Robert Maguire (1921-2005) was an illustrator of crime noir, pulp, and romance book covers from the 1950s onwards. He studied at the Art Students League under Frank Reilly.
When he painted the paperback cover called 'Willow Pond' in 1979 he hired a model to pose for a series of reference photographs, much like the process used by Norman Rockwell and other illustrators.
Directing the model was a lot like directing an actor, trying to get the right feeling of pensiveness. He started with her right hand by her chin….
….and eventually brought the hand down by the side of the water. When he saw a hand he liked, he marked it on the photo.
No single photo had everything he wanted, so he had to take a little from each one, and he made an effort to simplify accidental wrinkles and unimportant details.
The photo was printed in four different degrees of exposure so that he could study the variation in the extreme darks in the light photo, and the variations in the highlights in the darker photo.
Many thanks to Harrison Chua who sent these to me!
Robert Maguire Cover Art.