Scott Gustafson’s richly textured and intricately detailed illustrations are steeped in his admiration for great illustrators of the Golden Age like N.C. Wyeth, Normal Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish and Arthur Rackham.
Though he has had numerous commercial clients in his 25 year career, his fondness for those great classic illustrations, and the classic stories they often accompanied, has carried over into seeking out the opportunity to illustrate books of classic stories, fairy tales and Mother Goose as well as fantasy stories and other subjects.
His website is a bit awkwardly arranged, in that you often have to return to the home page to jump to other sections, and it’s easy to miss things by casual browsing. Be sure to check out the books and gallery sections in addition to the portfolio and what’s new sections.
Many of the images are supplemented with roll-over detail image, but they are still frustratingly small given the level of detail and degree of finish in his work.
Gustafson works in layers of oil and oil glazes. On the website there is a step by step walk through of his methods for The Man in the Moon (images above, 7th down).
He often tackles complex compositions, and controls how your eye moves through them with adroit manipulation of color and value in key areas of the painting. He also manages to unify a multitude of elements and colors into a harmonious whole.
In addition to the numerous books he has illustrated or contributed to, Gustafson has recently written his first novel, Eddie, the Lost Youth of Edgar Allen Poe (Amazon link here), aimed at children ages 8-12, and illustrated with over 90 black and white illustrations (image above, bottom).