Hey guys! Hope you’re having a wicked start to your week!
Thankfully, it’s lovely and sunny here in Hampshire, UK! September is my favourite time of the year, with a fresh feel in the air, lovely red colours and usually, sunny days – much like today!
What makes it even better is that I can reveal a brand new book cover project that I’ve been working on recently for Hampshire based author, Piers Husband.
Alongside this, I have recently published a new blog post to help you with your self-belief. Suitable for everyone, it offers great advice to champion this important topic – as self-belief impacts everyone! It’s a jam packed blog post, so if you haven’t checked that out, please do!
Back to the latest addition to my illustration portfolio, myself and Piers have worked together before on his previous book, ‘Thus Urizen Spoke: The Coin, the Raven and the Beat of the Drum’. Featuring a spooky raven, a haunting tale and ancient Roman Gods, so when he asked me to produce a book cover illustration for his next book, I didn’t hesitate to say a big fat YES!
If you’re interested, you can see the previous illustration here.
Titled ‘Leviathan’, the book tells the story of the little village of New Cross, that is affected by the ‘nexus event’ – which occurs when infinite earths collide. This places a direct influence on the forests around the village (which is where this book cover illustration is based on).
This catastrophe masquerades as a book, a demon who is praised by its followers as its ancient name of Leviathan, or ‘the evil gateway to dimensional hell’.
James Montgomery discovers a magic mirror, giving him access to the white tower. A place where all reality is shown in its true light. People have visited before, but some have never returned.
As you can see, this book theme is a spooky fantasy, which leads excellently from the first book. It brought up a lot of possible book cover illustration ideas, which I’ll go into next…
How Did This Book Cover Illustration Unfold?
I started the project like most of my commissions I receive, straight into my sketchbook to sketch ideas, thumbnails, and anything that comes to mind.
This gives me a clear indication of where my ideas are heading, and in this case, I was very inspired by the direct impact the forests had on the village. A lot of visuals came to me from this, so after close communication with the Piers, we focused on this subject.
Below you can see a selection of thumbnails and idea processes that I produced during the project, all within my A5 sketchbook. I find A5 the perfect size to quickly get my ideas down on paper (whether that’s drawn or written) – as it’s not too small, but not too big either, just right.
After the initial mind-mapping and thumbnails were complete, I selected the strongest, emailed them over to the client for approval (where they decide on the best idea/composition), and produced further colour roughs for them to choose from.
I usually produce a series of roughs for clients, so they have a good choice, so they’re clear on how the book cover will look.
This is where it gets exciting – the final artwork is produced using gouache, watercolour and digitally scanned into Photoshop for editing. I fix all of my painting errors, and use the clone stamp in particular, as it’s such a valuable tool (a great tutorial here), and edit until it looks the bees knees!
And there you go, the final, finished book cover illustration, coupled together with type.
It was a great project to work on, and it’s very satisfying when a previous client wants to work with me again – well I must be doing something right, right?
This book will be sold through Kindle, which will be sold in the coming weeks!
I hope you enjoy this brand new book cover illustration for ‘Leviathan’. If you’re new to my work, be sure to check out my portfolio on my homepage, see more blog posts, or send me an email with a creative commission that you have in mind, I’ll be happy to help!
Many thanks for listening and visiting my news page today. You can follow what I’m up to on my Twitter, Facebook or Google + pages, I’ll really appreciate it if you do, and don’t be afraid to say hi to me! Many thanks again, and have a great day!