Art: New Fantasy Book Cover
Join the #1 Art Workshop - LevelUpJoin Premium Art Workshop

Results 1 to 26 of 26

Thread: New Fantasy Book Cover

  1. #1
    Elwell's Avatar
    Elwell is offline Sticks Like Grim Death Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Hudson River valley, NY
    Posts
    16,212
    Thanks
    4,879
    Thanked 16,666 Times in 5,020 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0

    New Fantasy Book Cover

    Hello all, it's been a while since I posted anything new, so here's a book cover for a kid's fantasy novel I just finished. It's oil over acrylic on illustration board, about 11"x16".

    Name:  Last-Enchanter.jpg
Views: 8725
Size:  179.6 KB

    After reading the manuscript and focusing in on a particular scene, I started out with these quick pencil thumbnails, showing the client several variations. They chose the second one.

    Name:  Last-Enchanter-thumbnails.jpg
Views: 8137
Size:  209.8 KB

    I laid some quick color over the rough sketch in Photoshop to get a clear idea of where I was headed, then gathered/shot reference (lots and lots of reference) and did my final drawing on Strathmore hot press illustration board. The underpainting was developed with washes of raw umber, burnt umber, raw sienna, and burnt sienna acrylic, then sealed with several coats of acrylic matte medium to thoroughly protect the board from the oil paint. I completed the painting on oils, working from background to foreground.

    Name:  Last-Enchanter-step-by-step.jpg
Views: 8267
Size:  224.7 KB


    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists, NYC, the 2013 Edition!

    "Work is more fun than fun."
    -John Cale

    "Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
    -Marc Maron
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  2. The Following 21 Users Say Thank You to Elwell For This Useful Post:

    + Show/Hide list of the thanked


  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Colombia
    Posts
    28
    Thanks
    26
    Thanked 24 Times in 8 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Great piece thanks by sharing

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    France, in a place where cartoons grows under the trees
    Posts
    40
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 5 Times in 4 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Great work as usual. And thanks for the bits of process

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    1,310
    Thanks
    228
    Thanked 349 Times in 270 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Wow, really lovely work. I havent had a chance to comment on your stuff so this is a nice surprise.

    I loved seeing your process and how you worked from simple sketches to the final design. Can I ask how big those initial thumbnails were? Also really informative to see how people work traditionally, and how to use acrylics and oils together.

    It's a beautiful painting, and the kind of cover art that would make me pick the book off the shelf. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  6. #5
    LORD M's Avatar
    LORD M is offline That guy from the cheer me up thread Level 13 Gladiator: Retiarius
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    2,626
    Thanks
    3,340
    Thanked 5,790 Times in 1,165 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Oho this is very nice Elwell! Great composition! Artists who knows how to work with acrylics and oil always impress me so.

    "I wish to paint in such a manner as if I were photographing dreams" - Zdzislaw Beksinski
    My Happy Little Sketchbook, please check it out and help me get better!

    My TUMBLR!
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Nottingham
    Posts
    334
    Thanks
    9
    Thanked 40 Times in 35 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  8. #7
    kingkostas's Avatar
    kingkostas is offline Train to help world with art someday...
    Level 16 Gladiator: Spartacus' Retiarii
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Greece
    Posts
    4,764
    Thanks
    6,931
    Thanked 3,157 Times in 1,961 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    Posts
    551
    Thanks
    72
    Thanked 228 Times in 148 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Cool piece Elwell, I like this one a lot.

    I have a couple of questions if you don't mind sharing.

    In the photograph you haven't developed the underpainting to a full finish (maybe you did
    later). Now, I assume you've painted over a fully developed and detailed underpainting in the
    past (if not I stand corrected). My question is, how do the two methods (even if they are
    slightly different) compare in your opinion, in terms of result and time management?

    Lastly, I noticed that your colors changed a noticeable bit in some elements in the final (like the
    clouds, and the light area of the griffon). It's a minor point I know but, I was wondering if you
    decided this consciously or if there's another reason for it.

    "Don't judge a book by it's cover" Frank Frazetta 1928-2010
    RIP Frank.

    DA gallery http://michaelsyrigos.deviantart.com/gallery/

    CA Sketchbook http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=131601
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    39
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 11 Times in 11 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    I really love your work. Thanks for giving it to us to see.


    Keep it up!

    Find my other stuff at:

    At Conceptart.org: my Sketchbook.
    My art blog: the Endless Doodle;
    My webcomic: Hostel Monsters;
    And my short stories published by I Citizen Magazine.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  11. #10
    Elwell's Avatar
    Elwell is offline Sticks Like Grim Death Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Hudson River valley, NY
    Posts
    16,212
    Thanks
    4,879
    Thanked 16,666 Times in 5,020 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Thanks, everybody!

    Candra H
    , the thumbnails are 3"x4.5"

    Line, what sort of underpainting I do and how far I take it varies from picture to picture, and different parts may be brought to different levels of finish. I basically take it to the point that I feel comfortable moving along to oils, whatever that may be. In retrospect, In this case I probably should have developed the gryphon further in the acrylic stage, as I ended up doing a few passes in oils to get it to where I wanted to to be.
    I'm not quite sure I understand your question about the color, do you mean between the initial digital color sketch and the finish? The sketch was just to work out the general palette, I didn't feel absolutely bound by it when I moved to physical paint. I'm actually surprised it came out as close as it did, but that's just because I had such a clear picture of the color in mind from the beginning.


    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists, NYC, the 2013 Edition!

    "Work is more fun than fun."
    -John Cale

    "Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
    -Marc Maron
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  12. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Elwell For This Useful Post:


  13. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    Posts
    551
    Thanks
    72
    Thanked 228 Times in 148 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Yes, I was referring to the difference between color sketch and final. I was under the impression that it was
    one of many color sketches where you experimented with the color scheme. Regardless, the reason I asked
    was because I wanted to see if there was any decision for the differences in between, because I've seen some
    color sketches, where the colors used in the sketch, the whole harmony, the contrast, etc were fantastic and
    in the final, even though the image may be excellent, was a lesser image in comparison to the color sketch
    and I'm talking about a couple of very great artists, not beginners.

    As for the underpainting, do you think fully developed underpaintings are useful all that much if you've developed
    a fully rendered tonal sketch for reference? I mean, you have all your information right there where you can
    see it. With the exception of the drawing, wouldn't it be too much to go far with the underpainting? I haven't tried
    it, because I end up covering the underpainting anyway, maybe in a 3rd pass if not the first, and then I lose the
    comparative information unless I have a tonal sketch. How would taking the griffon (gryphon) further help you
    achieve your goal faster?

    "Don't judge a book by it's cover" Frank Frazetta 1928-2010
    RIP Frank.

    DA gallery http://michaelsyrigos.deviantart.com/gallery/

    CA Sketchbook http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=131601
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  14. #12
    Elwell's Avatar
    Elwell is offline Sticks Like Grim Death Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Hudson River valley, NY
    Posts
    16,212
    Thanks
    4,879
    Thanked 16,666 Times in 5,020 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Hi Line, sorry to be so long in responding.
    Colors can change from sketch to final because, well, things change, especially when you're changing mediums. Some people liking sketches better than finished works is a cross artists have had to bear for centuries. De gustibus...
    Underpaintings: If you're asking about my process, as I've already said, it depends. If you're asking about your process, try different methods and see what works when and how. Or, if you're happy with whatever process(es) you're using now, don't. These are practical matters, not philosophical ones. I generally don't do value sketches, at least not particularly finished ones. I've been doing this for a long time, so my process is much more abbreviated and simplified than it was when I was younger. I often scan my final drawings and underpaintings, like I did here, so I have a record to refer to if they get obscured by subsequent paint layers, so in a sense that is my value sketch. Painting the creature would have gone more quickly if I had developed the underpainting further because it took a few layers of oil paint to get the coverage and detail I wanted, whereas if I had take care of more of that in the underpainting I could have done most of it in one.


    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists, NYC, the 2013 Edition!

    "Work is more fun than fun."
    -John Cale

    "Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
    -Marc Maron
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  15. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Elwell For This Useful Post:


  16. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    1,310
    Thanks
    228
    Thanked 349 Times in 270 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Just wanted to add my thanks for answering my question and apologise for taking so long to respond. I got caught up elsewhere, oops!

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  17. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    philippines
    Posts
    9
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    wow your great..

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  18. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Stirling, Scotland
    Posts
    72
    Thanks
    37
    Thanked 11 Times in 9 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  19. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    51
    Thanks
    141
    Thanked 37 Times in 21 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Gorgeous work!

    I love getting to see into the process as well, thanks for the glimpse.

    Question: Is it standard for book covers to be done in traditional
    mediums these days, or was the choice left up to you?

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  20. #17
    Elwell's Avatar
    Elwell is offline Sticks Like Grim Death Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Hudson River valley, NY
    Posts
    16,212
    Thanks
    4,879
    Thanked 16,666 Times in 5,020 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    I wouldn't say it's standard, most ADs don't care how the work is actually done as long as it looks good, although there are advantages from their end to digital work (speed, ease of revision, etc). These days they're getting a file rather than original art either way.


    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists, NYC, the 2013 Edition!

    "Work is more fun than fun."
    -John Cale

    "Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
    -Marc Maron
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  21. The Following User Says Thank You to Elwell For This Useful Post:


  22. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Cambridge UK
    Posts
    5,460
    Thanks
    6,454
    Thanked 4,518 Times in 2,458 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    i absolutely consumed books like this when i was a kid and always enjoyed it when the cover was of something recognizably from the story, and not just some random thing.
    its so cool to see such a cover come to life.

    sb most art copied to page 1
    Weapons of Mass Creation 2011 ::: Add your favourites!
    skype: velocitykendall
    facebook: Alface Killah
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  23. #19
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Atlantic Canada
    Posts
    270
    Thanks
    13
    Thanked 22 Times in 20 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Really great piece Elwell! Love the mood and the colouring.

    For your reference I'm assuming you grabbed stuff like bird legs, lion, eagle, etc. Are there any unexpected references you gathered to complete this piece? I find grabbing something that may not have direct association with the piece can sometimes help interesting elements to the work.

    Thanks again and awesome work!

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  24. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Uk
    Posts
    692
    Thanks
    712
    Thanked 610 Times in 296 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    I wouldn't say it's standard, most ADs don't care how the work is actually done as long as it looks good, although there are advantages from their end to digital work (speed, ease of revision, etc). These days they're getting a file rather than original art either way.
    Beautiful piece Elwell, if you don't mind me asking do you sell the original painting to your clients? Or do you just sell them the rights to use it?

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  25. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Blighty
    Posts
    47
    Thanks
    142
    Thanked 115 Times in 35 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Thanks for posting this. It's a beautiful piece and it's always helpful to be able to see the process involved.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  26. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    300
    Thanks
    394
    Thanked 118 Times in 57 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Wow that is awesome man! Thanks a lot for sharing your process.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  27. #23
    Elwell's Avatar
    Elwell is offline Sticks Like Grim Death Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Hudson River valley, NY
    Posts
    16,212
    Thanks
    4,879
    Thanked 16,666 Times in 5,020 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Drein: Searches, both on line and my files, for eagles/hawks/owls, lions/tigers/mountain lions (leaping/running), crows/ravens, plus pictures of griffins/gryphons (both spellings). I also shot quick lighting ref for the faces after the initial drawing.

    warburton: Ownership of the original art is never included, even with complete all rights buyouts or WFH deals, unless that's specifically negotiated separately. One of the advantages to working traditionally is that there is an original, which has value and can be sold separately from the reproduction rights. For instance, I sold the original of the first book in this series to the author.


    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists, NYC, the 2013 Edition!

    "Work is more fun than fun."
    -John Cale

    "Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
    -Marc Maron
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  28. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Elwell For This Useful Post:


  29. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    120
    Thanks
    42
    Thanked 39 Times in 35 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Nice work!! I love seeing the process, especially cause it's traditional. So is that the underpainting color showing through as the clouds? Or do you paint the clouds back in opaquely?

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  30. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    48
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 14 Times in 14 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    I love your choice of colours, they seem to warm and inviting.

    Tumblr
    Sketchbook
    Available for freelance concept art work.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  31. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    milano, italy
    Posts
    25
    Thanks
    17
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    absolutely amazing piece!
    i love everything about it, from color palette (sky and clouds reminds me a lot one of my favorite illustrators, francois roca) to composition, the last thumbnail was interesting too,very norman rockwell style, but was much less dynamic.
    interesting use of acrylics and oils together.
    do you use oils with some sort of drying medium or you just let it dry naturally?
    and using them over "many layers" of acrylic matte doesn't feel like painting on plastic?
    i'm out of traditional media from long time and never used them together, so i'm just curious

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

Members who have read this thread: 4

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •