Earlier this year I finished up a cover art commission for one of my favourite clients, Grace Draven, for her novella The Brush of Black Wings. This book is the sequel to Master of Crows, (which I also illustrated) and my third cover for Grace's exceptional books. As I did with Entreat Me, I thought I'd share the steps of how a book cover comes together!
As I was already familiar with the characters and had a ton of reference still on hand from Master of Crows, I felt like I had a head start on this one. Grace sent me the first chapter of The Brush of Black Wings which contained the scene she wanted to appear on the cover, plus a lot of reference material she'd gathered to inspire her writing. The essentials: a cold winter forest scene, a protective, romantic couple clinch, and the distinctive crimson cloak belonging to the male protagonist, Silhara. Grace also floated the idea of having the antagonist's face looming in the background, Hollywood poster-style, but we agreed this made the cover too busy.
Despite having half the research already done for me, the idea development process is the same - start with thumbnails.Read More