September 03, 2012

Cover for Underneath the Juniper Tree

Final Art
Underneath The Juniper Tree - The September Issue (cover)
digital painting

A few weeks back the always lovely people over at Underneath The Juniper Tree Magazine contacted me to work on their cover for The September Issue. Something creepy and fun. Honestly, how could've resisted?

To show how my creative process (usually) works, I've included in this post the final art (above), that you can see on the magazine HERE, and also the sketch and a colour study (below.)

I was giving the following to work with:"(...) something moving from summer to Autumn. Something creepy, but fun." Based on that, I submitted four different ideas, four very rough small sketches. It is important to me, from the very beginning, to name the rough sketches in a way that represent the idea behind them. This one in particular I named: Madam W. arrives and things start to fall. It works not only as a constant reminder of the idea itself, but also as a source of inspiration that constantly feeds my creativity and my interaction with the piece.
Once one of the four sketches was selected, I did four different colour studies from were I chose the one I thought best represented the mood for the piece. When doing the colour studies, I keep it loose, so I can try different schemes without getting too attached. At the end, what's important here is capturing the mood through colours, not how finely applied the colours are. That could also result in some dreadful combinations, but deciding what colours I'm definitely not using is part of this stage as well!

Colour Studies
Chosen colour scheme
As you can see, the final piece is a bit different from the initial sketch, but the overall idea still the same. I included some leaves falling and decided to get rid off the sun melting. I tweaked some elements to give it a better composition and I gave Madam M a beautiful and creepy smile. From start to finish, it is a creative dialogue with the illustration, a continuous flow that evolves and moves almost organically. Trying not to get too attached, and letting it be. It is all part of the process!

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