Monday, April 27, 2009

The Making of a Cover (Part 1)

I have a couple three ring binders that contain copies of my manuscript. They are what I used to edit and what I handed out for other people to critique. But I wanted to create a more accurate sense of reading a book, so I set about making a temporary cover.

Now, realistic artwork isn't my strong suit. I just don't have any experience with it. But I have done some cartoon work, and ended up playing to my strengths. And now I have a blog series for you, detailing the process, complete with pictures!

I started with a #2 pencil and a regular white sheet of letter paper and sketched out what I wanted.

Then I used my trusty uni-ball deluxe fine pen to trace the pencil marks.

I then erased the pencil marks and scanned it into my computer. I use Corel Photo-Paint for digital image editing, but Photoshop seems to be the industry standard. With Photo-paint I fixed some blemishes and added a little bit of texture and some lettering in the font, "Papyrus." I also shrank the main characters head because it made him look too young, and rearranged his arms. The hand sticking out was supposed to be him telling his sheep to stay back. But my feedback team told me it just made him look feminine. Anyway, this is what resulted; a black and white cover that actually covered the manuscript for awhile.
Tune in on Wednesday to see the finished product in full color.


Dark Knight of Takhisis said...


Hannah said...

Nice! :D


Jare and Lib said...

That looks great.
If I saw that book at the library I would pick it up.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Well done! I can't wait to see it.

Leah said...

How interesting! You have a lot of talent. I hope that you are able to get your book published some day.

Jare and Lib said...

Your story is awesome!
I want to
BTW, just out of curiosity, how did you find our blog? Just wondering =)

-Jare and Lib
And I love you're title!
It made me laugh

Joraiem said...

Awesome! I can't wait until the artist of my book is finished! The drafts of it are really good. I will try to scan it for you to see!

Robert Treskillard said...

You've got a good eye for illustration, Jacob!

J.R. Parker said...

Thanks for the comments and encouragement everyone!

Jare and Lib: I'm glad you enjoyed the book excerpt and title. I found your blog by clicking on your link in the follower's box of Wayne Thomas Batson's blog.

Joraiem: That'd be great! I'd definitely like to see that.

Joraiem said...


Soon to be Emily Cullen said...

Wow! I wish I could draw that well! All I can draw is Hands! Thanks for commenting on my blog! It really means a lot!

Jared Kraft said...

Hey Man,
Cool post! I'm such a terrible artist... urgh. : ) I couldn't draw something to save my life! You seem very talented though.

Thanks for commenting on my blog, and becoming a follower! I've followed suit.

Jamin said...

Looks like a great cover!

bookworm4god said...

Hello, I'm Bookie. ^_^ I saw your comment on my blog, and thanks. :D
That's a pretty cool cover! =)

So I was reading your profile page, and it said that you had part of your story up. Where? I'd love to read it. :)

Ttfn, God bless,

J.R. Parker said...

Bookie: You can read the sample by clicking on the button marked "My Book" in the sidebar. I plan on putting the cover on the button to make it more conspicuous.

bookworm4god said...

Sounds like a good plan. Thanks so much! =)

The Colorful Photographer said...

Wow, that book cover for your novel is awesome! it fits it's nature of the book's soul. You seem like a very good artist.

The Colorful Photographer said...

I finished reading your sample of your book down below, and let me tell you, you have a lot of potential in the writing craft. You have a lot of detail, a moving atmoshpere, and good plot. Nice work, you are a good writer.