A new eBook will be coming out under KML Publishing soon. "Soul Stirring Stories" by Bronwyn Battye - a lovely little set of six stories for Christian girls between eight and thirteen.
I had a wonderful time illustrating both the stories and the front cover.
So I thought that I would share a little bit of behind the scenes cover art work, as I am rather fond of how the front cover of Soul Stirring Stories came out - so lets dive into some art!
Usually when I am commissioned to do a front cover there can be a lot of sketching stages and back and forth, this is what I like to term the "pre-planning stage" - because nothing is really set in stone yet. This consists of a lot of thumb-nails, sketches of characters, sometimes full colour "mock-ups" - and depending on what a publisher/author decides, then the cover art can sometimes pivot in an entirely different direction.
Take for example this work I did of a cover for a book published by Stone Table Books called Hidden - it's a very good story if you're looking for something set in Australia for a young girl around the age of thirteen/fourteen. I don't want to say anything else about it, otherwise I'll give away the cool, uniqueness of the story.
In the case of Hidden - after discussions and a brief - I provided the publisher I was working for with two reasonably fleshed out options to choose from. These I could then work on and hash out. In this case, I ended up not doing the graphic design, just the cover art.
So that should give some basic background to a process (I would upload more but I don't know how much Stone Table Books would let me show...)
For Soul Stirring Stories I was gifted with an idea almost immediately upon reading Bronwyn's emails about her stories. I knew what illustration to create, and it flowed forth without needing to really do much scribble work. I also believe I have come a long way in the four years since working with STB, and I find it far easier to get ideas onto paper (or in my case, computer screen.)
This is what I started off with. A small thumbnail that I enlarged. A little girl sitting amongst the autumn fields. Peaceful. Soulful. This is the emotion I got received when reading Bronwyn's emails and listening to her talk about her work.
Then I built it up with some shading and definite lines. Still pretty rough, but starting to look more like a picture.
This was the first draft. I was pretty happy with it. Now to see if the client was too. ^_^
I don't tend to save progression images - though - maybe I should, might be something interesting to do start posting up. I had a lot of fun with the style. It had been awhile since I'd done anything coloured, and I felt so relieved to paint something. I feel like it very much captured the feeling I was wanting to convey of a restful, peaceful place to catch your breath - something I felt Bronwyn's stories could do for her audience.
And the final product. I am very happy. I hope that Bronwyn likes it too.
If you're interested in pre-ordering Soul Stirring Stories it is available now on Amazon Kindle.