Illustration

About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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