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Playing with book covers

Book cover mockup with a stormy sky and a single winged silhouette flying out of the clouds
Shashigai - The Sky Alone My Partner

shashigai has been planning his NaNoWriMo project for this year. A griff story set on Karn. :D Yesterday he showed me a photo he took that's so perfect I wanted to grab it and make it into a mockup of the book cover. (There's also a version with his IRL name.)
He found this new series of iridescent watercolour paints. I tested them out as a mix with my Senneliers and they look really brilliant. So I had to make an illumination that I could use them with. I'm thinking it might make a good seal for a back cover.

Circle of Celtic-esque knotwork with an illuminated griff holding four discs, one with a flame symbol, one with a spiral, one with a hoofprint and one with a claw



( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 27th, 2011 05:21 am (UTC)
Oh wow, I love the photo, that does make an excellent book cover.

I like the seal as well. For some reason it is reminding me of a coloring book that I had as a kid.
Sep. 27th, 2011 05:31 pm (UTC)
I was thinking of doing a line of illumination along the bottom, under the author name, with some kind of griff symbols worked into it, so that there was a juxtaposition of photo and fantasy.
Sep. 27th, 2011 05:23 am (UTC)

Okay I get now what you mean about drawing a curved beak on it. Yours doesn't look like an angry parakeet. XD
Sep. 27th, 2011 05:32 pm (UTC)
Lots of birds :D
Sep. 27th, 2011 05:41 am (UTC)
The cover and seal are both awesome.
Sep. 27th, 2011 05:32 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Hey have you ever tried doing cover art for any of your books?
Sep. 28th, 2011 12:13 am (UTC)
I'm not very good at making graphics, but I actually did design one cover that I just might use if I finish and self-publish my ghost novella. If I make covers for the other two books, I'll probably use photographs, or maybe commission someone who has more skill with graphics. I'm not comfortable posting the cover I made in a public post because it has my name on it, but I'll email it to you in case you're curious. :)
Sep. 27th, 2011 09:41 am (UTC)
Some thoughts: the name shashigai is confusing there, as if it is part of the title, but then again, is it? Is this what you meant it to be? It is confusing. It may be clearer if it has his IRL name on it, but I think it may still be, given the title kinda is can be interpreted easily as The Sky Alone My Partner, so and so.

If it isn't, then I would suggest just widening the gap a bit between the title and the name, bring the title up a bit, and the name down, or something, you know play round till it looks good. I think too, if the title was a bit higher it might draw the eye a bit more to the bird. Not sure, but if it did that would be really good.

With the illumination the thing I notice is how the curve of the head is basically not a curve, where the usual style (in fact never seen it any other way) is those kind of lines are properly curved. There are a lot of lines that are not really curved but straightened out, in the illumination.

Is that deliberate too? It lends a sort of jagged feeling to it. Haha as if the bird is a bit cranky? *giggles*

Seriously, more like a bit rough and ready, the bird, I mean, not the illumination.

Anyway, that photo is absolutely stunning, isn't it? *smiles*

And the book cover is, apart from that confusion, really effective. Clean and simple, great choice of font and colour.

Same with the illumination. Can't wait to see it coloured!

- Verdigris
Sep. 27th, 2011 09:42 am (UTC)
Ooops, just totally presumed you wanted feedback!
Sep. 27th, 2011 12:29 pm (UTC)
LOL! I really was just playing, but I'm not going to turn down good feedback. I think you're right about the name. It was just a last minute thing because Shashigai didn't want his real name online. The title is supposed to be "The Sky Alone My Partner". I had the title and name both bigger font and higher in the original, but he didn't like it that way. :P He didn't want it to distract from the sky.

I straightened out a lot of lines in the illumination because it was bugging me how obviously Celtic it looked (used Celtic reference) but I don't think it was enough of a solution. I have some idea of how Karnese dyes compare to what was available on Earth, and I want to develop that further into a proper colour palette, but what I don't really have my finger on is what is it about their artistic styles that makes them unique.

But yeah, the main character is probably going to be cranky :P
Sep. 27th, 2011 12:40 pm (UTC)
Verdigris says to say to Shashigai she thinks just a tiny bit higher would draw the eye's gaze to the sky more. At the moment the writing is pulling it away from it a bit.

Well, pass that message on if/as you see fit!

And yep, in my world the colour palletes are so different to here.

And lol about straightening the lines up. Nope it didn't work. Um, um, I feel like I have a bit of feedback there myself, but I can't find it.

My grandfather's people's art is so distinctive, and I love it and miss it. He is a woodcarver, and in the time I lived with Kaieil, he basically carved is art into every available wooden surface. Even our eating utensils and stuff, but I told him to keep his hands off my knives as the raised surfaces could hurt when I was holding it really tightly, but he did the top and bottom, and the base of all the plates and everything. Just a little bit more carving every year. It crept into the house. I didn't know how Kaieil felt, at first, but he was just very amused. And after all, my grandfather's art is very beautiful :-)
Sep. 27th, 2011 04:32 pm (UTC)
*thumbs up to both the cover and the seal* ^_^
Sep. 27th, 2011 05:34 pm (UTC)
Sep. 29th, 2011 07:49 am (UTC)
I like the way the seems to come out of the scrollwork, in front of it as it were. I like clouds too. Cloudscapes are beautiful and interesting.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )