Anatomy of a cover design

In case anyone’s interested, here’s how I created the front cover of my graphic novel about the Antarctic Expedition.

As so often it all starts with a simple pencil drawing on nice, thick Bristol board. Well, actually not. It started with a gazillion of sketches on cheap, thin paper until I finally got it right and could transfer the final drawing onto Bristol.

Pencil sketch


Then, inking the pencil sketch. Highly dangerous because a lot can go wrong when working with nibs and ink.

Inking the penguins


Penguins, now scanned and imported into Photoshop to add some colour:



Colours, added magically in Photoshop:

Colourised Penguins


And now some filters to give it that hand-drawn, old bookplate look. I actually used Vintage Scene for this, because I find it more fun playing around with this particular app than Photoshop.



While I was waiting for the virtual ink to dry, I began with the final tweaks of the actual cover design in Adobe Illustrator, which I had prepared beforehand:

Basic Cover


And here’s the finished result:

Final Cover