Cover illustration for SQ Magazine - with lettering - by cover artist Duncan Long

I had the honor of creating an illustration for the cover of the March, 2016 edition of EQ Mag. Above is the final layout. (And you can read the whole issue of the e-magazine is online for free here: March 2016 SQ Magazine).

The cat and gal both started as 3D figures, posed, lit, and rendered to create reference “photos” that I employed to digitally paint the final illustration. The big plus of using 3D models this way is that the perspective, shadowing, and anatomy are all pretty much automatically there. That saves a lot of time (and time is important both in making money as well as in rapidly delivering the needed artwork to a publisher in a timely manner — especially with deadlines seemingly getting shorter and shorter).

I had already created a 3D figure to employ as the female character in this picture. Here she is with a different pose and outfit:

Character created by illustrator Duncan Long for EQ magazine cover

Most of my artwork has pretty intense colors. I decided to use a more pastel palette for this illustration and the results are warm and spring-like (which I color picked from an old photo of the sky after a thunderstorm which I’d taken years ago) — in keeping with a March issue, perhaps.

Here’s the final magazine cover artwork sans lettering:

The Explorers - magazine cover art created by illustrator Duncan Long


Duncan Long is a magazine and book cover illustrator, with artwork appearing on the covers of Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine and Amazing Stories magazine as well as on books from HarperCollins, Pocket Books, and many other presses and self-publishing authors. See more of his art at: Duncan Long’s Portfolio of Magazine and Book Cover Art.