We are honored to reveal the latest work from renowned artist John Picacio for his Loteria project. – FreakSugar staff

By John Picacio

Here’s the final color version of my latest Loteria artwork, “El Corazon”. In English, ‘El Corazon’ means ‘The Heart’. This is one in a series of works that I’m creating, inspired by the classic Mexican game of chance called Loteria.

El Corazon

If you’ve ever played Bingo, then you know how to play Loteria. It’s a card-based game, but instead of using letters and numbers, Loteria features pictures. The game has been a national family pastime in Mexico for almost two centuries, and I grew up playing it as a kid. The version that I’ve always known was produced by a company called Don Clemente / Pasatiempos Gallo. Here are a few examples from their set, including their “El Corazon” card.

All of my Loteria works are a hybrid of traditional and digital media.  A 14” x 21” full-value pencil underdrawing is the foundation for each of my Loteria works.  Here’s my pencil drawing for “El Corazon”.

El Corazon pencils

Once the pencils are finished, I create a series of abstract acrylic color paintings and use Photoshop to composite those colors on top of my pencil value drawing to create the final art.

There are fifty-four cards in a Loteria deck, and I’ll be re-envisioning each one of those via my artwork. The series is in progress, and even though I’ve created almost fifteen years worth of major cover illustrations for sf/f books worldwide, I think this new body of Loteria work may be one of my most significant works, when all is said and done.

When they’re finished, they will form a new Loteria game, but before that materializes, I want them to be presented as a book. Right now, I’m writing that book, at the same time that I’m creating the illustrations.

A limited edition poster of  “El Corazon” will be available for sale at my signings at this year’s North American Science Fiction Convention, San Diego Comic Con International, Loncon 3, Dragon Con, and Alamo City Comic Con. “La Sirena” will also be available as a limited edition poster. Both editions will be limited to 500.


Previous reveals from Picacio’s Loteria set:

John Picacio is one of the most acclaimed American artists in science fiction, fantasy, and horror publishing over the last decade. He illustrated the best-selling, Chesley Award-winning 2012 George R. R. Martin / A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar, and has created iconic cover art for books by Michael Moorcock, Dan Simmons, Mark Chadbourn, L.E. Modesitt, Jr., Jeffrey Ford, and more, as well as the Star Trek and X-Men franchises.

Winner of the 2012 and 2013 Hugo Award for Best Professional Artist, his accolades include the World Fantasy Award, the Locus Award, two International Horror Guild Awards, and seven Chesley Awards.

For more, please visit johnpicacio.com and follow John on Twitter @JohnPicacio