Ahh, the book cover work-in-progress posts. I love doing these because I get to ramble about my and D. D. Phillips’ bickery decision-making, and hopefully you folks like them too!
Book 3, titled The Living Throne, is still in major edits, but considering how long it usually takes us to hash out a version of the cover that we both like, that’s probably a good thing — it means no pressure! And this cover is different from the others, in that it has a previous version done for me by another artist: my good friend Alexandra Fitzgerald.
Anyone I interact with will probably recognize the face in the picture, because it’s the icon I use basically everywhere. So obviously I love this picture, even though it was never completed; the artist got wrapped up in other work.
It’s several years later now, and many details of the throne-room have changed. And so it must be remade! By a completely different artist! (With permission!)
I’m fortunate to have two very artistically talented friends who are willing to work with or permit the reworking of this art. Ali even sent her original file with all its layers for Deb and I to muse over.
Deb might be regretting it though, because in the intervening years my idea has grown in complexity, and now she’s the one trying to bring it to life!
I can’t say too much about the reasons for the change in the backdrop, so I’ll just show my mock-ups and Deb’s preliminary work!
(Warning for anyone who has a hard time looking at things with small holes, like honeycombs, corals, et cetera. I know it triggers a visual phobia in some people. Sorry!)
Figure clipped out of original image, pasted onto redesigned throne. Partial background reference!
Other other reference materials!
At this point, Deb was already strangling me because of that honeycomb lattice in the background, which she would naturally have to draw. We went back and forth about the sizes and eventually she made a good backdrop version to work from, then started roughing out the throne.
Then it came to placing the figure! The initial size she sketched the character in at was too small for me, and I also thought it was important to define what I considered the ‘card’ area — since this cover, like the previous two, will have a truncated image on a playing card. So I drew my ideal size and card-area over her lighter previous sketch.
That done, she up-sized the figure a bit and started filling it in! And adding the base colors for other things, I guess!
Obviously the pose has changed somewhat. Ali and I always had a little trouble with that hand he’s propping his chin on. I actually posed for it, and it was comfortable at the time but we never really thought it looked right, so maybe this will work out better.
There is still a ton to do, so I expect this will take another post or two before we have something that looks finished. But a few people have been eager to see the progress, so here it is! Huzzah!
Hehehe, I always love to see your stick-figure sketches on top of the artistry. :p
Interesting to see how the process works. And there’s something a little creepy about those reference materials, which is intriguing.
There should be something creepy about them. Muhahahahaa!