I’ve been thinking about creating cover art and (hopefully) book covers for some time. The big thing with this is how to go about it, I couldn’t work it out and I’m quite a creative person.
That was until I read this from Christoper Doll: Drawing a spaceship a day
Now, while I’m not drawing a spaceship a day I have been having a go at some sketching and using some of the sketches on Christoper’s website as inspiration.
After dusting out the old cobwebs and having a look at what other artists have done I’ve drawn some of my own, drawing on their inspiration. This means I’ve taken some of the design DNA and added a twist of my own to make it mine.
So while this is all well and good how does an artist take sketches like these and create digital art out of them?
The answer is fairly simple, import or open the picture into a graphical drawing software package. In this case I used Inkscape and after scanning the drawing I opened it in my drawing package and drew the lines in a drawing layer above the picture.
Once the line drawing was complete using the drawing tools I could fill in some colours and shading and also have a go with some textures.
Once I had got this far I needed to use something else to take it further as I didn’t think it looked terribly realistic. So the next step was to use a photo editing program to help me. I can’t afford Photoshop, so the open source world has a really great tool called GIMP (Graphical Image Manipulation Program) Adding a texture to the design gave a it that bit more depth. Personally I think it’s could still be better – I’ve lost some of the shading effect that I had brought in – but you know even Rome wasn’t built in a day.
This design was intended to be cover art from my short story The Enemy within the Rings so this needed an appropriate backdrop. After learning how to create a starfield and a planet (this literally took about 30 minutes) I created this:
I’m really pleased with how this turned out – it’s not perfect but for now it’ll do and I can take what I learned to create even better artwork. I think I’ll be creating a few more of these works and using them here on the blog
(have a look at my blog page header) and updating the look of some of my stories.
I might start taking this up to create logos and art for others.
What do you guys think?