Duncan Long's Cyclops illustration for book layout project.

The last few weeks I’ve been struggling with a book layout project that’s proved to be a lot of fun. The publisher has given me pretty much free rein: I’ve been free to choose/create a typeface family, devise the two-column layout, and pick the photos and illustrations to go into it. In short, it’s been a blast.

And also a major undertaking as it’s the mother of massive titles and has taken on… well… mythic proportions and pretty much shredded my schedule (and I extend apologies to my patient clients for this).

Part of the fun is that this book has a large section dealing with mythology. There are a lot of public domain pictures out there about the various myths, so filling this book with quality illustrations has been easier than I (and the publisher) thought it might be.

But occasionally there’s a lack of good artwork and then I put on my book illustrator hat and create a small piece of artwork to fill the gap.

Hence this illustration of the Cyclops. Hopefully it does the creature justice. Certainly I wouldn’t want to get on his bad side — though arguably a cyclops has no good side.

In creating an illustration like this, the tough part is finding the model.

Yes, I’m kidding.

In studying the work of past masters, I found most tended to create a human face, cover over the normal eye sockets with skin, and then jam an eye in the middle of the forehead. Which works. But for this illustration I decided to create a skull structure that looked as if the single eye was a natural part of the whole. Hopefully I succeeded.
When not creating monsters for the mythology book he’s laying out and illustrating, Duncan Long works as a book cover artist and sometimes writer. You’ll find more of his book illustrations (and CD album cover and magazine artwork) at Duncan’s Book Cover Illustration Portfolio