A tutorial/Work-in-Progress. Part 1

artordercoverroughAll right!

As promised, I am now going to give with a tutorial/ work-in-progress.

Jon Schindehette’s blog, Art Order, is featuring  a cover competition that I decided to take part in. To learn more, head over to http://www.artorder.blogspot.com

Jon has thoughtfully provided a template for the theoretical book’s trade dress and layout. I am using this in order to prepare my composition to incorporate the potential layout.

I prepared a couple of thumbnails and settled upon the above  rough sketch. 

As you can see, I have placed compositional elements while referencing the design. The brief calls for a female dark elf to be locked in battle with a brain-sucking octopus dude ( also known as a “Mind Flayer”). All the action takes place beneath the surface of the world.

I decided to have the two main combatants plummeting over a cliff’s edge while other mind flayers lurk in the shadows of the back cover. Drama and suspense are keywords for me on this one. I want the potential reader to have questions that only opening the book will answer.

I wanted the cover to be an opening cliffhanger.

You will note that the rough sketch is indeed the very definition of “rough”. It is more notational for me while establishing some basic shapes and compositional relationships. I have even made little notes in the sketch such as light sources and direction. I am already thinking about the light’s color though no decision has yet been made.

I will now move onto shooting photo reference and gathering other visual ideas.

Check back soon for the next installment!


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