Sunday, January 22, 2017

Cover art

While I’m in the thickets of the critiquing and editing jungle on The Ashes of Home, I decided to get ahead of the game and start thinking about cover art.

Like I did for Ghosts of Innocence, I’ve roughed out some concept drafts and I’m looking for your thoughts. I expect I’ll get lots of contradictory views (like I did last time) but any observations are food for thought.

Some of the things I want to convey are: Far future, space travel, sci-fi, military, adventure, intrigue. But what do these covers say to you?

#1 - Imperial frigate Vixen on Eloon

#2 - The death of Admiral George Leonard

#3 - Visiting the arctic prison

Note - these are rough drafts, the execution is pretty sketchy and don’t pay any attention to the font choice. I just find it easier to imagine an image as a book cover when it’s got an actual title and author name on it. The purpose here is to get a feel for the concepts and eventually to pick one to flesh out properly.

For comparison, here’s the equivalent sketch for Ghosts of Innocence alongside the actual cover, so you can see how things might develop along the way:


  1. The first one feels very retro.
    Seconds one conveys it best to me. Third probably the least, as it is the least science fiction.

  2. I like the first one but it seems too passive for the cover. I'd vote for the second one.

  3. Hi Ian - interesting ... I don't like the first one - the 'truck' looks dinky like ... but I'd go for the 2nd one, or the 3rd ... perhaps I'd recolour the cape, and tone the vehicle's lights down - wish I could draw though - congratulations on these .. cheers Hilary

  4. Hi Ian. First, I so admire that you can do your own sketches. How good that is when designing covers. With the Ghosts of Innocence covers, definitely the second one.

  5. Thanks for your comments, folks. Looks like there is a clear preference for #2 emerging. Just to be clear, the Ghosts of Innocence pictures are there to show the evolution from this kind of draft to final cover.

  6. The second one jumped out and screamed sci-fi. The other two didn't excite me. Great job with the artwork on all of them.


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