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July 6, 2009
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Master of Crows by MelissaFindley Master of Crows by MelissaFindley
This illustration was a commission for the author, Grace Draven, for her new novel (just out) "Master of Crows." She contacted me to ask me to do an alternate cover for use in promotional publications, featuring the hero from "Master of Crows."

Silhara, the titular crow-mage, was a joy to work on. I'm used to drawing guys with more regular features and Silhara's harsher ones were a challenge. (I've heard him compared to Alan Rickman, but I don't see it. I was shooting more for Michael Wincott.) Trying to capture Silhara's unique combination of haughtiness, harshness, and sexiness was a neat challenge.

I also got to read the advanced copy of "Master of Crows." It's very good, and I highly recommend it. If you're interested in checking it out or purchasing a copy you can find more information here: [link]

Please note: because this was a commission for a specific use, I will not relicense it for other uses, nor is it permitted to be used for avatars, sigs, tubes, tags, wallpaper, etc. Please do not use.
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:icondragonmaiden84:
dragonmaiden84 Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2012
I just read the book. Absolutely loved it! This is a great image of Silhara! Great job!
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:iconerodelbmud2:
erodelbmud2 Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2011
This is a beautiful picture! Would u mind if I use your picture for a back ground on my computer?
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:iconaakronos:
Aakronos Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow, thatīs awesome :D
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:iconschingiuire:
Schingiuire Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2010   Writer
I just bought this book because of this picture. Luckily it was available in kindle. <3
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:iconlyntopdollar:
lyntopdollar Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2009
Beautiful artwork. I really like this one.
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:iconryoko25:
ryoko25 Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2009  Student Writer
.... This makes me want to buy the book.
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:iconartbeat48:
Artbeat48 Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2009
Congrats, and very nice work!
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:iconamberwood:
Amberwood Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2009
Fantastic! I may just look for it in the future!
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:iconkeight:
keight Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2009
The author has excellent taste. Love those clouds in the background.
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:iconsussi1:
Sussi1 Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2009   Digital Artist
Great work, wonderful rich red color in his robe!
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:iconfantasydreamer59:
fantasydreamer59 Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2009
Wonderful! :heart:
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:iconicedragontamer:
IceDragonTamer Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2009
Absolutely lovely! Its getting a fave from me and any book you recommend I usually check out and end up loving, so the book is getting a follow up from me too :) As for the Alan Rickman influence... I can see it in his nose, thick set eyebrows and deep set eyes (not to mention his eyes are also really dark). Though, honestly, I wouldn't have picked it out if you hadn't mentioned it!
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:iconnathie:
nathie Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
me again! i wanted to advertise her book in my journal and put also a thumb with this picture in as a feature! i hope you don´t mind! :)
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:iconyourpleasantdarkness:
yourpleasantdarkness Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2009
Wonderful details and capture of characterization! :)

-A.C.
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:iconhera-of-stockholm:
Hera-of-Stockholm Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2009
Good work!
And sounds like I might like that book. Do you know if it's out yet?
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:iconmelissafindley:
MelissaFindley Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2009  Professional General Artist
The ebook is, if you follow the link. The trade paperback should be available mid July, I think. Not sure how widely available it will be in bookstores, etc. Amberquill is still a smallish press.
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:iconhera-of-stockholm:
Hera-of-Stockholm Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2009
I'll keep a look at Amazon at least, they have the most and what they don't have they can bring in. I just have to remember because I'll be on holz then :D
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:iconvampyre-lover:
Vampyre-Lover Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2009
WOW!!! HE'S BEAUTIFUL!!! Will we see More of him?
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:iconmelissafindley:
MelissaFindley Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2009  Professional General Artist
probably not from me. But *phuriedae has another picture from this book in her gallery, and another that she's currently working on. And =nathie has an image that was licensed for this book, too.
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:iconfrozensky86:
frozensky86 Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2009
wel all that is left to say is...YUM YUM!! love the hair and his face! oh and the crow!
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:iconkrazzeh:
krazzeh Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2009
Oh i want to read this. It sounds good.
He is sexy. I love long hair:love:
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:iconnathie:
nathie Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
YES!!! i am reading the book too, the author licenced one of my works for a promotional flyer and after starting to read it my first thought was: i need to paint him in his red robes all sexy - but you did already! :) this looks so gorgeous, that´s how i imagine him! intant fave, man! ^__^
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:iconscatteredlogic:
scatteredlogic Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009
This is absolutely beautiful. It's the perfect cover for one of my favorite novels. I can't get over how well you've captured the Silhara that I imagined as I read Master of Crows, but you did a wonderful job of it. ;)
Reply
:iconmelissafindley:
MelissaFindley Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2009  Professional General Artist
Thanks! Coming from you that's a massive compliment. (I admit, I have something of a fan girl crush. You're the reason I write labryinth fan fic, and probably the reason I keep drawing Jareth. ... maybe I should be *blaming* you... ;) )
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:iconscatteredlogic:
scatteredlogic Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2009
Hee! Now I'm the one who's flattered, and that crush goes right back at you. ~smiles~

Ah, and if I helped tempt you into writing Labyrinth fanfic, then my work here is done. ;P
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:iconmelissafindley:
MelissaFindley Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2009  Professional General Artist
I still remember reading the Enticement. I think it might have saved my sanity. I'd had to move back in with my parents for a month before my new apartment was ready and they lived way out in the sticks. I was slowly going mad, and one night, out of desperation, I started hunting down Labyrinth fanfic. Most of it, as I'm sure you know, was wretched. But then I landed on the Enticement and I was hooked. Read it straight through that night, then went out the next day to buy a DVD copy of the movie (I only had it on VHS and that was packed), and before the week was out I'd started writing my own fan fic.

Seriously. Saved my sanity.

And gave me an entirely different obsession ;)
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:iconscatteredlogic:
scatteredlogic Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2009
Aww, thank you very much. I'm pleased that the story was able to entertain you enough to drive away the boredom for a bit and to facilitate a different obsession. ~grin~
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:icon007-r0b3r7:
007-R0B3R7 Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009
awesome job! :)
i would definately hire you if i were a novelist looking for some cover art haha :D
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:iconmelissafindley:
MelissaFindley Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009  Professional General Artist
Unfortunately the author doesn't usually do the hiring. The publisher does. Self-published is the exception, or (in this case) when an author is unhappy with the official cover art provided by the publisher and wants something different for promotional purposes. This image won't be the official cover for the book, but it will cover a sample chapter to be sent out to reviewers, and will be available on promotional bookmarks, etc. when the author is out promoting the book.
Reply
:icon007-r0b3r7:
007-R0B3R7 Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009
well that's kinda dumb :(
anyways, congrats on landing the job :)
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:iconmelissafindley:
MelissaFindley Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009  Professional General Artist
Well, yes and no.

Yes, in that authors almost never have control, and sometimes not even a say, in what goes on the cover of their book. Book covers are really just marketing. Really well DONE bookcovers are art AND marketing--but it takes an amazing art director to make that happen (like Irene Gallo over at Tor).

No, in that many authors have TERRIBLE ideas for what should go on their cover. What they think will look good often isn't what will sell the book, and trying to talk an author bent on having a gorilla and a dinosaur and an army and the hero, and the heroine, and a hurricane, and a tank all on the cover TOGETHER out of it? No... not fun.

The other reason why publishers doing the art is actually a GOOD thing: the publisher PAYS for it. And they'll shell out big bucks for a good artist. Most authors don't have the funds or resources to go hunting for artists to commission on their own.
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:icon007-r0b3r7:
007-R0B3R7 Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009
good points :)
either way yours looks good to me haha
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:iconvampireembrace:
VampireEmbrace Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
That.... is beautiful
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:iconbonbon3272:
bonbon3272 Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Whoa....intense....I like the realism to it and mystery behind the image.
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:iconquickreaver:
quickreaver Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009  Professional General Artist
Faboo! :blowkiss:
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:iconpaisleyrose:
PaisleyRose Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Bravo!!!!!!!!!!!!
Reply
:iconlady-cobweb:
Lady-Cobweb Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
This is wonderful, and I totally see the Michael Wincott influence (I just loved him in The Three Musketeers). It makes me want to read this story!
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:iconcrazymissdaisy:
CrazyMissDaisy Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009
:faint: amazing! Ill def. look in stores for this!
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:iconstr4yk1tt3n:
str4yk1tt3n Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009
wow! Awesome!
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:iconsicilianvalkyrie:
SicilianValkyrie Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009  Professional General Artist
:faint: so hadsome! great work here!
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:iconpinkatron2000:
Pinkatron2000 Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009  Student Writer
You keep giving me the delicious, one fantastic fantasy man at a time.

And a great book to check out. Very nice!
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:iconlindowyn-stock:
lindowyn-stock Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009
I wish to read the book solely based on this image. I think that means you win. :D
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:icontwilights-violinist:
Twilights-Violinist Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
omg this is beautiful. You did an amazing job! I love it :)
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:iconfernandda:
fernandda Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009
uouuuuuuuuuuu..very perfect
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:iconjedidanica:
JediDanica Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009
I was very excited by this. I have wanted to read this book ever since I saw the first illustration you did for it and now I know how to buy it! It sounds really great! Also, I like this illustration better than the cover art of the actual novel. Gorgeous!
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:iconjedidanica:
JediDanica Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009
Oh. I have just realized that the first art I saw for this book ages ago was by Phuridae. At any rate, I love both of these pieces.
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:iconandryroxy:
Andryroxy Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009
great Cover!!!! Eye candy!!!
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:iconaegils:
Aegils Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009   Digital Artist
Very nice Melissa :)It's a nice dynamic portrait :nod:
Gorgeous work on the fabrics and hair <3
One question: does he have a scar on his neck?
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:iconmelissafindley:
MelissaFindley Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009  Professional General Artist
Yes, he does. As a child, Silhara was nearly strangled, and the experience left a visible scar around his neck.
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