Tuesday, June 6, 2017


Here's a sort-of-new piece for my portfolio. It's a redo of a piece I did back in 2015 - essentially the same piece, but it's been entirely redrawn so it can stay in my portfolio without bringing down the tone.

It's intended as a book cover, so as I do a lot of work for self-publishers, I added text. This is a roll-over view option on my website. I know conventional wisdom is not to put text on book cover design, because illustrators are not graphic designers... but I do actually have a degree in graphic design. Anyway, self-publishers need to be able to see that I can add text without turning everything into a dog's breakfast.

If I was printing this, I can see spot varnish on the text, maybe even a foil.... but I'm not printing it, so you'll just have to use your imagination.
This has my name on it because it's my story. I've even written some of it!

Find out lots more about this illustration below the cut:

Here's a progress animation of how this came together:

The shadowy image you can see behind the earlier stages is actually the original version of this. I've always been fond of it, but it was showing its age. When I did the Illustration Department course with Giuseppe Castellano, Giuseppe told me to tone down my colour palettes to something more neutral, and to cut down on really solid outlines and over-rendering in my digital work. So I've tried to incorporate that here.

Here's a side-by-side comparison. I'd love to know what you think! Have I succeeded in improving it? Is there anything I can still improve (I'm sure there is, there always is)?

If you want to read about the process I went through to create the original version, here is the blog post.

And here's a timelapse video of me painting Mariella, which I posted to Instagram:

Adobe Photoshop CC2017 on a Wacom Cintiq Companion 2. About 30 hours, I think.

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