Here is a cover I did a while back for Sämmtliche Gedichte, a German-language novel written by Dietmar Dath.
From the beginning, the author knew that he wanted a fairly straightforward shot of the Amelia Earhart-type character, so my thumbnails were basic compositional variations of this image. It was ultimately decided that I go for the most direct version.
When drawing an image like this, where there is one central figure with little movement and few background elements, the smallest details can significantly change the feel of the image. In this case, I recall a debate about how to direct the eyes- originally, I had her looking straight at the viewer, which can be engaging or even intimidating depending on the expression, but we decided it would be more in her character to direct the gaze slightly away from the viewer, creating a little distance.
The image was sketched in pencil, then inked with a brush and pen, and colored in Photoshop and Painter. I established the basic color design during the thumbnail stage, which is always very helpful since it can save a lot of time screwing around with colors in Photoshop when the deadline is creeping up. It is sometimes good to have a plan.*
Thanks for stopping by.
*even if you choose to completely ignore it at least half of the time. Sometimes it seems my favorite plan is coming up with a new plan.