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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Anatomy of a Cover...

A few days ago, I posted pictures of the covers for the last 8 Wind Dancer books. Since I am working on the next four covers right now, I thought I might show you a bit of the process. The first step is to come up with an approach that will unify this set of four covers, while still making them distinct from the previous sets. After a number of thumbnails exploring different options, we settled on close-up floral backgrounds.

- eventually we refined this to be more of a 'portrait' of the horse rather than a full-body view as the previous covers had been.

That decided, I did a round of rough mock-ups of all four covers, with varying poses and flora.

And then some color thumbs to sort out the various palettes and make sure they are appealing as a group.

Here's the next batch of refining the cover drawing for cover #9 - with a requested pose revision on the right.

The next round - fairly refined drawing to submit to Breyer for an anatomy check and approval.

And then a large, clean, refined drawing ready to scan, print and then paint. (Who knows where you can buy translucent drawing vellum by the roll? I'm currently enamored of doing this stage of drawing on that surface, but the vellum I can find by the pad is never quite large enough).

It takes me longer when I switch gears between drawing and painting, so I'm going to take all four covers to this level and then will print and paint them all at the same time.

So after eleventy-hundred dandelion petals, it's on to dew-drops and Lady's Mantle for book #10!

12 comments:

Jennifer Rose said...

thank you for posting these steps :D very helpful

Loreen Leedy said...

Clearprint used to have rolls of drafting vellum that I liked. Pearl should carry them if they're still available. Nice to see your process!

Maren said...

I really like these.

Wendy Edelson said...

I was going to say what Loreen said re: Clearprint ( my favorite vellum ) rolls, but the pads come as large as 18 X 24....are you working larger than that? I think all the usual suspects carry the rolls & pads, Blick, Jerry's ArtoRama etc.
Happy Horses!

lisahuntart@aol.com said...

Love reading about your process. And the inclusion of that adorable ladybug really brings the composition together. I also love the dandelions.

Kim said...

This is so interesting to read and a facinating process. Thanks for sharing it, I must show my daughter, She loves the wind dancers :)

Kim x

d. moll, l.ac. said...

Always interesting to peek behind the curtain. Love the lady bug.

ruthie said...

i love to see you're works in progress Tara, you make it look oh so easy x

Paula Pertile said...

I love these Tara! "Eleventy-hundred" :~)

I did a google search for "sketch vellum rolls" and found almost eleventy-hundred results. Not sure what quality you're looking for exactly ~ "bumwad" or better stuff, but there's lots. I'll email you the one link I think looks promising.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I so enjoy reading about the process!

Christine Mercer-Vernon said...

great to see your process tara. these covers look great, can't wait to see the final paintings.

fyi... dick blick will have your rolls of drawing vellum too, probably listed in the drafting section. might be a bit cheaper than pearl.

Michelle Palmer said...

LOVE IT! :)
Thank you for sharing...