I recently finished a cover illustration and design for the third book in a trilogy. This final book is called The Time Garden. I made it using my digital tablet which I am still learning how to use effectively, and this is how it turned out.
I particularly like the bear, but then again who doesn’t like bears?
I often find that I have several commissions on the go at any one time for book cover designs and illustrations, but things have been a bit quiet of late so I have been keeping busy with other things, which has been fun too. I don’t often get to make things for my own pleasure so it has been nice to have the opportunity to do so once again.
One of the first things I made was an oil painting of a friend’s dog. The dog is called Gandalf. It is only a small painting – about 7 x 8 inches – and I had not used oils in a very long time. As much as I can see all the faults in the picture I was still happy with the result and it got me painting again. I have always loved to paint animals as they are so free and beautiful. Here is the finished result.
One thing I really enjoy about art and the making of it is the idea that leads to it. Sometime the idea is more important to me than the finished item. And sometimes I have had an idea for years and years before realising exactly how I need to execute it. One idea I’ve had for a while but which I only thought to draw very recently was the one below.
A ring of truth. Now, wouldn’t one of those be handy?
I’ve also begun work on a logo for my book cover design and illustration business. The only names for the business that came to mind were either Dharkness Designs or Dean Harkness Designs. In designing the logo I seemed to settle on the second of those names. The letters DHD lent themselves nicely to a design representing a book cover, and this is what I have made so far.
The H represents the spine of a book, and the corners represent crop marks. I’m quite happy with it and it felt like it had a fairly organic genesis. I need to convert it into a digital image suitable for printing and resizing etc., but have been having issues with the pen tool in Photoshop. It’s a tricksy little bugger, but brilliant when it works. I’ll sort it out soon.
It’s always a good feeling to actually draw something one has thought about for a very long time. I sometimes find that the reason I haven’t drawn, or painted, or sculpted these ideas is because of the amount of work I think may be involved, and yet in nearly every case they do not take as long as I think they will, and they don’t exactly feel like work anyway. I think I can be like that about a lot of things – always worrying about what will be involved in doing the thing I want to do rather than looking forward to the thing itself. I really must learn to get over that, or I may never do anything ever again!
I’ve noticed recently a lot of the time when I share something online that many people think it is just something I have found on the Net and am sharing just for the fun of it rather than realising it is my own work. I have always been very resistant to watermarking things partly because it doesn’t look so great, but also because it’s a bit of a pain to have to do it. Something else I need to get over.
If you would like to see more of my Book Cover Designs and Illustrations plus lots more then please do visit my site: http://deanharkness.co.uk/ and feel free to leave a comment or contact me for more information.
What do you do for you own pleasure when not pursuing your dream or working for ‘the man’?