The images here are the thumbnail roughs I sent to Kelly at LCRW for the cover of Greer Gilman’s novel Cloud & Ashes. As usual, you can see a larger version by clicking on the picture (which will take you to the image on Flickr) and then clicking on “all sizes” above the picture.

I did a very small freehand scratchboard sketch and then added colour in Photoshop, sampling the colour and texture from this old painting. We did not run with this style, for several reasons including the rather distracting face (it was a sketch!), but I still quite like the shadow-birds and the effect of the rough orange at the edges of the lower left image.

Roughs for Cloud & Ashes cover 1-scratchboard

The next four show a few different styles:
Top left: pencil coloured in Photoshop.
Top right: sepia ink coloured in Photoshop. The hair in this one does fun things when run through Photoshop filters.
Bottom left: sepia ink coloured in Photoshop and textured with an old page. My favourite part is the birds running off with the stars.
Bottom right: sepia ink coloured in Photoshop. Too bold for the book, but I do like this one – maybe for a book of legends about constellations.

Roughs for Cloud & Ashes cover 2-ink

This month’s blog header is a variation on the top right of the above:

May blog header

I can’t remember why I decided on the technique for the next piece. It features hundreds of little dashes drawn in sepia ink with a dip pen, then scanned and layered in various ways with a scan of a yellowed page.

Roughs for Cloud & Ashes cover 3-inkdash

Finally, this version was painted with a brush on a nice heavy drawing paper (everything else was on plain printing paper). I did the lettering separately and combined the layers after scanning, then fiddled with lighting and contrast.

Roughs for Cloud & Ashes cover 4-inkwash

Falling off of chairs
Roughing out of thumbnails

Next: At work on the final