Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Designing a Demonic Book Cover



Okay, so the book cover isn’t exactly demonic. But the guy on the cover? That’s Drake, and he’s a demon. Drake enjoys reading Alexandre Dumas, making sarcastic comments, and being an absolute PAIN to photoshop.

I should probably explain: The cover for FROST FIRE was the first thing I designed using a professional version of Adobe Photoshop (CS5). Before, I’d only used GIMP and Adobe Elements, which isn’t even made for digital art. So when I started designing FROST FIRE’s cover, I was in way over my head.

Basically, I designed the cover using very little knowledge, lots of guessing, and a ton of luck. Also, I used the stock photos and brushes graciously provided (with permission, of course) by the wonderful members of deviantART. All the stock credits for the cover can be found here: http://olivia212.deviantart.com/art/Cover-330678214

Anyway, I thought I’d give a little glimpse of what it took to design the final version of my cover. Here is a step-by-step guide to creating the cover, with corresponding pics.

Before Starting:  Prepare all stock photos. Crop them, resize, remove blemishes, ect. (Believe it or not, Drake’s original stock pic had a beard. Yes, a beard. I had to completely repaint his face to get rid of it.)

1. Start with background.




2. A couple blend modes later, and the mood darkens…






3. Add in model (who, in this lighting, now appears to have a horrific sunburn).




4. Remove sunburn, make his hair black.



5. WINGS! (The wings were originally facing forward. I had to warp them to get them to look sideways-ish.)





6. Add another smaller set of transparent wings and smoke. Because smoke just makes everything cooler.




7. Final touches, fonts, and…

8. TAAAA-DA!


This tutorial is, quite obviously, on "Easy Mode". It actually took me about 30 hours to complete this project. In the end, I had used dozens of filters and blend modes, about 35 layers, and a lot of digital "painting" using my Wacom tablet.

What are your thoughts on the cover for FROST FIRE? Have you ever tried designing a book cover?

1 comments:

Ariel Avalon said...

This cover is gorgeous. I wonder if I can get this good by the time my first novel is finished and ready for publishing. I want something this beautiful. You should be incredibly proud of yourself. I am just, stunned by this cover. I don't think I have seen a more attractive one in quite some time.

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