Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cover Up! Final Cover

Tah dah! The Final cover. We still need to add cover indicia (publisher's logo, chapter number, etc.), but you'll see all of this when it hits the stands. All and all, this was a fun (yet necessary) diversion. Back to interiors next week!

Cover Up! Part 3

In Photoshop, we tend to use subtle effects to push our design to the next level. Because all of the hard work is done with graphic shapes and line, it's simply a matter of creating focus. We'll use gradient effects with a dissolve to push trees backwards and forwards.

We'll modulate value and color in the holding lines.

Overall, we'll use Photoshop to soften some of the harder effects a vector program creates.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Cover Up! Part 2

Once the shapes in the sketch have been determined, it's time to create holding lines. For this cover, our concept was to hearken back to the fairy tale styles of Kay Neilsen and Edmund Dulac with a bit of art nouveau line found in the works of Aubrey Beardsley and Will Bradley. No pressure, eh? We went to a vector program to control the line precision.

After our lines were created, we colored the lines and added flat shapes of color. There's something jarring about black line in "classic" illustration work. Using brown line is a great way to soften the overall piece. As we create the layers of background needed to complete this piece, we'll move to lighter and lighter shades linework, finally using gold for the castle.

Using into a flat perspective, the next layer to solve is the city before the castle. Thinking deco, we used repeating patterns and colors instead of traditional perspective. The buildings in the back are smaller than the building in the front.

Now it's time to design the final elements. The castle, clouds and cherry blossoms. Next up, Photoshop!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Cover Up! Part I

Beautiful Scars is a book with a lot of planning behind it. Though we are producing artwork for the project in earnest this year, this project has been percolating with Guin and I for a while. It's been almost 4 years since we first outlined Beautiful Scars at a Dennys at 2 in the morning (but that's a blog for another time).

To pitch this idea to Mark Smylie at Archaia Studio Press, we put together a page of art, a synopsis and a rather sparse cover.

As we near completion of issue 1, we decided it was time to create a new cover. This new image + the pages you see in this blog will be solicited together for review. It's time to gussy up the cover image. Here are our starting pencils:

As you can see, we are just designing our shapes, rhythm and flow. As soon as we are done with our rough sketch, it's time to refine our composition. The original sketch is lightened and darker marks refine the characters, details and size relations. Next post, we'll go to color!