Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Wolf! Wolf!-how I paint a cover

Today I wanted to talk a bit about my process for painting. These images are from the cover for my upcoming book "Wolf! Wolf!". It is my version of the boy who cried wolf. Once I have done all the sketches, research and designing, I begin the final art with a very tight drawing that is usually the same size as the finished print. In this case the book is about 9"x11" and because I am doing the front and the back of the jacket as one painting, my final drawing was 10x23 giving a 1/2" extra for bleed. The drawing was done with an hb pencil on strathmore cold press bristol. Then I scan the drawing in (or my publisher does that. They have a much better scanner than me.) Then I start to paint in photoshop. Using layers in photoshop, I multiply the drawing on my painting layers. I wanted this painting to have a bit of an old fashioned feel so using color balance, I tinted the drawing to become more sepia. I also multiplied the layer twice, and with the second layer of drawing at 20% I used a gaussian blur of 4 pixels. This gave the linework a slight bleed which I like. You can see in the detail of the underpainting, that it is fairly simple. I let the drawing do most of the work. I am also more comfortable with a pencil than a paintbrush, even with command z! I was very pleased with the final painting. Then my Art Director, the fabulous Christine Kettner, and I designed out the final jacket. I wanted the title to have a real sumi brush Asian feel, and yet still be very readable. She got Leah Palmer Priess to do the final lettering, and I was really thrilled how it came out. Look for this jacket on bookshelves in March 07 (hopefully facing out!)


al said...

What's going on in that big head of yours?

sansceo said...

Do you use a stylus in Photoshop while painting? I tend to get mouse-hand when doing a lot of detail work.

Emily's Imagination said...

This is beautiful work!! Thanks for explaining your process. It is really helpful to know in detail.