Step-by-step: Assemble a group of lovable characters
1 Speedy approval
Due to the need for a speedy publishing turnaround, this cover had to come together quickly. Fortunately, my initial suggestion to the publisher (which was to feature a handful of the characters gathered around the Wiseman while he read a story) was accepted. I quickly scribble out the idea and send it in to Henson for approval.
2 Separate characters
I usually draw and paint traditionally; however, the one unusual way I build the cover is to draw each figure separately. Working this way offers me flexibility and enables me to make edits quickly. For example, the cover originally featured a bouncing head of a Firey, which was cut to accommodate the title and text.
3 Perfecting the composition
Next, I bring the elements into Photoshop and assemble the final cover. All of the character drawings are done traditionally, however the colour is painted digitally. I handle all background elements sky, trees and plants in watercolour. By placing the trees on layers beneath the characters and moving them around, I find my composition.