As usual, you can see larger versions by clicking on the picture to go to its Flickr page and then choosing “all sizes” above the picture.

(Update: Greer Gilman’s website has gone live, with a page for Cloud & Ashes)

LCRW decided they liked the dashed design but would prefer the face to be in profile. I did some tests to see if I could get the dashes around the nose without it being too hooked, then sketched up a larger version in pencil, put plain typing paper over and set to inking it.

I ended up doing more than one version to correct malformed birds and to do versions with the lines following the outline and with the lines starting more abruptly out from it. This is the final line version.

Cloud & Ashes - sepia linework

I had found a scan of some old paper online which had a nice effect, but I could not get in touch with the copyright holder to get permission to use it. Next time I went back to visit my parents I dug out some of my old books and found a page sufficiently aged and mottled to do what I wanted (I think it may have been from Mr Dalton’s Prescription, which I’ve used elsewhere since then).

I reworked the title font to make it less ambiguous (Cloud & Fishes?) and changed the font of Greer Gilman’s name (something Uncial-esque).

I scanned the final inked image, the font and the page and combined them in photoshop, fiddling with colours and levels and positioning to get a blue that I liked. Then I sent it to Kelly and Gavin, who asked for the text as a separate file. Now, the text only looked the way it did because it was combined with the other three layers, so I learned how to extract it and have been using those techniques in new ways ever since.

This is the front cover with text (my positioning – it is differently aligned on the final).

Cloud & Ashes - front

And here is the wraparound cover (before title, blurbs etc are added).

Cloud & Ashes - wraparound (no text)

I have heard that it is arriving in people’s hands!

Falling off of chairs
Roughing out of thumbnails
Anything as much fun as simply messing about in photoshop?