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Cover Design: Play Time

A play-time cover design idea for Healer's Touch
Mock-up cover design for “Healer’s Touch”

I decided to try my hand at putting together a mock-up cover design of my own making. I’m no qualified graphic designer by any means, but I had fun, and I quite like the results. Of course, in a year or two I may look back and wonder what I was thinking … who knows.

It doesn’t quite achieve the mood I’m after (although, it’s close), and I still have to finish the sketch of the girl – but that is taking ages on account of me having limited writing/drawing time and trying to fit both in. I think there is an “airiness” I’m missing, or something … something a little spooky, and/or sexy … But, it’s close to the image that hijacked my brain when I first read the title.

Anyway, it’s an example of what can be achieved by following instructions from GIMP tutorials.

The girl needs a little more work to complete her – more shadows to bring out the facial features and the like, a little more work on the hair, some details added to the dress, and I’m flip-flopping on the lace under-layer … It’s pretty hard to get right, so it’s very tempting to remove. But, I also quite like it … Choices, choices …

Anyway, it’s a starting point.

Anyone got any opinions?

Young Love: Spring is on its way

Garden ornament of an elderly couple cuddling on a garden bench
Love Springs Eternal

A completely un-writerly post from me. Just thought I’d lift the mood from the trials and tribulations of writing and genetics and multiplying and such, and take a moment to notice that the daffodils are making their bid for spring garden domination. See, there’s one in this photo (centre).

I noticed them the other day when I was driving home. The lovely people who keep Dunedin city’s large grassy areas trim leave the daffodils to grow at this time of year. It might not be all neat and tidy, but it’s lovely when those yellow flowers get going.

I’m looking forward to it.

Especially the smell of the jonquil variety … that’s my fave (just so as you know …)

Oh, and the toddler has Chicken Pox. Joy. (Ah well, it’s meant to be good to get it out of the way early, right?) He’s actually doing really well. I’d like a less broken sleep, though.

For you curious folk: Photo taken on a Samsung Galaxy Ace (no, not Pro), running Android 2.3.5 and editted in GIMP manually (adding layers, editting colours, adding a frame and the like …).

The before and after versions
After and Before – ’cause I’m backwards like that

Today’s Project

Today I started work on an image I hope to work up to a standard that I could handle putting on my cover for “Healer’s Touch”, if a better alternative doesn’t present itself. So, rather than a bunch of words, here’s a bunch of images.

Early development image
I sketched this far in Artrage Pro

I really wanted to like ArtRage – and I do! – but I am finding GIMP preferable for this sort of work.

Read more…Today’s Project

A partially complete drawing

Sometimes things just take too darn long to do. Here is my partially completed drawing of Braph:

Close up of antagonist, Braph
Braph Close up

Actually,  it’s only part of the picture. The whole picture shows him crouching in front of a fire. It’s taking me ages to do, but I thought I’d share what I’d been up to recently, anyway. He’s my “bad guy”. Not bad looking, eh? He’s not all bad. I’m kind of coming to like him – as a “villain”, anyway. He’s not exactly a good guy, but he’s not inherently evil, either.

Anyway, by the time I finish the picture, I will have spent many, many hours on it. And it still won’t be perfect. But I won’t know how to fix it without starting all over. And then I think I will draw a picture of Llewella. And then I need to get back to the one of Braph and Llewella. I like the image in my head of that one. Of course, the finished product will never look as good. I wish I could show it to you. One day, when they come up with technology that let’s us project our head-images onto paper, or into a computer. Hmm …

I think I may be awake too late.

Night night.


[Pic]Still Learning, but thought I’d share, anyway

Portrait of Jonas
Jonas Sketch

See, I have this vision of starting up a website where I write my story accompanied by pictures (kind of a graphic novel), and then sell the novel, graphic novel, poster-quality images, etc. to those people who want them. I figure it’s a way of me doing what I want to do and maybe making  a little pocket money from it. In order to do that, though, I need to get a heck of a lot better at drawing – in particular, drawing efficiently.

I hope this picture is a sign that I am on my way. It’s meant to be a representation of what my character, Jonas, might look like.

A starting point…

This is my first drawing on my tablet PC. I think it is an improvement on the original, but I still have work to do.

I did Llew’s eyes a little manga-like before deciding to go a more normal size for Jonas (thanks Ian Somerhalder for being a fab eye/eyebrow-model). I now need to work on Jonas’ -tattoo (it is important to the story) and, of course, his knife- I have less experience drawing inanimate objects, particularly shiny ones…  As for the horses, however… (I spent my entire childhood drawing horses)

J & L

Anyway, I work best with visual cues, so am in the process of setting myself up a highly visual version of my story in LibreOffice. Not that I don’t still love yWriter, but I need stuff just to be there in front of me , so I think a doc making high use of text boxes & pictures will be the ticket for me.

For those wanting the technical details, I drew this in GIMP 2.6 on an Asus Eee slate. The original image was composed in DAZ 3D, just so I could set up the pose for myself (I haven’t done enough people-drawing to be able to draw from my head well).