Cover Design

As the rapturous day of Bob and the Pop-Up Book of Destiny‘s glorious release draws ever-closer, I thought I’d give you some insight into one of the more…artistic sides of my writing process: cover design.

Until the release of the next book, I’ll be giving you a step-by-step tour of the cover design process. You’ll get to see the cover as it develops; and your brain will swell with joy as the images dance before your eyes like a thousand tiny elves. Who are hyped up on caffeine.

I’ve always enjoyed drawing cartoons and comics (check out my comic series here), and have been transferring my drawings to the digital world over the past few years. Now I use Photoshop, but believe it or not, I used to rely on Microsoft Paint to produce digital art. Both the Classystrugeon logo and the image of Jeeves on the Bob and the Cyber-Llama cover were done in Paint.

After experimenting with a few different techniques, I’ve finally nailed down a process. First, I draw the image on a white piece of paper and scan it into the computer. So the first version of Pop-Up Book of Destiny‘s cover looked like this:

After the image is scanned, I use the brush tool to trace most of the pencil lines. Not only does this give everything the standard black outline seen in most cartoons and comics, it also allows me to enclose certain areas, which makes coloring much easier.

I also use the selection and movement tools during this step to resize or move certain parts of the image. For example, in the image above, I thought Jeeves’ neck looked a little too short. I moved it straight up and used the Photoshop brush to draw the area in-between.

There are two more steps to designing the cover: basic coloring and shading/detail. I’ll be sure to let you in on the process as the cover comes along!

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