SLIDESHOW AT BOTTOM OF PAGE
The final design
(may be tweaked here and there before printing)
I’ve been asked to Illustrate a book cover. Its a entitled ‘Trophies’ by J.Gunner Grey http://the1940mysterywriter.wordpress.com/
Here’s the brief that I’ve been working with:
‘It’s a mystery, and many of the clues are hidden away in the murdered woman’s garret, where she has a hidden office with an old rolltop desk, and a wardrobe of out-of-date clothes. It’s a dark room, lit by a single, unshaded bulb with the usual long string hanging down.The garret is reached via a long, straight staircase to a plain, unvarnished door without a knob, just a deadbolt set flush with the door’
My first idea was drawing a view with the rolltop desk and doorway looking out to a stairwell. I then thought of cropping the sides of the desk as if looking through a doorway. This led to drawing images on either side like clips from a movie.
I then showed this to the author who was pleased with the idea. She suggested shrinking the two side panels, lowering the stairs and raising the wardrobe to accommodate the title/author name.
I have no computer programmes to make this happen quickly so I resorted to traditional methods of tracing/cutting with craft knife. I actually prefer being more hands on with my work. There are numerous feelings you get from being tactile and working directly with your hands. I am enjoying the possibilities that are emerging from rearranging the parts like a puzzle……
It rained a lot today. This meant I could spend time drawing up another version of the cover.
This reads well as it leads the eye towards the desk and also runs in the same direction as the stairway.
I extended the lines above the door and desk which suggest a garret roof and the bottom line frames the inner image nicely.
I’ve been looking at 1940 detective/crime covers for colour inspiration and am going for the classic green/brown look
Having browsed through the classic novel covers I decieded to spend all morning redesigning the composition.
The crime scene is based in an attic room lit only by a naked bulb. I wanted the edges of the shadows produced by the light source to be a major feature.
Again, like the Shadbolt park commission I need to touch base with the novelist to get feedback
before continuing with any more colour work.
Gunner Grey got in touch with me and agreed about the stairs so gave it a bit of space. A touch of darkness/shadow was also required to suggest a wall against the stairway. Having added the dark areas I just had to have light dribbling down the stairs from the doorway.
I went for a really light wood for the desk and tried to keep the dress styles and colours in keeping with the grand scheme. I also weighted the composition accordingly, as required in the brief, leaving room at the top left and bottom right for the book Title /Author respectively.