A cover for Melange Books’s YA imprint, Fire and Ice. This is the fourth book in The Horse Rescuers series, and so we wanted to keep the style the same as the other books. In this case, we kept the same layout and font. We tried a couple different colors as the main color scheme (each book is a bit different), and ultimately settled on the gray-blue.
For the horse image, I used the art form to reference the kind of horse the author wanted, and then I created a lightbox on Dreamstime with several horse options (and I checked to see what general season I should be looking for). The author selected two of those images, which I made rough proofs. Once we narrowed it down, I finalized the cover.
This is the end result:
Rough version of the back cover (subject to change per the Publisher’s needs):
Stock photo from Dreamstime.
http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-bay-horse-image3555999 – horse
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:
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
This is a cover for Melange Books. For this cover, the author wanted something that showed a cabin in a snowy region and kept with the dark mood of the story. They had already found an image that they felt worked well, so I was able to find a similar one from the stock site we normally use in order to create the cover.
My first attempt at a proof for this cover included silhouettes of the characters, but it didn’t convey the right mood. So I went a more simple route, using the mysterious, dark purple color as the base of the cover, with a narrow focus on the cabin in question. I also changed my initial font to something a bit more bold.
This is the result:
Stock image from Dollar Photo Club:
https://www.dollarphotoclub.com/70616736 – cabin
This is a cover for Melange Books‘ young adult imprint. For this cover, the author wanted a symbol rather than a scene, and in their art form they mentioned that their story revolves around elves using nature to reclaim the modern human cities after a devastating war. Based on that, and since the author said that there was a phone that played a large role in the story, I tinkered with the idea of having an old, cracked phone on the cover.
Vines partially cover the phone (showing nature beginning to take over again), and I added the “reflection” in the phone’s screen to show more of the setting (a swampy area). To give the cover a dystopian feel, I used a couple grungy concrete textures in addition to the concrete background. For the text, I tried a bolder font to keep with the genre, and added a more “computery” text to the phone for the series title.
This is the result:
Stock images from Dollar Photo Club:
https://www.dollarphotoclub.com/86638759 – concrete wall
https://www.dollarphotoclub.com/87991955 – ivy
https://www.dollarphotoclub.com/72301540 – cracked phone
https://www.dollarphotoclub.com/95588080 – Night Sky
https://www.dollarphotoclub.com/75505794 – abandoned warehouse
https://www.dollarphotoclub.com/69503655 – swamp
https://www.dollarphotoclub.com/84770412 – concrete grunge texture
This is a cover for Melange Books. For this cover, we based the style on the first book, Dragon Sword (See the cover of the first book here). The wolf at the top of the cover is the same, as is the placement of the text, and the border on the right side of the book. We also used the same model, though I used two separate images to get the right mood for the cover. I also did a bit of work with the puppet warp and liquefy tools in Photoshop CS6 to get the right build for the character (You can see the original photos in the link of stock images below).
This is the result:
Stock images from The Dollar Photo Club:
https://www.dollarphotoclub.com/64831097 – leather texture
https://www.dollarphotoclub.com/48895294 – wolf head
https://www.dollarphotoclub.com/59929391 – swordsman
https://www.dollarphotoclub.com/66550844 – katana
https://www.dollarphotoclub.com/81491234 – fire field base
https://www.dollarphotoclub.com/81258902 – fire field overlay
https://www.dollarphotoclub.com/57977513 – field background
https://www.dollarphotoclub.com/4893388 – smoke
https://www.dollarphotoclub.com/86403951 – broken ruins
https://www.dollarphotoclub.com/63208980 – ravens
https://www.dollarphotoclub.com/61761712 – wooden ruins
https://www.dollarphotoclub.com/59929510 – man’s head
Lately, I’ve been working on remaking the book covers for Rebekkah Ford’s Beyond the Eyes trilogy, and I just finished remaking the cover for the final book, The Devil’s Third. (You can see the other two book covers remade: Beyond the Eyes and Dark Spirits).
For the updated version, we settled on using an angel as the character on the cover. The author found a couple images she liked (we cycled through a few before choosing these two), and got the advice of her fans before settling on the current model. Then I found an older image I’d taken of a bird with outstretched wings, did some inversions to the colors (this was actually the inner portion of the wings, rather than the outside shot), and put together the composite image. Of course, we also tried to stick with the same placement and feel of the other two covers.
Needless to say, I think I’ve improved a lot since I first started making book covers. Now, here’s the remake of Rebekkah Ford’s The Devil’s Third, a paranormal romance.
Stock images from Shutterstock:
http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=95544481 – man
http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=309884051 – graveyard
All other images are my own.