Ellis, Dean

Tagged: Art

(1920-2009) US illustrator whose main interests lay outside the sf genre – he did much Illustration for advertising, for general magazines, and notably for postage stamps in the US and some other countries. He received his formal art training at the Cleveland Institute of Art – his studies interrupted by four years' active service in the Pacific – graduating in fine art, followed by postgraduate work at the Boston Museum School of Fine Art. He fell into commercial illustration almost by accident. After he'd done some covers in other fields for Bantam Books he was asked by them to produce a set of covers for their early-1960s "New Bantam Edition" reissues of the works of Ray Bradbury; these covers, featuring in the foreground a straightforward facial portrait of Bradbury with fantasticated shenanigans behind, were very distinctive, and led to Ellis being offered sf commissions by other publishers. From the early 1960s through the early 1980s he produced scores of sf covers; he also did a couple of interior illustrations for Omni (August 1979 and July 1981). Although in his commercial work as a whole he used a wide variety of media, for his covers he tended to use acrylics and/or gouache, sometimes acrylics touched up in oils. [JGr]

Dean Ellis

born Detroit: 25 December 1920

died Saratoga Springs, New York: 12 October 2009

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