Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sketch Diary: Kushiel's Dart Cover Part 3

After designing Phedre's marque and Kushiel, this painting has finally arrived at finished!  It's been a long, long journey and there was a definite turning point in the middle where this image changed completely, much to my surprise.

What was the turning point?  The biggest one was a change in color scheme inspired by Giancola's beautiful cover for Kushiel's Dart.  I decided mine was too similar and wanted to strike out on my own by experimenting with the color scheme, swapping the strong reds and whites for jewel tone garnet and pale blues.  The difference was like night and day!  Check out this process video to see how the painting morphed into what it is today:

The finished art:

Kushiel's Dart by =AngelaSasser on deviantART
Prints available at my Storenvy shop.

You can also view a step-by-step with detailed notes at WiPnation.

What did I learn?

- Keep it simple!  If I were to start over, I would make this even more simple, since I got very carried away by all the details.  Clear figures and composition with a hint of narrative to tease the mystery are better than jam packed images that tell you everything.

Master copies are the best medicine if you're ever stuck on a piece!

- Don't be afraid to 'murder your darlings'. I changed this image SO many times by the end that I pretty much destroyed it - ALL in service of making a more successful piece.

What's next?

Inspiration begets inspiration!  I'd love to return to the carving of Kushiel and brush up the design, as well as try my hand at the rest of Elua's companions in the same window carving style.

Considering how much I learned from this exercise, I'd really love to try my hand at rendering other covers in the series.  I've been wanting to re-read the books and this would be the perfect excuse.  I'm sure character sketches and other art will sprout up along the way.  I hope you'll stay tuned!

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