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Living Ghost Time

I’ve alluded to an upcoming book cover several times over the past couple months. Now I can speak of it directly. I’m proud to announce the release of the book Living Ghost Time by David Michael – the cover of which was created by yours truly. 

Living Ghost Time – Written by David Michael – Cover Art by Don Michael, Jr.

Published by Four Crows Landing

This is Book 2 in The Girls of Spring Hollow series which is geared towards middle-grade/tweenagers and up. You can read more about it – and find out how to purchase it – here.

For this book cover, as is usually the case, I started out by creating a painting. The cool thing about creating book covers this way is that I end up exploring styles and subject matter with my painting that I would probably never have done otherwise. It’s good to get outside my comfort zone and push my boundaries. Here’s the painting I came up with…

Living Ghost Time – 18.5″x12″ – Acrylic on Painting Board – Completed 5/14/13

©2013, Don Michael, Jr.

After scanning the painting and then manipulating it a bit, I came up with the book cover artwork. After approval from the author, this is what gets sent to the publisher.

Living Ghost Time Book Cover Artwork – Created in Photoshop – ©2013, David R. Michael

All that was left at this was waiting on the finished results. One of the really exciting things about this thing I do is seeing the finished product for the first time. I tear into that box with the fervor of a child on Christmas Morning – every time. And then I can’t wait to show everyone around me – probably with a stupid grin stuck on my face (but I guess that’s just one of the hazards of this occupation).

Now it’s time to get back to my studio where I have two totally different mask projects going on, as well as a painting. Fun times!

Happy Creating!

Gunwitch: The Witch Hunts

I’m excited to be able to finally unveil one of the graphic projects I’ve alluded to over the past couple months. My brother, David Michael, has just released his latest novel. Here is the book cover I created for him…

Gunwitch: The Witch Hunts – Acrylic Painting and Photoshop

©2013, David Michael

Be sure to click on the image above. That way you’ll get to see the entire cover, including the spine and the back. To find out more about the book and/or to purchase it, click here.

In the midst of all my design projects I’m still finding time to paint. I haven’t finished anything lately, but that’s because I’m in the middle of painting another Ginormous Heart to help raise awareness and money for the Las Vegas Chapter of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. This is the 3rd year that I’ve had the honor of taking part in this wonderful program. This is a detail of where I wrapped up painting last night…

St. Jude Heart – In Progress – Detail from 1/28/13

I still have a long way to go on this. It’s a major undertaking, but it’s for a great cause.

Happy Creating!

New Fairy Moon

Posted by Don Michael, Jr. on May 25th, 2012 in Books by David R. Michael

I’m excited to announce the release of the book, New Fairy Moon, by my brother, David Michael, which is published by Four Crows Landing.

New Fairy Moon – Book by David Michael – Cover Artwork by Don Michael, Jr.

©2012, David Michael

(Click here for information on purchasing the book)

Once again, I did the artwork for one of David’s book covers. Once again, David has caused me to step outside of my comfort zone…

This time I had to teach myself about Manga. David’s 10-year-old daughter had come up with what she thought the main three characters should look like and it was in the Manga style. She did such a great job with her drawing that we wanted to ‘tip our hats’ to her work while creating this cover. So, it was time for me to start studying and experimenting on something I had never given any real attention to before. After a couple weeks of focussed study I finally worked up the nerve to start designing what would eventually become this painting…

New Fairy Moon – 18.5″x12″ – Acrylic on painting board – Completed 4/20/12

©2012, Don Michael, Jr.

Even though I didn’t really master the manga style I still had a lot of fun with this – and I learned something new. All-in-all I’d say it was a very rewarding experience.

I wonder what David’s going to ask of me next… I’m almost afraid to ask.

Happy Creating!

Gunwitch/Deadly Thorns

Posted by Don Michael, Jr. on October 10th, 2011 in Books by David R. Michael, Graphic Design

If you are looking for an excellent book to read or give as a gift I would like to recommend Gunwitch: A Tale of the King’s Coven, by David Michael. David has a wonderful write-up about it here. (Be sure to click on the image below so you can see the full cover – front, back & spine.)

Gunwitch – Book Cover Artwork – Acrylic Painting & Photoshop

©2011, David Michael & Don Michael, Jr.

I’m really proud to admit that yours truly is the one guilty of creating the artwork for the cover. It was a fun and challenging project – just the way I like ’em. One of the perks of working with David on these book covers is that I find myself painting images I might not have attempted otherwise – which often informs later works of my own.

Some of my friends may recognize the hand holding the ball of lightning from when I teased about it back in August. Now that David has released the book, I can finally unveil the rest of the painting.

Deadly Thorns – 24″x18″ – Acrylic on canvas – Completed 8/19/11

©2011, Don Michael,  Jr.

To make this project work I needed a great model, and I found one. She’s a little shy, so I’ll not reveal who she is, but I would be remiss not to thank her publicly anyway. Bless you, my friend!

Now I’ve got a painting in the works which involves a different friend as a model. I’d better head to the studio and get busy because I want to have it finished by the end of the week.

Happy Creating!

Effie Two-Five

The David Michael Production Mill continues to churn out stories – which means I continue to churn out covers for them. Here is our latest collaborative effort…

Effie Two-Five – Written by David Michael – Cover Art by Don Michael, Jr.

©2011, David Michael

Here’s what David wrote about this one: “Make a wish. Brace for impact. Find a vein and take a hit of the new–and highly illegal–wonder drug with the street name “Effie Two-Five”, and your dreams will come true. You can be faster. Stronger. Anything you want to be–even a porno superhero. But be careful. Effie two-five has a serious learning curve. And you should have a lot of munchies handy. (8300 word short story).”

This was a fun cover to come up with. David wanted a comic book background, and since we have no rights to any comic book images I had to come up with something of my own. So, after banging my head against the wall for a while I had the epiphany to use one of my old works. I started going through my files and once I saw this one from 1986 I knew I had my ‘comic book’…

Bad Moon Rising – 14″x10.5″ – Watercolor – ©1986, Don Michael, Jr.

I just can’t keep my paintings out of his covers…

Speaking of paintings, I got one calling my name… So, it’s back to the studio.

Happy Creating!

Secondhand Coffin

Posted by Don Michael, Jr. on May 12th, 2011 in Books by David R. Michael

My brother David just released a new short-story titled Secondhand Coffin who’s cover was designed by yours truly. If you click on the image below you’ll be taken to its own webpage .

Secondhand Coffin – Story by David Michael – Cover design by Don Michael, Jr.

©2011, David Michael

Here’s what David had to say about this fun little ghost story: “A coffin isn’t always a final destination. It certainly wasn’t for Lacey. Murdered, Lacey spends her days as the unseen occupant of a showroom coffin. At night, though, when the lid is closed, she is once again wrapped in a rug and covered with cement, reliving the horror of her death. Until the night another body is dropped into her coffin. (2500-word short story)”

We’ll have a few more of these coming out in the next several days and as soon as they are available I’ll be sure to share them with you. Meanwhile, I’ve got some more painting to do…

Happy Creating!

Four Crows Landing

Posted by Don Michael, Jr. on April 13th, 2011 in Books by David R. Michael, Events

As many of my fellow bloggers know, my brother, David, is an excellent and amazingly prolific writer. Since September of last year he has released over a dozen books in both paperback and eBook format. He has now taken what I think is a perfectly natural next step and started a publishing company. He is calling it Four Crows Landing, which I think is an AMAZING brand name. My first question to him was, “Do you think you’ll want a logo?”, followed quite closely by, “Can I do it?”. Thankfully, he was gracious enough to hire me for the job. Below is what we came up with…

Four Crows Landing – logo by Don Michael, Jr. – ©2011, David Michael

If you click on the logo above you will see both the version with text and the version without. If you want to see what David has to say about his new logos be sure to click here. You can find more about the publishing company, Four Crows Landing, and see the books that are already being published under its banner by clicking here.

Other news from my studio has been a little less exciting or productive this week. I spent all day Monday at the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) convention at the Las Vegas Convention Center with my good buddy, CJ. We saw and drooled over all sorts of great new equipment, software and production solutions as we wandered through the hundreds of booths. We also ran into friends from all over the country, one of which I had not seen or spoken with in nearly a decade. All-in-all it was a great day, but at the end of it I was so tired that little work got done in my studio that night.

The rest of the week has been spent struggling with the smaller heart I’m working on for the St. Jude’s charity gala. I’ve made very little headway and am a bit befuddled right now. Thankfully, I have a few more days to work on it and I know I’ll find the answers… It’s just a matter of sticking with it. Work leads to solutions. Sitting around worrying about it only leads to despair and failure. I choose solutions – and look forward to sharing the results when I figure them out. Until then…

…Happy Creating!

More Book Covers

My brother David continues to churn out some great short stories and I continue to create some book covers for him. In the month of March he released 6 new ebooks – two of which I’ve already spoken of – Curtain Call and Door to the Sky. These other four were once again inspired by paintings I had done of masks. David asked me to use their respective images in the designs for the covers and I was more than glad to oblige. The fun challenge is to create a viable and attractive cover around paintings that were not designed with a book cover in mind. I’m fairly pleased with how they all turned out.

Below are the covers for this latest batch. If you click on the images you will see larger versions of the covers. If you click on the title below their images you will be taken to their respective sales sights where David has written a brief blurb about them.

A Fine Mess – ©2011, David Michael and Don Michael, Jr.

The Perfect Hiding Place – ©2011, David Michael and Don Michael, Jr.

Insanity – ©2011, David Michael and Don Michael, Jr.

Evanescent – ©2011, David Michael and Don Michael, Jr.

I just found out that there will be two more coming in April, so I guess there is no rest for the weary…

But, first I’ve got another heart to paint. I agreed to paint a smaller one which will be autographed by celebrities and auctioned at the St. Jude Affair of the Heart Charity Gala in late May. Thankfully, it’s much smaller than the ginormity I finished last week. Here it is in its formative stage. You can see I’m taking a very different approach with this one. Or am I?

St. Jude’s Little Heart

Happy Creating!

Door to the Sky – The Video

Well, the animation that I alluded to in my previous post is finally completed. In all fairness, I should probably call it more of a fete of editing than animating, but either way, I’m extremely excited with how it turned out. Click on the image below and you’ll be able to see it on YouTube.

©2011, Don Michael, Jr.

I would like to thank Arnel Mañago for providing his music, and my brother David for providing his words. They and the artwork for the  book cover all fit together perfectly. As for the artwork, I’d like to point out that every element in the video came from the painting and the book cover that I created for The Door to the Sky – except the words which I quoted from the book…

On a completely different note, the giant heart that I mentioned in my previous post is now sitting in my garage with its first coat of gesso drying. I was very pleased to find that it was a bit smaller than I had been led to believe – but it still ain’t little, as you can see below.

©2011, Don Michael, Jr.

Now I just gotta’ figure out what I’m going to paint on it…

Happy Creating!

Door to the Sky

Posted by Don Michael, Jr. on March 14th, 2011 in Books by David R. Michael

Today I can finally reveal a painting that I’ve been excited about ever since I finished it late last month. It’s been on hold since then for reasons explained shortly…

Door to the Sky – 24″x18″ – Acrylic on canvas – Completed 2-26-11

©2011, Don Michael, Jr.

The Door to the Sky is the title of a novella that my brother, David, wrote and asked me to do the cover for. Knowing that it was outside of my usual subject matter, David wasn’t sure that I’d want to take it on. But, once I’d read the story I really wanted to take a stab at it – and did. I must admit to being really proud of how it turned out.

(I’m adding this paragraph as filler since I don’t want the next image visible until you scroll down a little further. Please forgive me the inconvenience. I could have put in a few more returns, but didn’t want to have all that blank space.)

Today, David released The Door to the Sky as an ebook. You can find more information here, or click on the book cover I created for him below. The reason I added the filler paragraph is that I wanted you to get a sense of the painting by itself before seeing it in the book cover layout. Once you see the book cover, the painting looks like it’s missing something. But, if you see the painting first it feels totally complete.

The Door to the Sky – Novella written by David Michael – Cover Art by Don Michael, Jr.

©2011, David Michael

It’s fun to stretch. In fact, it’s inspiring to stretch – especially when it works. I am in the midst now of creating some more works along a similar vein. We’ll see how it goes…

Happy Creating!

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Copyright © Don Michael, Jr.