I’m late for work and before I shutdown the computer, I think “oh, let’s check out T-Mag…” and I see this. Damn, Mufasa. I HAVE to answer this - no, wait, I’m COMPELLED to answer this.
You know I know a few creative pros in the field of comic book and sci fi/fantasy illustration, right? Well, let's just say that Vallejo hasn't created anything via "freehand" in years (and years). He very much relies solely on photo references. Let's just say that I've never, ever liked Vallejo. His works, IMO, have no soul. Nothing. Now, when we talk about Frank Frazetta....totally different story. Oh, and apologies to nkeago - who I know LOVES Vallejo's work. Back to Frazetta: I saw my first Frazetta piece when I was six. That was thirty years ago. I've been a fan through all these years. Something Frazetta said sticks to my brain: he would use photo references only for gestures (all artists did in those days) - BUT, he warned never, ever to rely on the photos, camera for your work. And you can see this difference with a Frazetta piece and a Vallejo piece. Hell, I think Jeffrey Jones, Michael Kaluta, William Stout, Charles Vess, Adam Hughes, Brian Stelfreeze, Brian Bolland, Dave Johnson, Dan Brereton and a few others are better artists than Vallejo.
I also read Spectrum. Waiting for Number 9 to come out....Anyways, dude someday you need to go down to San Diego for the Comic Con. You'll meet most of the artists featured in Spectrum. It's truly awesome.
Anyways, while Rockwell was very creative - and a master painter (cuz, no matter what, painting is just plain hard) - his paintings still had a certain "life" to them that Vallejo's works are missing. Oh, I could go on - and I do have more to add. But I must go to work now!