Idea for a cover... usual disclaimers apply

24

Comments

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym Teacher
    Debated moving the author name on the spine down slightly, but I want to maintain a bleed margin. Also, need to work on the elbows, and I have a stray block in the bottom right corner. Argh. 
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor
    Much, much better!👍

    I would still recommend more contrast in the title, though. (See how nice it looks on the spine?)

    The shadow works fine, but I think you are probably a little too enamoured with the reflections. I don’t think they really add anything other than making the image more complex. But, by the same token, they probably don’t do much harm, either.
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    Just fake it. Take a photo of the street, sans shadows. Scan it in to your art/photo prog. Use the freehand outliner to create a silhouette. Then darken within the shape.
  • MaggieMaggie Creator
    I like the blue on the spine. Blue and gold. That's your theme. I would make the title that colour. Try lower case for title, italicize "to be a," and make author name bigger. Align first name with last. In other words, make OG bigger font size. I would also add a cm to the cross chain near neck slightly curved so it looks like it's turning around neck. This is very tricky. Good luck. I like the image and love the cross. Perfection.

  • MaggieMaggie Creator
    PS. Go bigger for title and author name.

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym Teacher
    Thanks, Everyone, I'm feeling very good about this one, even though I didn't have a chance to work on it today.

    Okay, so what I'm hearing here:
    1.) the Same blue on the title as on the spine.
    2.) Larger title and author name
    3.) OG and KEEP on the same line -- the position on the white curb is OK?
    4.) Og and Keep centered with respect to the Title (it should be close now, but I only eyeballed it)
    5.) make the chain curve around the neck if possible.

    I also intend to move the spine author name down slightly - maybe 5 microns.

    One thing that will slow me down: I flattened the image in a couple of places to be able to combine certain elements (maybe there's another way, but I haven't found it) so I'll be working from earlier saved components. I should have saved a version with the pale blue Title first... Well, live and learn.

    Almost there. Feeling good about it.
  • MaggieMaggie Creator
    Yes, keep going. It's looking great.

  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor
    👍
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor
    Just fake it. Take a photo of the street, sans shadows. Scan it in to your art/photo prog. Use the freehand outliner to create a silhouette. Then darken within the shape.
    This is just for general information...

    What you describe is how I would have created this cover, but there are some hurdles that might be difficult for someone who may have little or no drawing experience. First, of course, is the need to draw a realistic outline of a person. The second would be to do this in perspective. There are a couple of ways around both of these problems. The first would be to find a photo of a standing figure that looks like the person who might be casting the shadow. This could then just be traced. The second problem could be solved by distorting the image first in an image manipulation software such as Photoshop and then tracing it. Then, as you say, the area within the outline could be darkened.

    But there is another hurdle in making the shadow realistic and that is that shadows on the surface of the earth are not hard-edged. This is because the sun is not a point source of light. So the edges of the shadow would have to be made soft. One way to do this in Photoshop would be to click on "Quick Mask Mode" and then blur the mask. This will give a soft edge to the outline when you go back to the original mode.
    Or you could draw your shadow outline on a separate layer, fill it in with a solid dark color, blur this and then adjust the opacity until the background shows through. (Shadows on earth are also bluish, but this can usually be ignored unless the shadow is on a very light surface.)

    Or, of course, you could just do what Skoob_Ym did!
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym Teacher

    Ron, I thought of trying to explain what you just did, but you have the vocabulary and experience to say it much better. I think that being hopeless at freehand is part of what drove me into photography as a hobby.

    I do need to work on my photoshop skills -- I may see if the local Junior College offers a photoshop course. I am hoping to publish two more books this year after this one -- fiction stories, crime dramas. So I will definitely need the skills.

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym Teacher
    edited March 2

    Maggie: The chain curve wasn't working for me. It would have been a great touch, but I think it may be beyond my skill level. Since it's the difference between 95% and 98%, I think I'll let it go on this cover.

    I'm ready to use one of these two.

    So the last  question is the color of the author name. Pale blue or dark blue?

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym Teacher

    Pictures didn't post... Let me try again...


  • MaggieMaggie Creator
    edited March 2
    Beautiful. The navy blue author one.

    Move spine title away from top. It will be cropped. And title and author name slightly left. When posted on Amazon edge will be cropped and look off center.

    Otherswise, wonderful.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    Well there is no doubt that some of the tricks that can be used when creating covers, and art in general, may not be obvious as yet to those not conversant with all the tools in art/photo progs, but the best way of finding out is by experimenting. There does not always need to be an end result, but when an end result is wanted, then more can be achieved. :)
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor
    Skoob_ym said:

    Ron, I thought of trying to explain what you just did, but you have the vocabulary and experience to say it much better. I think that being hopeless at freehand is part of what drove me into photography as a hobby.

    I do need to work on my photoshop skills -- I may see if the local Junior College offers a photoshop course. I am hoping to publish two more books this year after this one -- fiction stories, crime dramas. So I will definitely need the skills.

    Good idea! Here is something else I would suggest: sign up for a class in basic drawing as well. It can’t teach you to be an artist but it will help develop skill at hand-eye coordination, some appreciation of perspective, light and shadow, etc. Taking a class like that in addition to taking one in Photoshop is like taking a class in creative writing in addition to a class on grammar. One is a tool, the other helps you use that tool. For instance, in the case of your cover, a knowledge of Photoshop would enable you to use its layers and other features while the drawing class might enable you to create the outline of the figure or get its perspective, shape or color right.
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    One of the things about doing graphics digitally is you don't really need to be able to do 'freehand'. There's many adjustable shape tools in most art/photo apps and most things are made up of those shapes when broken down in to their base components. One handy tool is also the Undo one  :)
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor
    I agree with Maggie on her choice and her suggestions.
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor
    One of the things about doing graphics digitally is you don't really need to be able to do 'freehand'. There's many adjustable shape tools in most art/photo apps and most things are made up of those shapes when broken down in to their base components. One handy tool is also the Undo one  :)

    Kind of like the instructions for drawing Velda that I put into one of my comic books. All you need is basic shapes and there you go!
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor
    edited March 5
    Hold on there a moment! I thought all you needed to do was use the basic shapes available in Photoshop---circles, rectangles, etc.---and a few "adjustable shape tools"! What's all of this stuff about "drawing" in those examples you posted?  ;)
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    Look at the common shapes used. They are to be found in digital drawing tools also, as you know, so I don't need to tell you.  :)
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor
    edited March 6
    Look at the common shapes used. They are to be found in digital drawing tools also, as you know, so I don't need to tell you.  :)
    Okey doke! I am looking forward to your post of a figure—like, say, the ballerina in your first example—done entirely with Photoshop basic shapes and “adjustable shape tools”! No freehand allowed! (“One of the things about doing graphics digitally is you don't really need to be able to do 'freehand'.“)
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    Look how even humans are 'constructed'. See >>  


    See the source image

    What shapes do you see?


    Then there's Vector Graphics where nodes are created on lines that can be dragged to shape.
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor
    I am just going by what you originally said. If you want to change the parameters that’s OK with me. 
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor
    edited March 7
    I know what vector graphics are. I wrote a book on digital art that even won an award:
    https://lernerbooks.com/shop/show/11272
    To say nothing of the fact that I have been earning a living doing digital graphics for decades.

    And I still emphasize the need for basic drawing skills. This is something understood by even major animation studios like Pixar, who provide life drawing classes for their artists. 

    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor
    edited March 7
    Look how even humans are 'constructed'. See >>  


    See the source image

    What shapes do you see?
    Please. I have a degree in art. I had to draw the figure from life every week while in college. I have taught drawing myself and still draw both from life and my own imagination. 
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym Teacher
    Ron, in the second example of freehand drawing, I expected the sculptor to have a thought bubble above his head. LOL.
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor
    😄
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    I am just going by what you originally said. If you want to change the parameters that’s OK with me.

    Did you mean me? But I am sure you know exactly what I am referring to.
Sign In or Register to comment.