This was a cover that managed to come together really easily. In this case, the author requested that there be a gnome on the cover if possible, and if we could get an autumn background, that’d be good, too. Mentioned that the gnomes were mischievous and at one point had axes in the story. So I went browsing through Dreamstime looking for images of gnomes. I didn’t find a gnome, per say… but three images later, I’d say that gnome looks mischevious, don’t you?
Sometimes a cover can be amazingly simple to put together. This was one of them. Also, I kept the same sort of title treatment to help it tie into her other story, Forgetting Fallenwood. 🙂
Stock Photography from Dreamstime:
Another cover for Melange Books. Today I talk about how photomanipulation is like a puzzle. 🙂
This was a case where character creation was useful. The author requested that we have the little girl sitting on the other character’s lap, who is dressed as Santa. In this case, I didn’t have much luck finding the perfect picture from the main stock site I used, so I wound up putting a few photos together to create the resulting image. Found a guy dressed in a Santa suit who matched the description– changed his hair color. Gave him a slight smile. Found a Santa hat. Found a little girl sitting cross-legged in pajamas– helpful. Found a sitting Santa to use for the lap… and used puppet warp on the arm. Found a background. Put everything together, and voila! Photomanipulation is a bit like putting together puzzle pieces, but it helps to have an idea of what the pieces look like before starting the search to find the right one. Kind of like finding the corner pieces first and working your way into the puzzle from there.
Stock Photos from Dreamstime:
Alert to cover designers using stock sites (nothing too horrible, just thought you might want to know):
I try to note any special terms (like number of copies permitted, and what an image can be used for) in my contract. 🙂
Just a heads up, whenever you’re planning on using stock sites, be sure to check their terms, and verify the terms that may be an issue for your work. For example, be warned that some stock sites don’t want their models being used on erotica book covers. You may want to go to a site specifically based on selling romance covers for models in this case. Same goes with “sensitive subjects.”
Either way, it doesn’t hurt to ask, and if you’re using your own photography or collaborating with another artist, premade covers shouldn’t be a problem. 🙂
Today we have a cover a bit different from the romance covers I’ve been doing. Today we have a cover for the horror genre from Melange Books. 🙂
Let me tell ya, this was fun to do. One, because it involved the anthropomorphic art I enjoy (yay, werewolf!), and two, because it involved a lot of the photographic manipulation I also enjoy doing. Take a look at the original stock images from Dreamstime:
In order to create the wolf (which, while working with the author, I realized needed to be more werewolf-like and less anthro wolf), I used a human base to get the pose and body structure. Then, using the wolf image, I cut and pasted sections of fur across the body, paying attention to the direction of the fur. I varied the opacity in areas on the face and chest in order to show just a bit more of the body structure underneath. I also cut and pasted section of the wolf’s face along the man’s face so it fit better. Then the puppet warp tool, the perspective and skew tools, and the smudge tool, became very good friends. They helped to get the wolf-man look I was aiming for. I added in the girl, gave the wolf-man an arm, and played with lighting (opacity layer) to make everything fit together, then finally added the text. The background I did in the early stages.
Of course, one of the factors that gets to come into play with creating an image with a lot of variation due to the puppet warp tool is that the final image doesn’t look quite like the proof image. A section of fur isn’t laid the same, the mouth doesn’t angle quite right. When that happens, I try making the image stronger than it was before, using what I learned in the initial set-up to make the final look more complete. In this case, something wasn’t quite right. The wolf didn’t look as imposing as before. So I made a copy of the image as a whole on a new layer (Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E) and used the perspective tool to make the wolf just a bit bigger, a bit closer, and the girl a bit smaller. The change was subtle, but did a lot to help. 🙂
New cover for Melange Books. The author was friendly to work with, too. 🙂
Photoshop CS6 and Lightroom 4.0
Stock used: http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-young-lady-sunny-cityscape-image9151825
All other images and artwork (putting in the individual light points) are my own. 🙂
This is a book cover I recently completed for Melange Books. This one is for their anthro/furry line of books. 🙂 It’s slated to be released this November.
Stock from Dreamstime was used for the tiger and person walking, the rest of the photography used was my own. Photoshop CS6 and Lightroom 4.0.
As a side note, I’m testing out the ability to schedule posts, so we’ll see if this works. 😀