10/24/08

The Silver Door


This is the wraparound cover for "The Silver Door", the forthcoming sequel to "The Ruby Key" from Holly Lisle's "Moon and Sun" series of fantasy novels from Scholastic.

The line art was drawn in ink and colored in Painter and Photoshop. I designed the dragon/bird ship based on notes and sketches from the author, although I kind of went off on my own a bit with the flourishes in the armor.

Perhaps the biggest challenge of this cover was settling on the size of the ship. Although the author's original notes had the ship substantially larger, it was decided that my initial layouts left the characters too small. After a lot of discussion with the editor and several more passes at the layout, I had to adjust the scale of the ship quite a bit, reducing its size relative to the characters in order to make them more visible.

This is a common dilemma in illustration; it is very easy to imagine characters riding a giant beast, or in the window of a huge castle, but when artists are asked to draw such a scene while capturing both the human-sized characters (even their smiling faces) along with the gigantic elements, it is often an impossible task. I first ran into this trouble when I started in comic books, with writers describing impossible panels: "A massive star-destroyer is hurtling through space, weaving through meteors. Through the cockpit glass, we see the captain gritting his teeth." There are many more examples, but in every case, it's an impossible panel that leads to one irritated artist.

But that's the challenge, and in this case, the ship had to be reduced. As it is, it is still easy to miss the cat!

As always, thanks for stopping by.

Joshua

10/22/08

Two more Vixen covers



Here are the covers to issues 3 and 4 of DC Comics' "Vixen" limited series. We are continuing with the theme of Vixen and animals.

The one with the birds is the cover to the fourth issue. The editor requested the image, and I mentioned that I had already done something very similar with a Supergirl cover a while back (as well as a Sky between Branches image even earlier), but since the Supergirl image has yet to see print, we figured it was okay.

I drew the Vixen cover in Japan and colored it on a laptop without referencing my earlier Supergirl cover. After coming home and seeing them together, I realized they are much more similar than I had imagined.

Now that I think about it, Vixen's pose in the third cover (running with the antelope) is rather similar to a Flash cover I did a while back, too. Wow, I am apparently completely out of ideas for poses.

I've been stepping all over my own toes. I'd better move along.

Joshua

10/21/08

The Unknowns


Here is another wrap-around book cover, this time for "The Unknowns", a forthcoming young-adult novel from Abrams Books.

Once again, the composition looks a bit strange when the cover isn't folded into its front, back, and two flaps arrangement, but there you have it.

Joshua

10/18/08

Supergirl 37


Here is the cover to Supergirl issue 37, which actually features Superwoman. The cover follows a theme DC is running through several books the same month, with a character on a black background and up-lighting of some sort.

More soon-

Joshua