Wednesday, November 2, 2011
The Shadows that Rush Past
This is a book cover I completed recently for The Shadows that Rush Past, a collection of scary Inuit folk tales for children. The book has just been released in Canada and was published by Inhabit Media, an Inuit owned publisher in Nunavut focused on keeping the stories of Inuit mythology alive.
It was tricky to develop the composition as it had to be a wrap-around cover for a square book. There are four stories in the book. I illustrated two of them, and fellow fantasy illustrator Larry MacDougall did the others. I tried some compositions that incorporated elements from all four stories, and some that incorporated the two I was working with. My art director ended up picking this one, which was less cluttered. The stories were each so different that I wanted to have some kind of transition between the disparate elements from the front to back cover, so I added the ravens and carried the mountains in the background through both scenes. I wish the scan more properly represented some more of the subtlety of the colors and values, but it always seems difficult to capture when scanning transparent media.
The character on the cover is the amautalik, a giant ogress that kidnaps and eats children. She carries them to her igloo in the "cage" on her back made up of antlers and driftwood. The scene on the back cover is from a story about a giant polar bear that has been terrorizing a community, and the arrogant hero who slays it.