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  1. #1
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    ebook cover help

    Hi All,

    I'm working on the cover for an ebook right now, and I'm in the finishing stages. The author likes where it is right now, but I want to do some more fixes for my own personal education. I know that there are quite a few imperfections here, but I'd appreciate it if you all could point out the most glaring ones to me, and most importantly those that you think can still be salvaged with a minor paintover.

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    Big things I immediately notice, their faces they are strange they don’t look right at all, the eyes are to small the noses are to flat the mouths are just off…

    Extend the background and their legs down if this is for your own personal use, give yourself 2 complete characters to work with at a later date in case your friend decides to make book 2.

    Normal I would pick at your composition but I understand this is supposed to be focusing on the characters so it is alright.

    Their positions are a little bland think of how you can make their silhouettes more interesting.


    The character on the right first-
    The hair is not man hair, I thought that was a woman when I first saw it, paired with the earrings and the weird tattoos I was very confused the first time I saw it.

    His costume seems strange too for some weird futuristic apocalypse as seen behind them a shamanic looking white guy does not fit in.

    On that note the magic is interesting but doesn’t work for me it feels like a completely different style. It looks good but belongs on a different character

    I am really not digging the chest tattoos


    The one on the left-
    Better than the one on the right but still some issues

    I feel like this one fits the genre better except for the weird sickle. It is an extremely unwieldy item and for her body size she would not be able to hold it with such easy, secondly she is holding it wrong. Sickles have their edge on the inside because they are used for cutting crops, so unless its some awkwardly customized blade she isn’t killing any corn holding it like that.

    If it is customized then it doesn’t have a hand guard and the first time she runs that into someone and blood gets on the handle and her hands slip up uh-oh there go all of her fingers. Also if that is the case, the witch doctor is about to slice open his back.

    What is going on with the coat, the bottom is pulling weird and how is it staying closed while she is what I assume running. The hair is interesting but try getting it going all in the same direction if she is running and not flying everywhere.


    Hope this helps

    A Cartoonist is just a lazy Animator.
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    Name:  paintover3.jpg
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    Bump up the contrast to direct the eye, add in some harder shadows. Intensify the colors to keep them from getting muddy and stale, pop that sythe out in the foreground with blue! Add some dirt and eye brow wrinkles to sell the emotion! And crop out those legs for clarity.

    But seriously, well done. That's a fine and ambitious piece you have there. The orange and blue are really going to catch the eye of any shoppers! It won't take much more work to take it to the next level. Just some levels and color balance would add a lot.

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    Tbh I think that the changes *kylelatino suggested are good as far as the stronger highlights(!) and the change to the left persons coat go, but stronger contrasts mess up the hue of the shadows and dirt isn't necessary if you aren't going for two people who've been on the run for months. Some debris would be nice to show motion tho...
    As for the poses; with the arms of the woman like that she'd probably ram the weapon into her own gut. If you can't find good refs then pose in front of a mirror. The palm of the right hand of the man is too large and the thumb too short (again: use your own hand as ref if you can't find anything else).
    And as for the comment about the hair not being 'man hair': Legolas's hair isn't very manly either but he's still recognized as a man because of his face. I can't quite grasp //why// but the face you painted looks pretty feminine -maybe the form of the jaw, maybe the lips, idk. But to be on the safe side aim for distinctively make features next time. And the last thingy: The color of the shadows on the mans face don't match with those on the rest of his body.
    Apart from that stuff, I'd say it's a very good image! Even if it's no perfect, the (e)motion of the characters show clearly and that's what matters mots

    Please take a look at my Sketchbook! <- Comments are highly appreciated and returned C:
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    First off, thanks to everyone who took the time to comment and critique.

    A lot of the comments about the clothes and the weapon and the tattoos etc. are understandable however since I'm working with a book a lot of these choices were already decided before I came onboard. So for example I personally find the scythe sword a little weird and unwieldy not only in practical terms but also in terms of composition. I was told to have some sort of action pose, which I found incredibly difficult to do while still being able to portray that the sword is scythe shaped (that is a key element of the character's outfit). The tattoos were a little difficult, because all the art direction I go was that it had to be geometric and non representational. I don't think I did well with this design, but I made a new tattoo dsign which I think works better.

    I think the comment about the man not being manly had a point, although I don't think it has anything to do with the hair and the earrings, and more to do with his facial features. I made them a little more angular and harsh and I think that helped "man" him up. I appreciate the comments about the trenchcoat, although the way I see it her arm and the way she is swinging it sort of pins the upper part where it is. The lower part of the trench coat should definitely show more movement though, and I made some changes there. After some tweaking of the colors I think I'm ready to call this done.

    One lesson learned is to do way more poses and take more pictures and reference of myself. I did actually use a lot of reference for this but I had to make up some parts where I couldn't find a good enough reference, and I guess it really shows!



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    I like your new tattoos a LOT better. Her right eye, though, is quite a bit further up than the left one. About the hair, I thought it was supposed to be like that, but if its not part of the brief, then yeah- it's woman hair.. Features alone aren't gonna fix that. However, there are tons of short hairdos that look more macho. About the scythesword, have you tried other designs for this?. Maybe with a thinner blade, or a longer curve ? Something like the attached style perhaps
    http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/images/h2/h2_11.166.1.jpg

    "..now, to unleash screaming temporal doom.."
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    My two cents:

    I would say play up the blue color of the light. It seems a bit weird that the blue magic stuff is brightly illuminating the scene, but barely any of it's blue color comes through. And more blue on the figures would help them stand out from the backdrop better.

    The outlining of the hands and magic-stuff also seems at odds with the rendering of everything else.

    Make sure you have core shadows, and be more consistent with the rim lighting.

    The proportions of the male character are certainly off. His whole body should be bigger, and the hips proportionally larger.

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