This is a cover for Melange Books. I’ve done covers for this author before, but in the previous cases, they were contemporary stories, not fantasy. The author mentioned in the provided art form of the possibility of having the unicorn on the cover, so that’s the direction I went. At first I tried a unicorn running toward the reader, but upon learning that the unicorns in this story where primarily passive, I tried a different route. The calm, resting creature. Originally I had the unicorn as a smaller piece of the cover, but since it didn’t really stand out (the cover lacked a focal point), I brought it forward and made it larger, thus drawing more attention to the unicorn. To add to the magical feel of the place, I increased the yellow and green color tone for the forest, as well as added a leafy texture to the edges of the cover.
This is the result:
Stock images from Dreamstime: