Dean Ellis · Look Here

Look Here: Three SF covers with art by Dean Ellis


The art on the covers of Judgment on Janus and Eye of the Monster is uncredited, and no signatures are visible, but as luck would have it, Judgment on Janus is identified as a painting by Dean Ellis on this page at The Illustration Exchange: Science Fiction and Fantasy Art Collectors’ Site, and Eye of the Monster is clearly by the same hand, though if you had told me that the Norton covers were painted by Paul Lehr circa 1980, I likely would have struggled to provide stylistic or technical reasons to reject the attribution. If Ellis in such paintings was actually trying to copy Lehr’s style circa 1970 — which, given Lehr’s reputation and success in SF circles, is by no means out of the question — he erred on the side of a type of over-simplification that Lehr himself often flirted with but did not fully embrace until a decade later.

Truth be told, I don’t really like Ellis’s technique here — or Lehr’s technique circa 1980. It’s too stripped down. The paint is boring. Yes, it’s precisely and decisively applied, but it lacks subtlety, depth… mystery…

Keywords: Judgment on Janus, Eye of the Monster, Space Skimmer.

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