Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Explorer's Guide to Making a Cover: Part 2

The Cover Painting: Color Comps

It's hard to believe, but it's been a whole year since I last posted about the making of The Explorer's Guide to Drawing Fantasy Creatures cover. Whoops! Instead of making another massive post, I've decided to break up what's left into more manageable segments with the hope I can finish the series in a more reasonable amount of time.

In Part 1, I discussed the process of creating the drawing for the cover to The Explorer's Guide to Drawing Fantasy Creatures. Now I'll move on to the making of the painting.

First, I wanted to do some color comps. Since the creatures had all been painted previously for the book's interior art, I already knew what colors to make them. But I still needed to work out exactly what I wanted to do for the background of the image. I knew I wanted something simple since the focus is on the creatures. Additionally, I needed to leave some space uncluttered for the cover text. I also wanted a very colorful cover, so I skipped what would typically be the part of my color study process where I try to work out a specific color palette.

To do the studies, I printed several tiny versions of the cover drawing onto a piece of watercolor paper and blocked in the color quickly with gouache. I only painted the creatures once, painted a few backgrounds, and then scanned everything in and played with various combinations in Photoshop.

Study number two became the model for the final cover image.

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