Today we conclude this trilogy of process posts for the cover of my upcoming sketchbook anthology, Visions of Whence.


For a look back at how far we’ve made it you can see the first and second posts.

As a quick refresher, here are the thumbnail and digital rough along with the first pass at the drawing.

Ok! On to the final work.

The original drawing has a sky but I decided to work from an earlier scan before I had added in clouds. Why? I knew I wanted to watercolor something for the sky and put it all together in the final digital work.

Once in Photoshop I removed the color of the paper and punched up the drawing just a touch.

From there I blocked in the entire shape.

Then I went through each figure on a separate layer and blocked in a flat color for the shape. This allowed me to quickly and easily go back and select just the area on which I meant to work.

Once complete I started to normalize the colors and bit and I played with the overall feel.

Truthfully, at this stage I very nearly threw it all out the window and just went monochromatic. It was so close at this stage anyway, would that have been so wrong? Probably not but it would have been a cop-out! I set to out to realize this image in color and that’s what I was going to do.

There’s a watercolor sky dropped in there now and I’ve begun to push the color a bit more.

And now we’ve arrived at the finished piece! I might go back tinker with a few small things but there you have it. All told I think it was four solid days worth of digital painting.

So what’s all this for, anyway?

Well! Visions of Whence is an upcoming hardcover sketchbook anthology collecting my first five sketchbooks. I’ve done one a year for quite a while now and it’s high time I start to put these things into a nice, larger format. This volume is about 300 pages so think just about any copy of Spectrum for a size comparison.

I’ll be launching the Kickstarter on June 1st.

Until then, I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at the creation of the cover these last couple of posts. Thanks for following along!