Step-by-step: Creating a cover that stands out on bookshelves
1 Brainstorming multiple Composition options
I start off with very rough sketches to explore different compositions. After several iterations, I narrow it down to my favourite three and bring them into Photoshop to add value and flesh out the general tone of the sketches. I’ll send them off to Alison (the book’s art director) where she’ll approve the one that she finds most compelling.
2 From refined Lines to Paint Strokes
After Alison approves one of the sketches, I refine it into a line drawing where I scan, enlarge and print it onto watercolour paper. Once it’s printed, I’ll retrace the drawing with Prismacolor Verithins to prepare it for the painting phase. Enlarging and then printing the drawing will often blur it, so this helps redefine its lines.
3 create values and build up form
I block in large areas with flat acrylic washes, then create value by overlaying glazes on top of glazes. Afterwards, I use Prismacolor Verithins to push areas of dark value and clean up edges. Acrylics and coloured pencils complement each other well if applied gently. By switching between the two media, I establish form in the scene.