Spawn of Dyscrasia CoverSpawn of Dyscrasia is due out this year, and this is the second in the mini-series describing the cover art, illustrated by master fantasy artist Ken Kelly:
- Cover Concept (link): The first post covers the goal & concept art
- Cover Art (you are here): This second post chronicles the interactions with master fantasy artist Ken Kelly (from rough sketches to final painting) to yield the key illustration
- Cover Design (link) : the last covers the actual design (title placing, masking of the illustration, and overlaid fire)
Feedback to First Rough:The goal was to reapply the composition of Ken Kelly's "Rogues" (that graced the cover of Robert Adam's first Horseclan's novel). The preceding post (add link) discusses the color selections and design choices.
With this information Ken Kelly set to making some Rough Sketches. The first featured just Helen, who appeared too zombie-like and her long-nails were accentuated enough but needed to be turned over (to look like she was controlling the fire). This opportunity allowed me to reinforce that Helen was the living character...and the warrior was the undead one.
Feedback to Second Rough:
I proposed a modified mock-up by placing the Roughs into Powerpoint, and indicated things to tweak (red) and items to keep (blue):
1.Warrior is undeadà A skeleton…with crown of horns…and fiery aura (cover his biceps, perhaps, since he has no flesh?)
2.He has only 1 sword (his sheath looks like a second)
3.Warriors general stance = cool, no need to change
4.Lady’s stance= cool, no need to change
5.Shadows/lighting = awesome
6.Fire à eventually to be colored with spirits
7.Pennant à I like this shaft… can we add a flag?
Lastly, Helen needed to be directly connected to the fire, and I wanted to ensure there was one representative Spirit presented within the flames. Drawing from Ken Kelly's awesome gallery, I lifted one of his great cats (from Feline Warrior), and worked it into another mock-up. He cautioned that this would throw off the balance of the composition (becoming top heavy). I agreed, but asked him to work it in anyway; this motivated the "green wisps of ether" special effects to be added later in the Cover Design (post 3 of the series) to compensate.
Canvas and Oil Work:At this point, Ken Kelly began work on a real canvas with his oil paints. I received digital photos periodically:
As the piece approached its end, I had concerns about the bubbles and requested Helen's eye-tattoo to be red, which were easily changed. Ken Kelly originally titled this "Magic Soldier" but changed it to "Spawn of Dyscrasia" to match the forthcoming book.
|Spawn of Dyscrasia - (c) Ken Kelly 2013|