Tuesday, August 19, 2014

What Thou Need'st || Adventures in Cover Design

by Bethany

Well, I finally sent "What Thou Need'st" in for review, so now all there is to do is wait...and post a cover reveal with behind the scenes pictures!

Here's the cover!


Just kidding. :)

Photography was out of the question, since castles and dragons aren't things you see everyday.

I had a mental picture of an idea, inspired by a picture I found on Pinterest.


I really liked the dragon around the top of the tower, looking in. Except I needed the dragon to be smaller, and a princess in the tower.

When I tried to sketch it out, it looked like this:


Oh dear. What happened to the beautiful picture in my head?

I'd like to think I'm a fairly decent artist, when I put my mind to it (that's a key factor here), but my style definitely lends itself to a more cartoon look, as you can see from the picture at the top of the post.

And sometimes I just feel like this:

from Pinterest

My parents are quite artistic, so I went to them.

"Mom, Dad, can you draw dragons?"

Dad and I spent a Saturday morning looking at dragon pictures and sketching.

Here's mine:


And here's his:

 


When my dad doesn't like how his drawing is turning out, he tends to add silly details. Like the shoe the first dragon is wearing, and the second dragon's strange little friend. 

Then Mom gave it a go.

  

 Mom: "What do you think?"

Bethany and Becca: "Wow, that's a great tower!"

Mom: "But what about the dragon?"

Bethany and Becca: "That's a great tower!"


Becca drew a beautiful tower too, but we were still having trouble with the dragon.



Then I tried a different cover layout, this time taking inspiration from illuminated manuscripts.
 

 If lettering was the focal point, maybe that would make things simpler.

This was a very rough sketch, to see how things from the story could be incorporated into the design around the outside. 

  

It's pretty silly, but it got me going in the right direction.

It helped me see that I'm rubbish at drawing tiny people; well, Allan turned out kind of cute. :)

Instead of drawing each character around the border, I came up with an object that would represent each main character or a part of the story.


Drawing a little dragon in the W was much easier, and the vines were time consuming to draw, but it was fun project to work on while watching TV.

Are you ready to see the finished project?

Drum roll please.....





I added color with watercolor pencils, used gold paint around the W, and Becca added an overlay in PicMonkey to give it an aged parchment look.

What do you think?

If all goes well with the Snippet review process, I should be announcing my story's release in a week or two!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Beautiful People || August Addition || Becca's Characters



Hello there!
I'm introducing Cecile's older brother, Dax Bellerose.
JJ Field as Henry Tilney (from Northanger Abbey) reminds me of Dax.
(via Pinterest) 

1) What does your character regret the most in their life? 
Not getting home in time to say his last goodbye to his dying mother.

2) What is your character's happiest memory? Most sorrowful memory? 

His father is a very successful  merchant, possessing a fleet of ships.  When Dax turned sixteen his father invited him to come along on a voyage. He had never spent so much time with his father, he wished that journey had never ended.
His most sorrowful memory was when he rushed home from collage, only to hear his sister's wails and see his father slumped against the wall- the only time he saw his father cry was when his mother died.

3) What majorly gets on your character’s nerves? 
Dax is an easy going guy, petty things don't really bother him.

4) Do they act differently when they're around people as opposed to being alone? If so, how? 

Dax is a very popular gentleman, always charming, funny and an all-round nice guy.
When he's alone, he doesn't talk quite as much.  :) 

5) What are their beliefs and superstitions? (Examples: their religion or lack of one, conspiracy theories, throwing salt, fear of black cats.) 

He is a Christian, and faithfully relies on the Lord when the difficult times come.

6) What are their catchphrases, or things they say frequently? 

Hmmmm.... I haven't come across anything yet.  

7) Would they be more prone to facing fears or running from them? 

Dax would face his fears, he's no coward.

8) Do they have a good self image? 

Yes, I believe so. He is well liked by everyone and is a rather handsome young man.

9) Do they turn to people when they're upset, or do they isolate themselves? 

He would turn to his mother, when she was alive. Cecile has now taken that place, always listening when he needs her, and bringing the problem into perspective.

10) If they were standing next to you would it make you laugh or cry? 

I'm not sure what that means, I suppose if he struck up a conversation he'd make me laugh with his clever wit.  :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Three week birthday!

It's been two weeks since we've shared pictures of Sarah Jane's only child. 
He has grown into a fat little chunk, and had his first taste of grass today.
(And it's not completely official, but we are pretty sure it's a boy)

He had lots of fun running around and jumping over mommy.
As you can see, he wasn't very pleased to be taken from playtime.



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