City of Fire

I was happily asked to provide a wraparound cover for "City of Fire", an upcoming YA fantasy novel from Tor books. Here it is, along with a couple of detail shots. Once again, it was created using a combination of hand-drawn artwork and digital painting, utilizing both Corel Painter and Abobe Photoshop.

I had to break some rules to allow each section of the cover- front, back, spine, and flaps- to work on its own while hopefully holding together for the most part, and including all of the requested elements. I also attempted to restrain myself from overworking the art, especially the background, as I often find fantasy book covers oppressively dark and excessively detailed. I tried to keep this one distinctly colorful and fairly open so that it looks best wrapped around a book with a title across the plume of smoke, and the image and colors can be read at a distance. Most importantly, I hope it captures the feel of the story and reaches the intended audience.

I have to thank the illustrious Irene Gallo for this assignment. Be sure to stop by her great blog, The Art Department, where you will undoubtedly discover many great artists.

As always, thanks for stopping by.



Scott Forbes said...

Incredible, this is beautiful, all the textures and the painted background is incredible!
Great work my friend!

Jim Thorpe said...

Inspiring as usual!

Dominic Bugatto said...

Lovely stuff !

Pop-Monkey said...

Amazing job! I'll keep a look out for the book -- might be something my daughter would like!

Keep on truckin'!

sterling said...

I am a BIG fan of your work. There is a very beautiful quality between the combination of the painterly background and more graphic foreground characters.Awesome!

FerGil said...

Wow, I really loved this one. Loved it, loved it.

Steve Buccellato said...

Really wonderful. Great job.

joverine said...

really like how the colours turned out on this one
the background especially
great work man

Justin said...

Wow, killer stuff man.

Joshua Middleton said...

Thank you everyone for the nice comments!


whatsherface said...

you are really quite amazing. <3

Lala said...

Wonderful wonderful work as usual. I love most things you do. But especially love when you get away from super heroes and do this type of material. I love it. I am a huge Dulac/Rakham/Nielson, fan. All those guys rock. Maybe you also like them?

Nish said...

Just discovered your work recently- though all your stuff looks great, this is a particularly awesome & inspiring piece- got a real old school feel to it.

Have you got an art book out by any chance?? Would love to have a collected volume of your work.

Great stuff dude!

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Corey Lansdell said...

Wow... What's with the spam comments in here... anyway...

Mr. Middleton. I love your work. I appreciate your delicate touch on things and was floored the first time I saw Sky Between Branches. So inspirational!

This particular piece that I am commenting on also floors me. SO gorgeous sir! I also greatly enjoyed your interview on Sidebar. Keep up the good work! All the best.


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