This article was taken from issue 57 of ImagineFX magazine. Be the first to read ImagineFX articles in print before they're posted online and get your hands on loads of additional DVD content by subscribing. Visit our shop for more options.
When ImagineFX asked me to create this character for the cover, I fell in love with the idea. I’m not used to painting male characters, let alone a male vampire, so it was a great challenge and a lot of fun. Of all undead creatures, vampires are the most interesting – they inspire fear, but also generate sexual tension. So there are plenty of ideas to bring to an illustration.
I decide to avoid the classic movie vampire look – think Béla Lugosi, Christopher Lee et al – and instead aim to create a modern-looking nocturnal predator with details referencing his long life. Paul, the art editor, suggested that the character could have been a Celtic warrior leader at some point, and asked me to add some kind of cross tattoo around his eye. This simple detail adds more information about the character.Fanged research
I always carry out a lot of research before starting a painting, especially when I’m unfamiliar with the subject. I uncover plenty of images online, but the only one I have in mind is the awesome Count Dracula, played by Gary Oldman in Coppola’s 1992 movie. For me, it represents exactly what a vampire should look like: a deadly, romantic beast with plenty of style.
At this point I’m ready to begin the painting. I don’t do a lot of preliminary sketches and dive straight into Photoshop and Painter. This is just my method – feel free to do thumbnails if you need to.Mélanie is a freelance fantasy illustrator who paints covers for a range of publishing houses. Most of her time is spent on her personal artbook series, published by Norma Editorial.
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