As I noted on this blog a long time ago, Jones’s paintings for Zebra Books/Kensington Publishing Corporation were one of the high points of the artist’s career as a cover artist. What I find interesting when I compare the two covers posted below, though, is the difference in Jones’s imagery and technique from one to the other. Whereas Legion from the Shadows features a rather abstractly composed fantasy battle scene delineated in thin washes of oil paint with relatively little opaque overpainting — some of the lightest lights in the painting have been created simply by wiping out the paint to expose the white ground — The Sowers of the Thunder explicitly hearkens back to the imagery and technique of James McNeill Whistler as evidenced in works such as Variations in Flesh Colour and Green: The Balcony and The Artist’s Studio, both of which I’ve included below for the sake of easy comparison. Whistler and Robert E. Howard — an odd couple if ever there was one!
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The final two images above provide a comparison between the figure in the right foreground of The Sowers of the Thunder and the original art for one of the plates in Jones’s As a Child portfolio (Colchester, CT: Black Lotus, 1980).