Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Little Help Please!

Survey: Please visit the three sites listed and the type pages listed. Return the completed survey to or (seems there are some issues with the south email) by Saturday December 3, 2011 at midnight.

Thank you!


Please visit on or more of the following on each site:


Bookstore Main Page

Book Page

Author Page

Please answer the following questions:

1. On a scale of 1-10 how easy is MuseitUp Publishing's site to navigate?

2. On a scale of 1-10 how easy is Lyrical Press's site to navigate?

3. On a scale of 1-10 how easy is The Wild Rose Press' site to navigate?

4. Which site did you find easier to navigate and why?

5. Which site did you find the hardest to navigate and why?

6. Which site did you find had just the right amount of information on each of the pages?

7. Which site did you find had too much information on each page?

8. Which site did you feel had the best color scheme and why?

9. Which site did you feel had the worst color scheme and why?

10. Which site would you be more likely to buy a book from and why?

11. Which site would you be least likely to buy a book from and why?

12. Which site did you prefer the Author's Page on and why?

13. Which site did you prefer a Book Page on and why?

14. Two of the sites begin on the homepage of the bookstore and one on a general web page, which approach did you prefer and why?

15. Which site did you feel had the best graphics - not including covers?

16. Which site did you feel had the worst graphics - not including covers?

17. Please give a 1-5 sentence opinion on each site:

- MuseitUp Publishing

- Lyrical Press

- The Wild Rose Press

18. Which site was easiest to find contact information on?

19. Which site was hardest to find contact information on?

20. Do you purchase eBooks?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

It's Thanksgiving Goodbyes.

Yeah I know it's 9PM. But, it was really hard to find something to be thankful for this year. - My Collie I'd had for 12 years died, Professor scared the Crap out of me Tuesday, my favorite professor left the college - (he wouldn't play their stupid reindeer games), and Wednesday I was awoken to the neighbor knocking on the door saying one of my dogs was out. Went out - luckily found the one the neighbor had seen - then realized my old man was missing.

My old man was Willoglen Demons Begone or Damian. He was a show dog, but always prefered the life of a couch potato. Oh, he'd show for you if you asked - because he wanted to please you but not because he enjoyed it. I've got 2 of his sons and two of his daughters here. One I got back from the show person I swapped her to, because she was downsizing. That little girl went third at the Sheltie Nationals as a puppy in a class of over 100!

Well I went looking for the breeder's phone number - Damian is microchipped, so they'd call her. No luck. But I did find that he has a granddaughter that is a champion, and several great grandchildren that are pointed or about to start their show career. So my old boy is still their contributing to the breed I love, even if it's time for me to leave it. Shelties are barkers and my nerves just can't take it anymore. But I'm thankful that he is left a legacy on the breed. Cause every one of those grandkids and great grandkids have his beautiful head! This is Damian in his prime.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What I'm doing this weekend.

So it's Thanksgiving weekend - which I think means to professors - OH they have plenty of time to work on stuff for me. I worked on Conceptual today - here's the progress.

The Base image:

Better explain the project is to draw a temporary object or idea - I chose life. This is the Well of Souls - and this is where I left it Monday at the end of class. I finished up the stones and moved on to the next page, which is ink wash on Mylar. Death.

The third part - While the wash on Death was drying I put the second sheet of mylar on it and did another ink wash. Clotho - the spinner of the threads of life. I really like how she's coming out of the well.

Here is where I left it for the day. I'll work on it more tomorrow - thinking of adding another sheet of mylar and putting a background on it but not sure, so stopped and will let it percolate in the brain over night.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tiger Picture

Still working on this entry

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

School Work!

So when I'm not being a Cover Artist - I'm a student - this is a piece I'm working on for Conceptual Drawing. This is done completely in 2B Mechanical Pencil.

First the big picture:

What I've been doing tonight is putting in the leaves and grass details - I zoomed in to show you. Grass is made of thousands of tiny little tick marks - the closer together the darker the shadow.

And finally a distance shot.

Friday, November 4, 2011

My Process Part 3

Okay - part 3. WHEW. Until I started doing this I didn't realize exactly how much I did with a cover.

Last adjustment for this image - just darkening and lightening specific points to up his muscles and lighten her skin. I am now ready to call the couple done and take them into the cover blank.

Well what fairy tale would be right without a castle. All I've done here is trimmed out a lot of unneeded sections - like the cliff it was hanging off of and the tourist that were on the railing at the bottom. Looks okay but still not a wow factor.

I duplicated the castle did a few adjustments on it and adjusted the blending mode. Now I'm happy with it.

What's next? Putting in the title and author's name. Every single title I do a cover for starts with a very basic text in white. This will not be the final placement or style of the text - but it's a good starting point. It allows me to go - What should I emphasis in the title? Where's a good spot for it? What type of font should I use?

Stay tuned - finalizing the type and finishing are the last thing.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My Process - Part 2

Okay back to work...

Here I did another Hue/Saturation filter just to give it a Tiny bit more depth and I liked how it darkened her hair. Why? Because our heroine is supposed to be a black haired beauty.

Here I played with color balance. I can't remember exactly what I did, but liked the effect.

Here I wanted to get rid of a really light strand of hair - so I painted over it with black and reduced the opacity to get it right.

Here I had to up the contrast because in making her hair darker I had made all the highlights in his hair go away.

Next time we add Muscle tone - not that he isn't already BUT a little retouching never hurt anyone. See ya next time.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My Process Part 1

For some reason folks are interested in my process for creating covers. So this will be pretty much a step by step of how the images turn into a cover - minus the boring tedious details. You can click on the images to see pretty much a full size.

First this cover is for A Christmas Sleeping Beauty by Lindsay Townsend. Will what you see here end up as the final cover? I don't know it's up to Lindsay. I'm just using it as an example.

First I select the image. I usually start with finding the people, because they take longer. For this one I needed a medieval feel to the couple. Thankfully I had bought this months before from Romance Novel Covers The hero needed to be wearing a jerkin so I lucked out! It's hard to find good period pictures of couples. But like all pictures of people it has a few problems - some bumps on the faces, freckles, a surgery scar on his elbow - those HAD to go.

I used the spot healing brush to get rid of those ugly scars, freckles and bumps. Much better. But there are still veins and minor imperfections on the skin. Well these are Romance Novel Characters! They have to be better than real life!! So next step

A little use of the dust filter in photoshop and voila no more veins! Now they look good.

Now I start playing with adjustments. These are very powerful tools in Photoshop so if you want to play with them tread lightly. This is a curve adjustment - where I adjusted the amount of light.

Now I'm playing with Hue and Saturation. This is the first of those levels. See how much deeper and richer the image is getting?

Okay that's it for this post. I'll be back soon with Part 2 - and I'm still working on this couple.