British artist Chris Achilleos died this week at 74, reports Doctor Who News. Achilleos's glamourous fantasy artwork graced everything from album covers to fantasy novels and movie posters.
The signature Achilléos style combined vivid colours, minute detailing, and an innovative blend of historical, psychedelic, and comic book influences. Although much of his work was produced on commission, to be miniaturised and serve as book covers, album covers, and film posters, Achilléos produced all his canvasses at largescale, which allowed him to showcase his rare technical skill, refined during his studies of Scientific and Technical Drawing.
Such was the ambition of his artwork that it earned the attention of George Lucas, who hired him as a conceptual artist for the visual-effects showpiece Willow; it was a position Achilléos had previously held on the production of the cult classic Heavy Metal, starring John Candy and Harold Ramis.
Embedded here is my favorite Achilleos work, "Dragonspell", exemplifying his gift for making genre fantasy sharper and less cosy without going grimdark.