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!


  1. Hello Bethany!

    I must congratulate you on your success in writing your story! I hope all goes well from this point forward! How exciting!!!

    And to say that there was not a smile and a chuckle coming from my mind as I read this fabulous post would be a lie–this was so much fun to read! I think it is wonderful to have to artistic parents to help guid you through the process of creating a cover, and with all of the ideas you had to work from, the last one was/is truly the best of them all! You have a wonderful hand for vines and typography!

    Huzzah for your triumph!

    I am anticipating the news to come!

    The eldest sister & singer

  2. Oh, beautiful end result! I love it! And I love how you put a part of your characters onto the cover. That's unique.
    (And that's a very nice tower that your mom drew. ;) )

  3. Oh! Your cover turned out lovely, Bethany! I loved seeing your design and thought process, and the end result was astounding. Great job! I hope the review process goes well.

    the Middle Sister and Singer

    1. Thank you, Brigid! I hope the review process goes well too. I haven't heard anything yet, so hopefully no news is good news. :)

  4. Ooh, this is splendid! Great job; it looks like a real manuscript. :)
    It was fun to see the process of you and your family coming up with different ideas. You're all so artistic. :)

  5. Wow, love it! Looks like lots of work. I still haven't finished getting my story ready.hopefully soon :b I really like the dragon behind the W and the yarn and needles up top :D


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