This is a cover for Melange Books. In this case, the author wanted to show the main character looking into a mirror and seeing a different aspect of their life, other than what they felt. In order to portray both scenes, I looked for stock images where there were multiple images of the model to choose from, both from the back, and from the front. Though the clothing is different, I tried to choose a less obvious difference, as well as placement which would draw less attention to the outfit, and instead focus on the concept of the two different “lives.”
On a technical note, when I usually complete a near-final cover, I use auto-align to get the rough size and position for full-sized stock images based on the proof cover. Lots of layers are typically involved. Every once in a while, however, something doesn’t want to work quite right. In this case, I had a smart object (very useful for maintaining the original size of images and grouping clusters together) decide it didn’t want to be edited. No idea why the layer locked, but with a little bit of searching, I found this link: https://forums.adobe.com/message/1870944
The post of use for this situation suggested to right click the smart object layer that refuses to be edited, open up the resulting menu, then export contents. Save that as a separately named file, and when you reopen the file, it opens as the smart object you were trying to open. Quite handy, I thought.
This is the final result, including the back cover I created for it:
Stock images from Dreamstime:
This is a cover for Melange Books.
For this cover, I wanted to portray a happy, light-hearted tone, so I used bright, vivid colors. I also used a font with a swirly influence to give the title and author name a fun, romantic feel. The pig is Ruthie, so I gave it a prominent place on the cover. The text I wrapped around the couple in the scene so that the faces remained clear. The author requested that there also be a cat and tri-colored basset hound pup on the cover, so I included them near the couple’s feet.
Once the concept was approved, I blended the full-sized stock images together (using multiple layers and masking, and retouching the background between layers).
This is the result:
Stock images from Dreamstime:
A cover for Melange Books.
For this cover, I wanted it to look similar to the first of the series, Seducing Sir Gwain. I gave it a similar texture and color treatment. We actually went through a couple proofs before deciding on this stock image. We wanted it to convey the genre, as well as still fit the characters in the books. I changed their hair colors to match the description in the art form.
Stock Photos from Dreamstime.
A cover for Melange Books.
This is another example where I changed the hairstyle of the person in the stock photo. The image I used had long hair, but we needed short, curly hair to better fit the main character. In this case, I started by using the Patch tool and Clone brush tool in Photoshop CS6 to fill in the background where the hair had been previously, then tweaked it using layers to smooth out where her shoulders where. Then, on a new layer, I used the smudge tool. First a softer, but larger size for the over all shape of the hair, and then a smaller, harder brush to give it the little details in the hair. Then I created another layer to sharpen it and lowered the opacity to make it look a little more natural. Viola. New hairstyle.
This is also a case where I ended up using a discarded cover proof from another project. A while back I’d tested this image and text placement (different font, though) for a different romance cover, but the author and I ultimately chose something different. However, when I read the art form for A Thousand Sunsets, this proof came back to mind. So I asked the publisher if they’d mind me recycling the proof (since we hadn’t used it), and I did check with the author, but it turned out to be what they were looking for. So… without further ado, the cover for A Thousand Sunsets:
Stock Image from Dreamstime:
Little side note; I had fun highlighting the faces with a very faint heart-shaped overlay. It’s not super-visible, but it’s there. 🙂
Forgot to post yesterday. Today we have a cover reveal. 🙂
Full size version: http://sbibb.deviantart.com/art/The-Revolving-Year-Cover-405328502
This is a wrap-around cover for Barking Rain Press. (Find the book here: http://www.barkingrainpress.org/dd-product/revolving-year/ )
Photoshop CS6. For this cover, the publisher already had a few images picked out they were interested in. I chose to play with this one, under the idea that the man in the picture needed to be removed, and the season changed to Fall. (See the original Shutterstock image: http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=99948338&src=id ) This was actually quite a bit of fun, and the content aware fill tool proofed to be quite useful, as did the clone tool when I cropped the woman’s hair shorter. The additional fall trees photos are my own. Overall, I quite enjoyed creating this one, especially trying to set the tone. I did the basic title treatment, and the publisher adjusted it to fit their needs.
This is another cover for Melange Books.
This is another example of how using a single photo can work for a cover. It’s something I’ve seen more prominent in romance/contemporary works. For this, I used ( http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-loving-young-sensual-couple-champagne-bed-image17978822 ) from Dreamstime. This is also a case where the author requested a specific photo. We worked through several potential images before finally deciding on this one, and I changed the hair color of both models to fit the characters, along with fading the image and applying filters and blurring effects to get the final cover image.
Hello, there. Uploading another cover for Melange Books.
This is a bit different from my usual covers, in that only one photo was used (though I did do a bit of manipulation to it), and I used the color overlay and texture to add special effect to it. Photoshop CS6.
Stock Photo from: Dreamstime: http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-roundup-image12597472
As a sidenote, since I’m wanting to get back into adding bits of insight I gathered from the project when I post these covers, I thought I’d share a few things.
With this being a single photo, I went about the process a bit differently than usual. The author wanted a picture of a working cowboy, so I ended up selecting a stock photo and choosing a single element to focus on (take a look at the original, linked above, and you’ll notice there were originally more cowboys in the picture). I also did some photoshop to edit the man’s appearance to make him look a bit more like the character she described in the book, then added special lighting and effects. Just because it was a single photo didn’t mean it couldn’t benefit from some editing, especially to give it a more romantic look (the book is a romance).
Not only that, but I also played more with text placement and creating a border overlay. I was reminded of how some covers will have that border around them, and wanted to play with that idea.
Anyways, I hope this has been helpful. 🙂