Hello everyone. This is an old Art Order challenge that I wanted to do, but didn't have the time when the challenge first came out. Basically the idea of the piece was to have a wraparound book cover illustration of a drow fighting a bunch of mindflayers- simple, yes?
Here are some thumbnails that I came up with for the piece- I'm trying to do something that has more of an architectural setting in it, as that is something my portfolio is lacking at the moment. In all three pieces the drow has just swung her flaming sword against a mindflayer in front of her, and the mindflayer is falling down onto the ground. She is carrying a shield on her other hand.
In the first thumb there's another figure in the foreground charging up spells in his hands, with other flayers charging at the drow with swords drawn in the background.
My thumbs tend to be rather rough so here is the architectural reference I was using in case the picture doesn't make sense.
In the second thumbnail basically the same thing is going on except the drow's gesture is different and the architecture is more of the pillars with vaulted ceiling kind of setting. The drow also has a dagger in her other hand rather than a shield.
This one is pretty similar to the second one, but I couldn't decided which of those two I liked more.
This is going to be a pretty complicated piece, so I would appreciate anyone's feedback.
I think the second thumbnail is stronger than the first and third. The action and placement of the figures are better organized and I like that the environment doesn't seem as expansive as the third one, giving it greater intimacy/suspense. Is there a main antagonist or is he/she fighting off a band of thugs/goons/henchmen? If there is a main antagonist, I'd make him/her more noticeable on the front side of the cover.
hmm I think you might be right about that Artfix. I think it's because of the arrangement of the bad guys in the piece, it's kind of similar between the two of them. I might play around with that some more.
Remember that, when doing a wraparound cover, even though you're seeing it as one horizontal piece, the most important thing is that the front cover, then the back cover, then the spine, all work as independent compositions. Those guidelines on the cover template are there for a reason, use them!
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After doing some searching, I found the original template that was on the Art Order website and made a rough copy of it. I didn't use it the first time because the entire blog was taken down by a hacker a few months ago, and the original post was lost. I made some changes to the composition of the second thumbnail to better match the book cover template and hopefully differentiate it a bit from a previous piece I made here some time ago. Let me know what you think!
And here is the thumbnail with the template on top of it. I altered the composition a bit to try and make all sections of the piece interesting. You have the two figures plus their magic on the back, the mindflayer's face visible on the spine, and of course the heroine in the front.
Thanks for taking a look!