Cover art walkthrough – Sword’s call

Not really a walkthrough, more a journalling of the steps taken.


I did about 6 thumbnails, but am considering the possibility of recycling the poses for futures covers in the series or other paintings, so I’m keeping them to myself for now. I did a couple of scrappy pencil sketches as well which I discarded as I didn’t like them.

Sketch Thumbnail


I gathered lots of reference photos and drew up the sketch. I had trees, faces, castles, rocks, wolves, swords, armour…

Trees are evil, I ended up simplifying some parts and detailing others. I worked closely with references, but there were a lot of random guesses :D Anyone who saw me photographing random trees in my pjs (I was in the back yard!) would have seriously wondered what I was doing.

Detailed Sketch

Colour tests

I did up a few different colour studies and allowed the client to choose

colour test 1

colour test 2

colour test 3

colour test 4

Final image

And yes, all those trees and rocks will likely end up covered with text. Also, yes the characters are set far back, but you have to plan for text, and printing bleed.

Swords Call book cover

Swords Call book cover – print version

Final image as it will appear on the ebook

Swords Call - Cover design

Swords Call – Cover design (Text/ layout work done by the publisher)




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