This is the cover I illustrated for Camille S. Campbell's magical middle-grade adventure novel, The Wishner's Masquerade, which is the second book in The Wishner trilogy.
Camille described the main character, Janet, turning towards the viewer while wearing a dress made of red chiffon that looks like flames, a velvet jacket, and a mask. Behind her is the city of Wishdonius, and flying in the sky is an armored griffin.
I had never drawn a griffin before, much less an armored one, so I was a tad intimidated by this. I looked at other artists' drawings of griffins, as well as photographs of tigers and eagles, for inspiration. Here are the three rough sketches I sent.
Camille was concerned that the griffin looked a bit menacing when he was supposed to be the heroine's companion. So we tried a few more poses to get a more protective feel.
Camille liked the second sketch, so I sent a color rough. Since the brief already called for a flame colored dress and a sunset, that was an easy jumping off point.
When Camille approved the color sketch, I went to final. I knew from the previous cover that Camille is very fond of sparkles, so I made sure to add some extra sparkles in the foreground. The ones on the dress are pretty subtle though, more of a shimmer.
I'm particularly proud of the way the designs in the armor and the velvet jacket turned out.
While I've made this process sound fairly streamlined in this blog post, it actually look me a few months. It was one of the first commissions I tackled after having baby #2. Usually I pride myself on my speed and cult-like devotion to deadlines, but last year kicked my butt so bad. Here, check out this reference photo I took for the main character's hand:
Why was it taken in the dark? Because I was working at night. If I adjust the levels to lighten the background you can see...
...a bassinet, where a tineh bebeh was surely sleeping!
Anyway much thanks to Camille for her patience with me during this process! She was even kind enough to send me a signed copy of the book! <3 <3 <3
The Wishner's Masquerade is available now!