Reese Dante, I want in your creative, talented head RIGHT NOW!!! Just so I can soak up the awesome that is your artistic bent. *sighs* This cover makes me so sad. SO very, very sad because I know that I will never be this good. Oh sure, I might be good at another type of look, but I cannot…can…NOT…do soft. I’ve tried. I suck. So, I will go lay prone on the altar of sacrificial meat to the God’s for even a smidgen of the gift that Reese Dante has.
In case you didn’t get that, Reese Dante did this cover. Insert cheeky grin here.
In case you’re wondering what I mean when I say soft, I’m speaking of the whole kind of emotional appeal: tender, warm, mysterious, beautiful, touchable, approachable, etc. etc. It’s so touchably soft that damn creepy little Snuggle bear is contemplating hari kari right this moment over this cover.
Now, before you think I’m just full of fangirl butt kissing and major cow dung, let me get something straight. First of all, I don’t do that. It bites me in the proverbial hoo-ha sometimes because I’m so very very bad at posterior puckering, but I’m a horrible liar. I’m one of those people that just can’t do it well. Needless to say that on Christmas day around my house, it’s not any surprise what I’m getting anyone.
That being said, let me tell you what I love about this cover.
First of all, Reese is really good at making a cover background that has pretty much nothing in it, look interesting. It’s all about texture for this lady, and she wields that weapon well!
If you’re thinking that doing a plain (well mostly, in the case) background is easy, guess again, my friends. It’s really not. Not only do you have to make the very pretty man pop, but it can’t be boring either. I’m unsure how Reese accomplishes her backgrounds, but for me, if I do a plain background, there are so many textures on it to make it look interesting it’s not even funny. Think of it like nude makeup, you pile a bunch on just to look like you have none on, and that takes time and effort, doesn’t it? Same premise for the plain background.
What I love in particular about this one is the hint of the font that looks almost like its part of the foggy background right behind the title. Yeah…didn’t notice that, did you? Neither did I till I sat my butt down and really looked. I’m so tickled to see this because I used to do it in my fandom manipping days (shhhhhhh…no one knows about that!), and I really wasn’t sure how that would look on a more professional cover. This is subtlety at its best. Just the barest hint, the smallest touch and it adds just the right dash of mystery.
And then there’s the man that I’m guessing, and I could be totally wrong, but I’m guessing that his beard was an addition, along with the tattoo? I tried to find the base photo via Google but my Fu was apparently out to lunch. Not that it matters that much, except if it was an addition it looks great! Making something out of nothing and then actually making it look good? Thumbs up…way up! And the tattoo? I can do tattoos decently, depending on the color of the tattoo, but I’m always impressed when someone else does them because it takes patience and talent. You are either hand drawing it yourself and then painting it on, or you’re finding it elsewhere and then cutting it, pasting it, matching all the shadows and skin tones correctly, and still keeping the integrity of the tattoo at the same time. It takes talent. The tattoo on our man here is not only beautiful but still manages to keep with the colors of the cover.
It’s the blending of the colors that Reese so effortlessly does that impresses the hell out of me! And the textures, because that right there is a talent! Reese has a look that everyone recognizes, and this is a prime example of that look. Understated but stunning. You SEE the model. You SEE the title. It’s not busy! It’s not overdone! It looks like one complete piece of work, from the fonts to the tats. My color pallet is very different from Reese’s, as I tend to lean more towards jewel tones, but I would sell my 3 legged cats other back leg to be able to do more pastel work and actually like what I did. (I wouldn’t really sell her leg, I kinda like that leg! :D)
So yeah, I loved this cover. What more can I say without having to get a drool cup out? Not a hell of a lot except that I hope Reese doesn’t mind when I pick her brain at GRL about her technique, ‘cause believe me it is so ON!
Anyhow, that is my take this week, and just FYI my posts will be bi-weekly for awhile as school and work is making it tough for me to finish everything, but I wanted to keep up with this so there you have it.
It’s my birthday today, so I’m gonna go do absolutely nothing but wish all of you a great day, and may all the good books be with you!
Be sure and check out the rest of Reese’s beautiful covers at her website!
All thoughts and comments are the reviewers only and not the viewpoints of others. If I’ve made you angry, stepped on any toes, or otherwise ruffled any feathers, I do apologize. This is just for fun, and written in the hopes that it will help fledgling book authors and artists to grow and learn.
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11 thoughts on “A.J. Corza’s Got You Covered – This Week’s Love Goes To Reese Dante”
A.J., Am I the first to comment here? Yippee. Great cover. Love it, and a wonderful write-up as usual. But let’s get to the real business: Happy Birthday to you! Hope you have a great one. Hugs, Paul
Thank you so much sweetie! I’m so glad that I continue to entertain even if I tend to ramble on at the mouth. :D *hugs*
A.J., Happy Birthday :) I’m honored you chose this design to showcase this week. :)
You have no idea how much I’m smiling right now. Anyone who has worked with me on a cover knows I’m all about the tiniest details, even if no one ever notices them. Yes, the model is tweaked to match the character down to the smallest detail. The tattoo is hand drawn to match the story. And if you look really closely (you might not be able to see it at that size), you will see scars within the tattoo (also part of the story). Thank you so much for noticing and for making me smile. I truly appreciate it.
I look forward to meeting you at GRL :)
Awww thank you sweetie! I’m so happy that you enjoyed my ramblings. I try very hard to notice the small details that anyone who doesn’t do covers would skim over so I can show how much work goes into the artwork. Especially when it’s stunning art work like this! I sometimes feel like I shouldn’t be doing reviews on the covers because I don’t have half the talent of someone like you so it’s always wonderful for me to hear that it’s appreciated! I just want to help people understand that the covers for the stories can be just as beautiful as what is housed within!
*hugs* I look forward to meeting you as well sweetie!
I’ve been a fan of Reese’s since I first found out who was making those amazing covers. The lady makes me feel like a chimpanzee with inexplicable and unauthorised access to Photoshop, sometimes.
Lol…that’s because compared to her we ARE chimpanzee’s! *offers you a banana* She’s got more talent in her little finger than I have in my entire body and this cover is no exception. I just had to give the kudo’s where the kudo’s were due!
Thank you so much for commenting sweetie I sometimes wonder if it’s just me and the crickets in here! It’s nice to know that I’m not just speaking to myself. Anymore. ;)
I love this cover and checked out her site to see what other books she has done and was shocked to see how many books I’ve read that she has done – guess I shouldn’t be shocked, they’re beautiful. There have been many times over the years that I have read a book based solely on the artwork (Michael Whelan is my favorite). I’ve found several authors to read that way. Sometimes you really can judge a book by its cover and I enjoy studying them looking for details.
aww thank you!
It’s nice to have people understand what I mean about the cover being a powerful tool and if it’s a good one all the better for you! My whole thought is, especially with the electronic media, your cover HAS to stand out because it’s going to be shown in a list with a whole lot of other books for sale and if it doesn’t stand out you’re just shooting yourself in the foot so to speak!
Michael Whelan is the Sci-fi artist correct? (just making sure I was checking out the right guy!) I love his stuff! (if it is the sci-fi guy).
Thanks for commenting back and for the birthday wishes! Have a great one!
Yes, Michael Whelan the sci-fi guy – his artwork is awesome and I’ve read books just based on his artwork.
Happy Birthday AJ. This is my first stop @ your blog. I enjoyed the article.
Reese, wonderful as usual. I must say that a full 1/5 of the books in my elibrary have a cover from you, and that is a lot of . They always seem to catch my attention, even when the ebook was not what I was looking for. My best friend keeps asking where I get all the gorgeous backgrounds. LOL
Thank you so much and WELCOME! I was getting worried that it was just me an the crickets! ;)
Reese really does great stuff doesn’t she? She just has a real knack for the more emotive, romantic, soft covers. I’m hoping when I meet her at GRL that some of that fairy dust she has will rub off on me!
Thanks for the comments sweetie and come back soon!