Book Cover Design: Work In Progress

I’m going to do something that I normally don’t do, which is to show a work in progress. Oh, I’ve shown partially unfinished work before – but they weren’t in that awkward teen phase, all spots and sullen expression. They were more like showing someone into your spotless house and exclaiming “Oh, sorry everything is such a mess!” :) This is an actual book cover under construction, with large areas missing, unpainted, etc., the relative angles are off and the clothing is largely unpainted. This is what going out into public without makeup is like.

The cover is for Tanya Anne Crosby, for her novel entitled Angel of Fire. Here is the original stock art, and the current midway phase:


Prior to the current stage, we went through a number of mockups and a lot of different stock images. Mockups are usually quite rough, with unpainted, watermarked stock roughly composited. Most of them will be wrong, so they aren’t finished works of art; they’re something more like a storyboard.

I’ll post the final book cover image when finished. Her dress will be painted in with all the detail of brocade bands and lacing, the castle and clouds blended and painted, more mane, more hair, and something done with the thrice-damned saddle which is currently plaguing me. It’s just so there. The edges will be softened with texture, so that the eye is drawn more strongly to the central figure. And then I’ll look at type treatments.

Posts like these are a bit like that dream where you realise that you’re back in class, and not only have you not finished your homework, you’ve somehow forgotten to wear any clothing. :)

8 thoughts on “Book Cover Design: Work In Progress”

  1. Beautiful cover, Ravven. As a rider, though, it’s a bit disconcerting to see a bridle with no browband. Is that authentic for the period? I keep wondering if it will slide around on the horse’s neck.

  2. Thanks, Karen. No, it isn’t authentic for the period – there would have been both a browband and either a cavesson or whatever you’d call the thing that runs from the browband, splits, and runs down either side to the bit. I still have them hidden, trying to find a way to make all the tack not be so obtrusive. All I can see is black leather, and it’s reallyreally bothering me! :)

    1. What if you have the horse’s forelock cover most of the browband? I always pull my mare’s forelock out of the browband. (You can’t see much of her in my avatar, but she’s a pretty good match for the horse in your last cover concept). You could probably omit the noseband on the cavesson, but it does seem odd not to have a throatlatch (a thin strap that runs from the ears to under their “cheeks”).

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