excalibur book cover illustration

There are many many moments in a creative person’s life, where you produce a piece of artwork with a deadline looming and you then just want to tear your hair out. I did this recently with the book cover illustration  the second of Fiona Ingram’s series. in the first book cover illustration – The Secret of the Sacred Scarab –  I had the hero with his back to the viewer, being dazzled by the light of the scarab. The whole cover was framed by the giant pillars of a temple. It worked.

For the second book I was looking for some sort of architecture to frame the cover and used a stone archway with a view of sea and cliffs beyond. But I had problems with the boy I had drawn, his proportions were all wrong, and because I had drawn it as one painting, it was impossible to change as the background was already drawn in. At this point I should have drawn and painted him separately, but I didn’t, so I redrew and repainted the whole thing.

All seemed well, except, I still was not happy. The colour looked wrong and no amount of messing around in Photoshop worked. It also lacked the drama of the first cover. Then Fiona called me and told me she was sending all artwork to some interested people and I felt physically ill. I just could not stand the idea that this piece of work would go out there and have my name on it.

The book cover illustration brainwave hits

Just before the Easter weekend a germ of an idea hit my little brain and I spent the time in between chocolate feasts, painting a brand new background and a brand new boy on separate sheets of paper. Back at my computer today, I scanned them in, messed with the colour, cut the boy out and placed him over the background and then added a magic glow to him and the sword. (Yay Photoshop).

I had not told Fiona I was doing this… But just sent her the new cover and held my breath…

She loves it.

What do you think?

How I wanted to put Excalibur through my book cover illustration
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2 thoughts on “How I wanted to put Excalibur through my book cover illustration

  • April 22, 2014 at 1:14 pm
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    Was wondering how to get that glow on myself actually …. It works well and contrasts the ‘implied doom’ in the darkened clouds/ruins

    • April 22, 2014 at 1:26 pm
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      We’ll have to photoshop you 🙂

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