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Saturday, February 4, 2017

Book Cover Illustration Status: The “Sketch” and Placement Stage

Victor Frankenstein in many film versions of Frankenstein had to steal body parts from graveyards for his creation. Like him, there are creeps out there who feel they have to do the same with images when it comes to creating their art, only they don’t go to graveyards but more so go to websites. But there’s a legal and ethical way to grab the parts you need in order to make your graphic creation and that’s by going to public domain sources. That’s what I’ve been doing for the photo-real book cover illustration for “Circa Sixty Years Dead”. To gather the images I need, I’ve been turning to If you ever look at the images that I display in my weekly posts here, that name probably sounds familiar to you.

Pixabay is a really great source for graphic projects, including book covers. All their images are in the public domain and so you don’t have to worry about copyright infringement. Their contributors have been so generous with allowing free usage of their works that I tried contributing one of my own colored-pencil drawings at Christmas but it didn’t meet the website’s qualifications. I’ll have to find another way to donate to them.

 Well, as you can see in the picture below, I’ve made a rough sketch, if you will, of the book cover illustration. Therefore I’ve put together the basic images I’m using to see how they look in composition. In this case, those images are the temple ruin and the desert background. I still have to add the goddess statue which I’ll put in front of the temple like it is in the story. After I work with the placement of the objects in the picture, I’ll add (and in some cases subtract) the details such as darker tones for a night-time scene as opposed to the afternoon one seen here.

A photographic composition of a temple ruin superimposed onto a desert scene.
Credit: Steven Arellano Rose, Jr./

So it won’t look like a collage, I’m going to have to cut the edges of the superimposed objects, such as the temple, and overlap the lighter ground from the temple’s original picture with the darker desert sands. Am I doing this because I hate collages? Far from it. I love collages; they are so surreal and I love surrealism. But because this is for marketing purposes and photo-realistic covers are in, I need to make the scene look as real as possible. And I hate photo-real book covers, at least when it comes to fiction. If you’re like me and prefer touchy-feely art in your reading then head on over to Amazon to purchase my hand-produced book cover illustration edition of “Circa”

I’ll go over more about the book cover illustration and the photo-editing software I use for it, Paint.Net, next time.

Until then . . . 

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