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Thursday, September 05, 2013

Richard Fay's Art - Fantasy Meets History

Fantasy Meets History, Traditional Meets Digital
by Richard Fay
13th C. St. George
Copyright © 1998 Richard H. Fay

Hello, Richard H. Fay here. Marva has been gracious enough to ask me to be a guest on her blog to talk about my art. I suppose I should first say that I'm a published artist and illustrator who has seen his art appear in numerous zines, both print and on-line. I also sell items featuring my art and designs through Zazzle, RedBubble, and CafePress. In the late 90s, prior to ever selling my art to publications or internationally through on-line retailers like Zazzle, I sold my works as framed art and bookmarks at one or two arts and craft fairs and a couple of local medieval fairs. My "13th Century Saint George" is one of the medieval-flavoured pieces I sold back then. 


Being someone with a deep interest in history, especially medieval history, I guess you could say that quite a bit of my art is medieval in flavour. I will admit to being influenced by medieval and Renaissance woodcuts, manuscript illuminations, tapestries, stained glass windows, sculptures, stone carvings, and even floor tile designs. I frequently draw knights, heraldic beasts, and medieval weapons. However, that's not the whole story. I've been known to draw folkloric and mythic figures and scenes. I'm particularly fond of drawing dragons. I'm also an illustrator of fantasy, science fiction, and horror subject matter.
Blobby the Alien
Copyright © 2009 Richard H. Fay

Originally published in NewMyths.com,
Issue 19, June 2012.

Copyright © 2012 Richard H. Fay
Often times, I will incorporate historic elements into my fantasy artwork. No chicks in chain mail bikinis for me; I usually depict the human figures in my fantasy art in historic garb. Since I'm also a historic arms and armour enthusiast, I regularly portray my fantasy warriors armed in a fashion that would not be out of place on a medieval battlefield. I prefer realistic swords over those impractical blades seen far too often in fantasy art. My "Battle Beneath the Mere", where I drew Beowulf clad in the byrnie and spangenhelm of a warrior of Anglo-Saxon times, is a good example of my combination of the historic and the fantastic, as well as an example of my art illustrating literary matter:






Originally published as black and white 
filler art in Dreams and Nightmares 93, September 2012.
Copyright © 2012 Richard H. Fay
This might sound a bit odd, but I've even been known to meld sci-fi with the medieval. My weird sci-fi piece "Hunting the Queegiog" is based on medieval hunting scenes and an Anglo-Norman stone carving of battling warriors. Thus, I created an alien hunting scene with a bit of a medieval flair to it:

As for choice of medium, even though I tend to use bold solid colours when I add colour to my drawings, I'm very much a traditional line artist. For me, the line is the thing. I'm inspired by some of the great illustrators of the past, such as Arthur Rackham and Warwick Goble. However, I don't ape anyone's style. I tend to go my own way. The digital comes into play when I colour my drawings, since I add colour digitally. On occasion, I will add a cloudy sky or gradient background rendered digitally. I've also been known to use digital image manipulation to make my life a little easier, like when creating parts of an image that are mirror images of each other. However, for the vast majority of my work, the base drawing is drawn by hand and then the drawing is coloured digitally. It sure beats colouring photocopies of my art by hand using coloured pencils like I did when I was selling framed art and bookmarks! Although, I wouldn't be opposed to selling designs for use on promotional bookmarks, if such an opportunity arose.

By the way, not only am I an artist and illustrator, I'm also a published poet and a writer of short fiction and non-fiction. I even keep a blog of my own (a full list of my publications may be found toward the bottom of my blog):


7 comments:

  1. You are a "jack of all trades" Richard. Great post!

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    1. Thanks! I certainly try to be a jack of all trades, though some have suggested that I may be a master of none.

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  2. Thanks for showing more of your work. Of course, the sidebar on this blog will have additional work by Richard, illustrating my guest's alternate history posts.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for asking me to blog about my art.

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  3. Richard, your work is a pleasure to view. I especially enjoy exploring the fine details. Nicely done!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I like putting little details into my art on occasion, like the sword on the ground in "Battle Beneath the Mere". That's Hrunting, the sword given to Beowulf by Unferth, an heirloom that proved useless against Grendel's mother.

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  4. Lovely artwork. So clear and detailed.

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