When reviewing covers and other works for best pro artist, a couple jumped right to the top of my list (Empire Ascendant cover and Dinosaur Lords – especially interior art) and I quickly realized, they were by the same artist. Richard Anderson has a very distinctive, sketchy kind of style to his art that is actually extremely difficult to pull off. Making something look rough, loose, and active can very easily wind up looking rough, unfinished, and confusing. Anderson’s work does not do that.
His use of color with Kameron Hurley’s Worldbreaker series has drawn my attention even stronger than the reviews and blurbs I have read for the books (not discounting those, just the covers are SO striking!). Plus his work with Dinosaur Lords from the cover to the interior illustrations (just a few sampled below) capture the “knights riding dinosaurs” vibe so well when it could have gone so very, very wrong.
Looking over his work to see what works of his are eligible this year, I also noticed that he did the cover for Wesley Chu (Is Not Ken Liu 2016!!)’s Time Salvager. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but, as with all of Anderson’s covers, it uses light and dark as well as the color scheme to force your eye to go where he wants it to go, and conveys the kinetic action and rough settings these stories occur in. I’m now a definite fan.
On his site, Anderson has a gallery of a wide range of professional and non-professional work, but (as with many artists) not organized by year for easy award consideration. (Also, remember for Best Pro Artist – only work included in a professional work are to be considered.) At the very least, I know these 3 books have his work and are all 2015 published.
(links to article about the cover reveal with comments by Hurley and Anderson)
(links to article about Anderson’s artwork for the book)