Red Country Artwork: Knives

July 30th, 2012

We’d done a sword, we’d done an axe, which left us with the question, ‘what weapon now shall we use upon our cover?’  Other styles of sword, mace, morningstar, and bow were considered, but they seemed either repetitive, lacking impact, or not especially appropriate to the book.  The answer?  You can never have too many knives.  Particularly suited to this story, with its western theme, since what bold pioneer of the frontier would be without a good knife?  I wanted a selection that would get across that western feel with maybe a tad of a fantastical twist, so I sent to Didier Graffet, weapon artist extraordinaire, a selection of photos cribbed from the internet featuring various antique bowie knives, dirks and daggers long and short that got across the sort of vibe I was after.  His first sketches came back a little something like this:

Which was pretty much exactly what I had in mind, so I don’t think I had anything to say, other than, ‘colour them forthwith!’  The results:

C’est magnifique.  Click to embiggen.  I love the way they look almost real but at the same time you can see the brushwork, they have a decided style.  Hyper-real, if you will.  Then, with a little of the red stuff or, “et sang” as Didier has it:


Posted in artwork by Joe Abercrombie on July 30th, 2012.

17 comments so far

  • AntMac says:

    Very nice. Almost photo-realistic.

    I don’t think they are friendly calling cards.

  • Jon says:

    I’m hoping for a pair of knuckle-dusters on the next book.

  • Thaddeus says:

    Or cestus, perhaps?

    I like these, especially the first one.

  • Gordon says:

    You have to be hyper-realistic…

  • StephenL says:

    They all look fantastic.
    Love the middle one, has a kinda frontiersman, out in the wilds, Jeremiah Johnson feel to it.

  • Den Patrick says:

    Surely ‘avec sang’?

    No matter. ‘et sang’ might be my new favourite expression.

  • AntMac says:

    *Takes hat off to Gordon*

  • Frank Fitzpatrick says:

    I love the second knife. It looks almost like a jailhouse shiv. Simplistic and straight to the point (pun fully intended). I could very much envision it being a part of the average Northmen’s arsenal.

    Is it weird that a picture of bloodied knifes has got me excited? Both sexually and expectantly?

    Which one is your favorite Joe?

  • ColinJ says:

    As a wise man once said; you can never have too many knives.

  • Robin says:

    Awesome. Also, for the record, the perfect size for an iPad wallpaper.

  • Madman42 says:

    Bad. Ass.

  • Slogra says:

    Kudos to Mr. Graffet for such wicked designs. The first one looks like it could do some serious damage with that curve.

  • Chevi77 says:

    My main problem with them, they look too new, apart from a couple chips. A few more lines/marks from sharpening would have done the trick. I like the shape of the middle one, but that short edge will get blunt so often, it hurts me only to think how often it will need sharpening… That is why I have to go with the last one as the more realistic (by realistic I mean, more like an often used knife) and my favorite.
    Next time consult a hunter/butcher too, Joe.

  • AntMac says:

    Unless you are hunting WITH the knife, I don’t see what good any of them are.

    You need a drop point for gutting, boning and skinning imho.

  • Morgan says:

    Are those hand drawn or did the artist use a paint program?

  • Sword1001 says:

    What kind of action would create the blood-splatter pattern on the first knife?

    Hmmmm . . .

  • David Montgomery says:

    Have to see if we can get these into TES:Skyrim…. if the author and illustrator don’t object:)

Add Your Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *