Finished this cover back in April and I can finally show it. The new futuristic young adult sci-fi fantasy novel Ruby’s Fire launches for sale on June 24th. The day before my birthday! I really love the way it turned out. I illustrated the first in the FireSeed Novel back 11-2011. Go here for a story synopsis and more about the author.
I worked directly with the author Catherine Stine, that gave me very detailed descriptions of what she was looking for. She did not need for me read the manuscript. She is an illustrator herself but needed more realism for the cover. These composition sketches were created in Photoshop are based on 3 layouts she wanted. Text and design was based off previous cover design that I did.
This is the tighter sketch with grey tones working version submitted to Catherine. Needed to change face completely it was way too surprised and goofy looking and reverse the direction of the bird like creature on the back.
The base unclothed figure was created in Poser, a 3D CGI figure program. I like the quickness that Poser gives me for basic poses, expressions and lighting. Way cheaper and less time consuming than hiring a model. Some see this as cheating, but I see it as just another tool the get the job done and done right. I still use all the figure drawing skills and basic painting skills that give it that Jay Montgomery look. Once the base figure is set all the other elements were painted in Photoshop.
The vest and dress pattern were created first flat as a Illustrator CS6 pattern using the new pattern tool. Then copied and pasted into Photoshop. I then distorted the pattern using the liquify tool in Photoshop to fit the contour of the form.
A futuristic vest texture a made up in Illustrator was created again using the pattern tool in Illustrator. Love that tool! I distorted it for each section in Illustrator and then pasted them into Photoshop and further distorted them with the liquify tool.
Render Render Render
The hair clothes and all the background was completely painted in Photoshop using a Wacom Tablet. This is about 60% done.
The face was fixed with a several Poser edits and Photoshop touch ups. Loved designing and rendering the jewelry. Red (bird creature) took a while to render with all the leaf life feathers.
Final Cover Design
The color palette was different than what I’m used to. I love the warms with the coolish purples.
Front & back Cover Design
The type was created in Photoshop as well.
The book cover is already all over the internet with it just being revealed on Thursday, May 23rd.