This was another textbook cover for MacMillan’s college division, which I did a fair share of during the years ’90 and ’91. All were in pastels, and I had earlier thought I had lost most of these originals, but some have recently been found. This was a textbook on physical education.
Another recently unearthed textbook cover that I did for MacMillan around 1990-91. I managed to find this one on eBay and purchased a copy for my library (from which the photo above is taken – writing this in 2018). An insane amount of detail in this picture, to try and pull off with pastels, one of the reasons I stopped working in this medium. Customers kept wanting more and more going on in the picture, when the medium seemed to work better with less and less complicated subject matter.
This was another textbook cover in pastels that I did for MacMillan’s textbook division. This edition still seems to be available on Amazon. This one wasn’t nearly as fun as some of the others, as it required a fairly realistic scene with a lot of details (which is hard to pull off in this pastel style), however, according to my invoices, it garnered a bit of reprint action for several months after I did it (mostly internal, probably for advertising purposes, or brochures).
In April of ’90 I had the first of several textbook cover assignments from MacMillan’s textbook division. All were pastels, and this first one was my favorite of the bunch. This was for a sex textbook, and the client wanted an image with ambiguous figures on it, so that it could apply to both hetero and homosexual partners without being too exclusionary. This was one of my earliest ‘big projects’ in my freelance career, and went a long way towards building my confidence and keeping me going through the difficult periods. The book is still available used on Amazon. The problem with pastel as an illustration medium is mostly due to the fragility of the medium, as it is prone to smudging even with generous amounts of fixative (which discolors the image, so I hated to use it), and shipping the artwork was a particular pain. Amazingly this has survived in my flat files for nearly twenty years, but it shows a lot of age, with various smudges and mars on the surface.