Boris Vallejo - Legends of Fantasy Art vol.3

Fawal - art by Boris Vallejo
Fawal - art by Boris Vallejo
Conan the Freebooter - art by Boris Vallejo
Conan the Freebooter - art by Boris Vallejo

“I discovered fantasy art on an American comic magazine cover. It was a heroic woman fighting a prehistoric monster, and suddenly I knew that this was what I wanted to do.”
(Boris Vallejo).

My tribute to Boris Vallejo one of the world's most popular and respected artists of fantasy and SF artwork.

Boris Vallejo was born in Lima, Peru in 1941. He was interest in art from a young age and started getting paid for painting at age 16, he graduated top student at Peru’s National School of Fine Arts in the early 1960’s and he moved to the United States in 1964.

He found a job in New York as a freelance artist for an advertising firm, he would illustrate ads for Christmas Cards and Franklin Mint sculpture collections amongst many other items.

Boris later found work painting covers for paperbacks, he contributed artwork to over 300 book and magazine covers, including covers for Conan the Barbarian, Tarzan, Heavy Metal Magazine, Mad Magazine, Doc Savage and the Marvel comic Savage Sword of Conan.

Mormak - art by Boris Vallejo
Mormak - art by Boris Vallejo
Gateway - art by Boris Vallejo
Gateway - art by Boris Vallejo
The Flash - art by Boris Vallejo
The Flash - art by Boris Vallejo
The Valkyries - art by Boris Vallejo
The Valkyries - art by Boris Vallejo

"In the bookshops there are books side by side, and it is often the cover which decides whether a book is bought or not. A successful cover has to attract the potential customer like a magnet." (Boris Vallejo)

Boris also worked on several movie posters including Q the Winged Serpent, National Lampoon’s Vacation and European Vacation, Paradise Alley, Barbarian Queen, Nothing But Trouble, Deathstalker, Barbarella and Rubber.

Oil paint on board was Boris preference starting off with pencil sketches. Boris and his artist wife Julie Bell particularly enjoy painting well-muscled men and women wearing little or no clothing and facing mythological creatures or gods. Some of their recent art borders on the erotic.

In many paintings he would model himself or his wife Julie. His son Dorian Vallejo from a previous marriage is also an established artist. His daughter Maya is a professional photographer.

Boris has successfully published a series of bestselling calendars featuring his striking artwork for several decades now, in recent years he has been collaborating with his wife on the calendars.

There have been many books featuring Boris Vallejo’s artwork some of the best ones are – The Fantastic Art of Boris Vallejo (1980), Fantasy Art Techniques (1985), Dreams: The Art of Boris Vallejo (1999), The Ultimate Collection (2005), The Fabulous Women of Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell (2006) and Imaginistix (2007).

Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell currently live in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Eahnah in the Tropics - art by Boris Vallejo
Eahnah in the Tropics - art by Boris Vallejo
Barbarella - art by Boris Vallejo
Barbarella - art by Boris Vallejo
European Vacation - art by Boris Vallejo
European Vacation - art by Boris Vallejo
The World of Tiers - art by Boris Vallejo
The World of Tiers - art by Boris Vallejo
Tarzan and the Castaways - art by Boris Vallejo
Tarzan and the Castaways - art by Boris Vallejo

Selected Book Covers:

Tarzan the Terrible (1973)
I am a Barbarian (1975)
A Guide to Barsoom (1976)
Outlaw of Gor (1976)
Tarzan and the Lost Empire (1976)
The Dragon and the George (1976)
Tarzan the Untamed (1976)
The Flying Sorcerers (1977)
Conan of Aquilonia (1977)
Tarzan and the Castaways (1977)
Gateway (1977)
The Micronauts (1977)
Tarzan the Magnificent (1977)
Berserker (1978)
Cyborg (1978)
The Magic Goes Away (1978)
Conan of the Isles (1979)
The Eternal Champion (1979)
Berserker's Planet (1980)
Conan the Wanderer (1980)
Captive of Gor (1980)
Flash Gordon vol.1-2 (1980)
The World of Tiers vol.1-2 (1981)
Agent of Vega (1981)
Demon Night (1982)
The Mercenary (1983)
Black Fire (1983)
Star Trek- The Wounded Sky (1983)
Conan the Magnificent (1984)
Conan the Victorious (1984)
A Day for Damnation (1984)
Star Trek- My Enemy My Ally (1984)
Conan the Triumphant (1985)
Orion (1985)
Star Trek- Killing Time (1985)
Conan the Fearless (1986)
Privateers (1986)
Star Trek- Demons (1986)
Conan the Valorous (1986)
Crisis on Centaurus (1986)
Star Trek- Battlestations (1986)
Conan the Freebooter (1986)
Star Trek- Dreadnought (1986)
Prelude to Foundation (1988)
Vengeance of Orion (1988)
Starbridge (1989)
Tekwar (1989)
The Dragon Knight (1990)
Orion in the Dying Time (1990)
The Elvenbane (1991)
Teklords (1991)
A Fire Upon the Deep (1992)
Dracula (1992)
Battletech- Mercenary's Star (1992)
Berserker Kill (1993)
Conan the Buccaneer (1993)
Tek Vengeance (1993)
Empire Builders (1993)
Frankenstein (1994)
Orion and the Conqueror (1994)
Tek Power (1994)
The Shattered Sphere (1994)
Elvenblood (1995)
The Dragon and the Gnarly King (1997)
A Deepness in the Sky (2000)

The Sleeper - art by Boris Vallejo
The Sleeper - art by Boris Vallejo
Flash Gordon Book One - art by Boris Vallejo
Flash Gordon Book One - art by Boris Vallejo
Ferna's Escape - art by Boris Vallejo
Ferna's Escape - art by Boris Vallejo
Berserker Kill - art by Boris Vallejo
Berserker Kill - art by Boris Vallejo
Basilisk - art by Boris Vallejo
Basilisk - art by Boris Vallejo
Alpnu - art by Boris Vallejo
Alpnu - art by Boris Vallejo
Axe-Man - art by Boris Vallejo
Axe-Man - art by Boris Vallejo
Myths of Raltarnee - art by Boris Vallejo
Myths of Raltarnee - art by Boris Vallejo
Vampirella - art by Boris Vallejo
Vampirella - art by Boris Vallejo

More by this Author


19 comments

A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 4 years ago from Texas

Steve, this is so awesome! Boris was one of my all time favorites. I see that you have an anthology of artist. Going to check those also. Thank you for sharing!


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Thanks for the comment A.A. Zavala, it is appreciated. I had to get round to Boris one day, he is very popular in the art of naked women on naked beasts, hey that's what people want! :)

I love the use of colour in his paintings and he likes to give them a shine giving them a feeling of depth. very talented. Even his space art is amazing.


kuttingxedge profile image

kuttingxedge 4 years ago from Just outside of international extradition agreements

Man! Awesome images and great content! Loved it.


cebutouristspot profile image

cebutouristspot 4 years ago from Cebu

Awesome. One of the greatest artist of our time.


Faceless39 profile image

Faceless39 4 years ago from The North Woods, USA

I've seen his works here and there before, but never knew who he was or anything about him. A fantastic artist, and a great hub. Voted up, useful, beautiful, and interesting!


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

Volume 3 is a winning hub just like your Berkley and Kelly hubs. I think my favorite picture in this hub is the Eahnah in the Tropics one. Very cool to see his artwork in a movie poster...that might be the best part of European Vacation...his poster. Thanks for another informative and interesting hub on somebody I was not aware of at all. Voted up and interesting.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

kuttingxedge, cebutouristspot, Faceless39, Cogerson, thank you all for your comments, they are appreciated.

Some of Boris's best work featured completely nude women with monsters, vampires etc I had to leave them out because I wasn't sure where Hubpages stands on nude art. Paintings of breasts or buttocks allowed? Not sure. Maybe google would object.

Bruce, thanks for checking the hub out. Eahnah is one of his best, I love the strange creatures he comes up with. The first one Fawal is one of my faves so is The Sleeper and Flash Gordon. They're all good.

Btw a lengthy bibliography comes in useful, I can add more images next to it. :)


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

To view the images on my hubs at full resolution - click on the image opening it in the preview window - than right click on the image and choose "view image" on the mouse menu - to return to your original position on the hub hit the "back" arrow on your internet browser.


Breen Bergstrome 4 years ago

Hi Steve..great again.

I like 'Fawal' the best I think.

'Mormak'...would have liked to have seen a woman instead, although muscle of man and beast really cool here..

'The Flash' is dynamite artistic explosion of action..excellent.

All over the top fantastic..unbelieveable art in backgounds often overlooked with such stunning characters in forground.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Hey thanks Breen appreciate that! The big difference between Boris and other fantasy artists like Frazetta and Ken Kelly is that he loved painting women into his fantasy settings, most of his paintings contain near naked women I tried to balance things a bit on the hub and included some sci-fi art as well.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

Steve, great hub. The photos are just brilliant. I am not a fantasy fan (but him indoors is) but you can understand why readers get so wrapped up in the characters and stories when you see covers like the type this guy does. My favourite is Myths of Raltarnee because I like unicorns - though that bird would have to hop off and take her sun cream with her (that is what she's smearing on yeah?) so that I can go for a ride with me kit on!


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Haha thanks Jools, you mean you won't ride that Unicorn with your kit off? ooh that's a Freudian slip right there, apologies. :) I've included a picture of a muscular Chevy Chase for the ladies, thoughtful Steve, that's me. ;)


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 4 years ago

I will check out this hub and your latest one tomorrow and tell you favourites/thoughts, then.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

I've always loved his art. I often wished I could find a picture he did of Red Sonja but I haven't found one yet. He's a great talent, though. I like his 'Conan' paperback covers.

Well done hub,

Rob


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Red Sonja? I had one prepared titled Red Sonja and didn't use it. He has done a few Red Sonja paintings. If you google image "vallejo red sonja" the one you're looking for might be there.

I love the Conan covers too, I own some of the paperbacks. Frazetta did a few back in the 60's.

Thanks for posting Rob.


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 4 years ago

All the people in his world are body builders wearing scanty clothing. Flash Gordon posters seem over-dressed :)

I'm familiar with the Barbarella poster.

Hmmm. No body builders or people in general in the Gateway poster.

All healthy looking individuals.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Hi Flora, that's what sells, paintings of healthy looking men and women in various states of undress. You should see some of the artwork by Boris I couldn't post, at least the ones here have bits of clothing on. ;)


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 4 years ago

I can imagine. :) I was just noticing, though, that even in the European Vacation poster, muscles abound. So when I saw the poster with no people at all, it really stood out.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

I wish Boris did do more sci-fi art he really was good at it. I love that spaceship in Berserker Kill, but he liked drawing nekkid women, what can you do?

I can imagine him as a kid at school, his teacher saying "Boris, what are you drawing? Let me see it!", "ooh you bad bad boy... and she looks like me too! Go stand in the corner!" :)

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