Tag Archives: Mathias Colwell

Behind the Scenes – Entrance to Dark Harbor

A cover for Melange Books. For this cover, we wanted to keep the same style as the first book, Dusk Runner. I used the same two textures to create the background (though I made sure to do the retouching on the basic layers this time, so that next time will require less retouch work). The author already had an image in mind for the main picture. While it wasn’t from one of our usual stock providers, I used the provided image and their description of the ship to find a similar picture at Dreamstime. I kept the text placement and style the same (though some adjustments had to be made, since the title was longer). We also tried two different font colors, a pale, near-white blue, and then a light blue. We ultimately chose the light blue since the color was still visible and provided the closest match to the previous title.

This is the result:

Behind the Scenes - Entrance to Dark Harbor Book Cover

Behind the Scenes - Entrance to Dark Harbor - Back of Book Cover

Stock images from Dreamstime:

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-brown-leather-texture-image21958744 – leather texture

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-old-yellow-brown-vintage-parchment-paper-texture-image24082203 – paper texture

https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-sailing-ship-image12784651 – ship silhouette

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Filed under Book Covers, Uncategorized

Behind the Scenes – Blood Loss

A cover for Melange Books. For this cover, we wanted to have the dark color scheme while keeping the cover light enough that the colors wouldn’t go to black in the print version. So I created the basic scene first, then played with multiple color options once those basics were in place. For the castle’s glow, I masked out all the windows, then tinkered with the lighting on layers below the castle layer. Once I had the light source, I added ‘soft light’ and ‘overlay’ layers over the castle layer. I typically use dark blue/purple for shadows, and yellow for highlights.

The proof version was fairly blurry, due to using comp images. Comp images are handy when you’re trying to see if the idea will work or not. When I created the near-final, I smoothed out the blending and adjusted how strong the gaussian blur was on the background layers, thus making it considerably sharper. Once you have the full-sized stock images, it becomes much easier to smooth out edges and see how sharp it will really go.

For the back cover, I stepped back several layers, removed the man and castle, adjusted my retouch layers, then flipped the merged image horizontally. This is the result:

SBibb - Blood Loss - Book Cover

SBibb - Blood Loss -  Back of Book Cover

Stock images from Dreamstime:

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-jagged-rocks-edge-cliff-desert-image29674305

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-edge-cliff-turquoise-ocean-image47133437

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-morning-fog-mountains-image22074991

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-fog-lake-image37546892

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-ruins-tintern-abbey-former-cistercian-church-th-wales-banks-river-wye-close-to-english-border-image44804119

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-beautiful-dark-woman-black-robe-sword-fantasy-legend-image48884659

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-smoke-background-image27490166

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-floating-smoke-black-background-image36147493

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-hooded-man-image9241498

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Filed under Book Covers, Client Work, Photo Illustration

Behind the Scenes – Dusk Runner

A cover for Melange Books. For this one, we focused on conveying the genre of the book, rather than particular characters. As such, people who like other fantasy books in a similar vein to this one can easily recognize another book they might enjoy. The author suggested covers similar to those of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, which reminded me of the cover art for Game of Thrones. I merged the two styles, and this is the result:

SBibb - Dusk Runner - Book Cover

For the back cover, I flipped the background from the front cover with a few adjustments. Also, I saved the bow and arrow silhouette as a smart object so that it could easily be resized and added to the spine if the publisher chooses to do so.

SBibb - Dusk Runner - Back of Book Cover

Stock images from Dreamstime:

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-brown-leather-texture-image21958744
http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-old-yellow-brown-vintage-parchment-paper-texture-image24082203
http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-ethnic-arrows-image22897606
http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-bow-image11349751

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An Age of Mist – Cover Reveal

SBibb - An Age of Mist Cover

 

This is another cover I did for Melange Books. 🙂

Stock from Dreamstime:

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-serious-preteen-boy-image21381697
http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-misty-fjords-national-monument-alaska-usa-image780119

All other images are my own. Photoshop CS6 and Lightroom 4.0.

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Filed under Book Covers, Business Ventures, Client Work, Photo Illustration