Wednesday 12 February 2014

Mars Evacuees

Here's a cool commission I've been waiting to shout about for a while. It's a cover illustration for a forthcoming sci-fi novel called Mars Evacuees by Sophia Mcdougall. She's written a great, and very flattering, post about the anticipation of seeing cover illustrations for her books for the first time. It was a real pleasure to work on so I'm glad it went down well and Egmont gave the finished cover a glorious shine. You can see more on my website here. I was also asked to write a little about the process of creating the image, so here it is...

It was really exciting news when I was asked to design the cover of Mars Evacuees as I'm a bit of a sci-fi nut and find the genre instantly inspiring. My first instinct was to make the illustration relatively simple, colourful and eye-catching as those are the covers I tend to respond to. After digesting the brief I had a strong mental image of what I wanted and set about designing my initial draft illustration in Photoshop. I worked up the red planet and background digitally using unusual textures I'd photographed and collected, including images of peeling paint from the sides of old boats! I then designed the main characters as stylised silhouettes, I prefer this approach as the reader can create the character's faces in their own mind. I found the cyber-goldfish guardian character particularly fascinating and made it a major part of the design. The first rough was sent over, as well as a version with a hand drawn type treatment. The illustration minus the type was quickly approved, which is always a relief, and with a few tweaks the cover was finalised. I'm really pleased with how it turned out and owe a big thanks to Sophia and Egmont for getting me involved.

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