I thought as my first blog post I would do a breakdown of a children's book cover that I did, from the first thumbnail to the finished artwork. It was a fun project - the brief was a wrap-around cover showing the main character (an imp called Little Devil) looking down through some clouds at the children he had befriended in the story. The client wanted lots of colour and lots of details from the story included on the cover.
1) The first thumbnail I drew was mainly an attempt to work out how the high angle would work.
2) Showing the children using their flying capes allowed me to bring them closer to the Devil character and the viewer. I added lots of details from the story like dandelion seeds and flying cups and saucers.
3) The client wanted a troll added to the back cover and for one of the children to be riding a horse instead of a bicycle. While adding these details I was also contantly making adjustments to the overall composition. Because this was a self-publishing project, I was also going to help the client with the design, and we were unsure whether the idea of using the picture-frame as a text-box on the back cover would work. We began to realise that it might restrict the space available for text too much.
4) I continued to make adjustments while drawing the illustration up onto tracing paper. The older girl character on the front cover needed to look more 'girly'. The composition of houses and the text box on the back were also adjusted.
5) Once we were happy with the illustration I began to do the underpainting in watercolour.
6) The design for the cover has still not been finalised, but I'll add a work-in-progress version of it here to show the final illustration with all the design elements in place. I hand-lettered the title after not finding a font that seemed to suit the illustration well enough. Once the final design has been agreed on I'll post an update!