Recently I did an interview for the Illustrator Saturday section of Kathy Temean’s blog. She wanted me to show my illustration process so I created that image over there to show it. You can read the interview here.
Creating the cover for The Rescue Begins in Delaware
Most of what you need to know about how I made the cover for Just in Time Book 1 is in that there image, but I’m going to give you a couple more thoughts about the process below. Think of it as an insider scoop for being cool enough to read my blog.
Before I started any drawing I read the book. (Good idea right!) I also spent a lot of time thinking about the book’s audience, what other books are out there like this, and how can these new books be just as appealing but different. I tried a lot of different ideas in the thumbnails.
1. I can’t emphasize enough how important the thumbnail stage is. Make your plans and work out problems here. Everything else will go smoother. For more on thumbnails and how great and important they are check out this post or this post .
2. I knew from the get go that I wanted that first comp to be the cover we went with. I could see that it would be so cool in my head and I had to convince the publisher, designer and the authors it was the best idea.
It’s a good idea to make sure your early sketches communicate everything you want them to so others can really tell what you are picturing. I felt like these comps did pretty well but I still had to do a lot of talking before my ideas were clear to everyone else involved.
3. At the sketch stage I want the drawing to be as close to finished as possible but I keep in mind that I might need to make changes. It really helps me to keep both of those thing in mind.
4. The value and color studies are so great. When I work on them on the computer I can mess up the values (what are values? find out here) or the color as much as I want until it’s right. Then I don’t have to do the messing up on the actual painting. Dani Jones wrote a great post on color studies you can read here.
At some point I’ll probably tell you more about my painting and penciling process but today is not that day. Click on the image to see it larger and read all about the process if you haven’t already. If you have any questions about how I made this image post a comment and I will answer.