Category Archives: Client Work

Behind the Scenes – Hunter in the Darkness

A cover for Melange Books. We wanted the cover to resemble the other books in the series, Night of the Hunter, and Demon Hunter. Per usual, we used the same model, but a different pose of the head, and a different body, so as to vary the general look. We kept the stormy background from the previous cover, and I changed the lighting so that it would look more consistent across the cover as a whole. The font and placement of text remained the same.

This is the result:

SBibb - Hunter in the Darkness - Book Cover

Stock images from DepositPhotos and Dreamstime:

http://depositphotos.com/11103958/stock-photo-chichen-itza-mayan-pyramid.html – pyramid

http://depositphotos.com/19515051/stock-photo-man-holding-gun.html – man

http://depositphotos.com/39715889/stock-photo-couple-with-bows-and-historical.html – head

https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-businessman-gun-white-image47821012 – eyes

https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-abstract-smoke-moves-black-background-image48826804 – fog

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Behind the Scenes – Demon Hunter

A cover for Melange Books. We wanted to match the cover to the first book in the series, Night of the Hunter. We used the same cover model, but a different pose, and similar lighting techniques. However, we switched the background to have more of a setting-based focus, and gave it that stormy lighting to convey mood. We also kept the typography the same and in relatively the same position so that the series was evident.

SBibb - Demon Hunter - Book Cover

Stock images from Dreamstime:

https://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-dark-ominous-rain-clouds-lightning-image18357018 – sky

https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-new-orleans-lafayette-cemetery-above-ground-tombs-image60673899 – cemetery

https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-abstract-smoke-moves-black-background-image48826804 – fog

https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-business-man-holding-gun-monochromatic-background-image48451524 – man

http://depositphotos.com/39716167/stock-photo-couple-with-sword-and-historical.html – head

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Behind the Scenes – Song of the Sword

This is a cover for Melange Books. For this cover we wanted to keep with the theme of the previous books: Dragon SwordSword of DoomSword of the Quest, and Star Sword. Again, I piece-parted images of the model to get the dramatic pose we wanted, and per usual, I added specific lighting to the background and foreground using overlay and softlight blending layers, in order to make the image look cohesive. Adding a bit of “fog” at the base of the image allowed the title to stand out better while blending out the legs of the model where the stock image was cut away.

SBibb - Song of the Sword - Book Cover

Stock images from The Dollar Photo Club (Site no longer functional):
two images of the model

Stock from Dreamstime:
https://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-dark-ominous-rain-clouds-lightning-image18357018 – sky
https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-castle-kreuzenstein-leobendorf-near-vienna-austria-image45372240 – castle
https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-roche-rock-ancient-ruined-chapel-perched-top-rocky-granite-outcrop-known-as-located-mid-cornwall-dedicated-to-st-image32326080 – rocks

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Behind the Scenes – Star Sword

A cover for Melange Books. For this cover we wanted to keep with the theme of the previous books: Dragon SwordSword of Doom, and Sword of the Quest.  I used the same model (piece-parted to get the pose we wanted). In order to try speeding up the process, we fully discussed the author’s vision for the cover before I started piecing everything together. I asked him to clarify a few of his ideas, and we managed to get this put together withing four proofs (minor tweaks on each. I toyed with the idea of the flames pouring over into the series title to add more drama and flare.

This is the result:

Behind the Scenes - Star Sword - Book Cover

Stock images from The Dollar Photo Club (Site now defunct):
katana and three images of the (same) model

Stock from Dreamstime:

https://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-bonfire-flame-fire-forest-autumn-flames-image34236555 – fire
https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-meteor-shower-isolated-black-background-image49030556 – meteor
https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-roche-rock-ancient-ruined-chapel-perched-top-rocky-granite-outcrop-known-as-located-mid-cornwall-dedicated-to-st-image32326080 – ancient ruins
https://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-black-smoke-red-flames-photo-special-nature-protection-action-intended-to-make-better-habitat-rare-heathland-image39123676 – lower fire

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Behind the Scenes – Sojourn: The Beastlands

A cover for Melange Books. For this cover, we wanted to match the style of the previous books, The Wildlands and The Deadlands. I kept the general placement of the titles and author name the same (though we did experiment with different placements), plus we kept with the general theme of the two characters walking on a path to a different destination. In this case, we used the same model imagery from the second cover, but I did a few adjustments to their images to make them seem a bit different (pushed them closer, adjusted the girl’s hair a bit, and flipped their images). We added a couple pieces of deserted imagery to add to the abandoned feel, and I used a lot of Photoshop masking in layers to get the various jungle layers to mesh properly and look natural.

This is the result:

Behind the Scenes - Sojourn: The Beastlands Book Cover

Behind the Scenes - Sojourn: The Beastlands Back of Book Cover
Stock images from Dreamstime:

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-jungle-green-thickets-mountains-malaysia-image56303604 – jungle
https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-abandoned-road-image16324304 – road
http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-tropical-rainforest-khao-yai-national-park-thailand-world-h-image68662437 – jungle overlook
https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-abandoned-diner-photo-taken-off-interstate-i-usa-image56088809 – abandoned diner
https://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-abandoned-car-image23149927 -abandoned car
People – From the Dollar Photo Club

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Behind the Scenes – The Poe Codec

A cover for Cave Hollow Press. For this cover, they wanted to incorporate elements of Edgar Allen Poe’s work and a feeling of a mystery. We settled on a raven and a locket (the locket plays an important role in the story) and we used the codec from inside the book (provided by the author) for the background. We went for red and black colors to add to the mysterious look, and I chose a cob-webby font that would add to the eerie mystery and work well for middle grade fiction.

I also did a wrap-around print cover. However, knowing that the primary form would be paperback–and knowing that CMYK does not play well with red– I created this cover first in CMYK (a smaller color space), and then converted it to sRGB for the online editions.

Something important to keep in mind when working with print editions is that if you download a template from Createspace, that template is in sRGB. You will need to convert it to CMYK prior to moving the image over for a wrap-around cover… or potentially need to redo portions of the image. (This is mostly a problem if you have a heavy amount of red on the cover.)

Another trick I found for getting the red color to work well in CMYK is to create a layer of red color based on the title (Hex Code: E32E24), overlaying it across all red portions of the cover (I masked out the locket and publisher logo), and the lowering the opacity to 30%. (I use Adobe Photoshop CS6). I’d read an article that suggested that CMYK does better with “pure” colors, and by adding the red overlay, that made the colors seem more “pure” for its color space.

I also did the interior formatting. You can check that out using the “look inside” feature on Amazon. 🙂

This is the end result:

Behind the Scenes - The Poe Codec

Behind the Scenes - The Poe Codec - Wraparound Cover

 

Stock images from Dreamstime:

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-raven-image36339410 – raven
http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-remembrance-image28935144 – locket

Code picture provided by the author.

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Behind the Scenes – Sword of the Quest

A cover for Melange Books. For this cover, we wanted to match the covers of the previous books, Dragon Sword and Sword of Doom. The font and border placement remained the same, as did the leather textured background. The difference was the scene on the front. We tried a couple cover options before we came to this particular setup. (As a note, if you’re the cover artist working on multiple books in a series, and you have all the art forms for each of those books, make sure you don’t accidentally blend ideas from each form.)

Since there’s a lot going on in this cover, the lighting played an important role in balancing the cover. I made sure to have the main character fully lit, and thus in the spotlight. Next up was the woman, but I put her in slight shadow. The reader’s gaze falls first on the man, then her, then finally on the cloaked shadow in the background. The cloaked figure I shadowed the most. Partially because the figure is supposed to be mysterious, but also so the figure doesn’t attract the initial attention from the main character. Then, once all the pieces were in place, I added the specific lighting from the emerald, that way the whole scene fell together.

For the runes on the altar, I drew them in one color on a separate layer and then tinkered with the “bevel and emboss” special effect until they looked like they were part of the stone.

This is the result:

Behind the Scenes - Sword of the Quest - Book Cover

Stock images from The Dollar Photo Club (Stock site sold to Adobe Stock, individual links no longer work): katana //  wolf //  woman’s head / man’s arm / man’s legs / man’s torso
Stock images from Dreamstime:
http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-angkor-wat-temple-inside-corridor-walls-cambodia-image26822490 – temple

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-leather-clad-warrior-image265556 – leather tunic

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-ancient-roman-stone-pedestal-image12983352 – stone pedestal

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-emerald-isolated-image16275280 – emerald

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-dangerous-vampire-catacombs-full-skulls-bones-horror-fantasy-image64756682 – cloaked figure

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