Cool Art: Stephanie Hans
I've been spending far too much time over on ConceptArt.org, ever since I learned about it (curse you, Irene Gallo, curse you!). CA is a site where artists and illustrators meet to talk, exchange information and techniques, and challenge and critique each other in numerous ways.
One of those challenges is a "Character of the Week" (CHOW) forum where a theme or brief description of a character is posted, and participants submit their personal riffs and renditions on that theme.
One fairly regular CHOW participant, whose work has particularly impressed me, submits her work under the name "Ryuloulou". The art up above, which reminds me strongly of Charles Vess' work, is from one of the CHOW challenges.
Looking at Ryuloulou's profile led to a link to her home page, where I found her actual name is Stephanie Hans, an artist in France who's apparently done quite a bit of work for French YA bookcovers.
(It would be nice *coff* *ahem* *hint* to see some of her work on US bookcovers.)
Her home page has a nicely negotiable gallery section, where you can see more of her work. (If you read French, there's also a link to her blog.) Enjoy.