This is the cover for a YA novel from Random House about a teenage girl who is a war chief in Arthurian (5th century) Britain. Oil over acrylic on illustration board, 12"x16".
I've been posting here for over a year and a half without showing much work, so I thought I'd make up for it by doing a step by step run through of my process.
This was actually the sequal to a book I did the cover for a few years ago.
The art director wanted a similar image, but they requested more color and action this time, and a different weapon. After reading through the manuscript I did a bunch of quick sketches. This is the one they picked.
I'd talked to the AD about what I was planning in terms of color, but just to be safe I did a color sketch in gouache and sent it to him for final approval before I went ahead.
Once I got an OK, the next step was getting reference. For figures, I like to have my shots done by a photographer in New York who specializes in reference photography for illustrators. He's got tons of costumes and props, and can get anything he doesn't have on hand. He shot about four rolls of film while I "directed". These are the two shots I ended up working from the most, the left for the head, the right for the arm and body.
To be continued...
Next time: I actually get down to painting.