The white cat: a step by step guide to the cover

step1 draw draw drawstep2 researchstep3 draw some morestep 4 paint step5 laptop timeLRstep6-c1.jpgzthe_white_catfin.jpg

Step 1: Go nuts. The cover was definitely going to have a cat on it, so I doodled cats, lots and lots of them. Snooty cats, cool cats, sex kittens anything goes at this stage.

Step 2: Get a little more serious. Do some research. Look at other bookcovers, typography, any elements that might feature. The story has some floating hands in it (weird I know) so I looked at hands, I thought I might like to put a pattern in the background so I looked at some folksy patterns. I like to use Pinterest and Instagram. On Pinterest you can make a secret board that only you can see, it’s a good way to keep all your reference together and not bore your friends with your random Pinterest searches. It is important to remember though that it should be referenced and not copied. For this reason I like to get a wide range of references, so that I end up being inspired by all kinds of things, rather than getting stuck on one artists style.

Step 3: Plan and draw. This is where I look at my crazy doodles, my reference and the story and plan and draw. I do a rough scamp of what I want the cover to look like, I also think about colours and mediums I’d like to use.

Step 4: I wanted to do a combination of digital and hand drawn art, so I painted some textures, patterns and lettering.

Step 5: Put it all on your computer and start putting it together. I used Photoshop for this cover. I traced my own scamp digitally and then added textures and the hand lettering and patterns.

Step 6: Once you have it all there, start playing around. Try different sizes and colours. I played with giving the kitty a flower crown, but decided a vector gold crown works better. At this stage I like to do different versions and then decide which one works best. Sometimes it’s good to take a break and then come back to it later and look at it again with fresh eyes.

And Voila once you’re happy go have a cup of tea or a G&T.

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