Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Jacket sketch for Old Red Shoe

As I blogged about here, recently I finished the illustrations for my book What Can You Do with an Old Red Shoe?... the next step after the interior illustrations are painted is to make a jacket sketch. Some people do this earlier on I think, but I tend to always do it last, after the characters have been worked out and I know what the inside of the book is going to look like.

For this book, I thought the jacket sketch should reflect the fact that most of the interior illustrations are spots, so I started by sketching some spots of the characters here:

The interior layout also has a lot of borders that tie each spread together. Again I thought the jacket should refelct the interior design by having a border too, so I loosely sketched these outlines around the spots I'd drawn (on a seperate piece of tracing paper):

Once I scanned the sketch and opened it in Photoshop, I added some tones to the background border:

Combining all elements, I came up with a few different variations for the jacket:

Here I reduced the amount of characters on the layout, and blew them up a bit:

Here I did an additional border, to see what that would look like:

Now I wait to see what my editor says! Which one do you like best?


Meghan McCarthy said...

Love it! Good luck w/the editor.

I'm disgruntled when it comes to covers, but you already know that....


laurasalas said...

These are lovely--thanks for sharing them. I like the middle one best--just the right amount of open space for me:>)

gail said...

Fun to see! I like #2 best.

Thanks for sharing,

Susan Sandmore said...

Very nice! I can't decide between one and two. I think I like one best, just because the characters seem a little tiny bit too big in two?

Thanks for sharing!

Elaine Magliaro said...


I like the first one best.

Christine Tripp said...

Anna, I REALLY LIKE the last example best!!!:)
I'm not sure about the font, only cause I keep reading "Do" as "Da"... my dyslexia probably isn't helping the situation:)

Erik Brooks said...

I like no. 3 as well Anna. The chicken, as in No. 1 is a perfect fit in her spot, and the balance and space with the single border feels very nice.

So here's another idea: Take it for what it's worth in the greater context of the book - which I only know from your postings of course ... what if the characters were each adding something to the "old read shoe" as it passed around the circle? We'd see the "re-use" of the shoe and likely additional items in action?

Too many cooks :)

Anna Alter said...

Hey guys- Thanks for the comments and ideas. I like the second one myself, I'm curious what Holt will say. Jackets are such a balancing act between communicating a lot of info about what the book is about and making a clear, bold statement.

MotherReader said...

Funny how everyone has a different favorite. I'm partial to sketch #2.

I really love these posts where you show your process. Don't stop.

Libby Koponen said...

Anna, these are beautiful! I can't really pick a favorite but if I had to: #2 (because the little bear is at the bottom and he really grounds it for me) but I miss the hula-hooping bunny!

Christine Tripp said...

What I hate about doing a cover is I'm always asked to supply it before any of the interiors are even sketched. I don't have a feel for the book yet, don't know the characters, but the cover is needed for the catalogue! If I had my druthers I would like to do it last, after I have gotten to know the story. It must be very different though if your both author/illustrator.
Still am lov'n number 3!:)

sruble said...

I like the first one best. Thanks for sharing your process - I hope the editor picks one soon.