Friday, February 25, 2011

The Whitefire Crossing

A recent cover piece here. This is the all oils version, though the printed cover will have some glowy red magic effects added where the figure touches to the tree. Story-wise, he's absorbing life from the living tree and the tree is blackening from his touch. This is how I picture it as described in the book, very subtle and quiet. For a cover to code as fantasy though, it was a bit too subtle. It was something we talked back and forth a bit, and in the end I think I prefer the original version as a painting though the more overtly magical certainly works better for the cover. Thanks to Photoshop, everybody wins :)



16x24, oil on illustration board

*edit* here's the digital retouch version as it was approved for print:

13 comments:

Matthew said...

Looks great Dave. I would love to see how it finally ends up with text and effects in place.

Autumn said...

Really lovely Dave. I like the subtle touch, but it'll definitely be interesting to see the 'sweetened' version they use for print.

ces said...

Beautiful!

Yes, please post the final cover version.

(I do so love snow!)

Shillien said...

Super! Very beautiful!

Dana said...

Gorgeous work, man. I'm so happy I stumbled upon your blog today.
Very inspirational. I look forward to more :D

Todd said...

It's a great painting. Love the tension as they work they're way down the snow bank.

Scott Altmann said...

nice composition dude! Would like to see the other version too...

Courtney said...

Wanted to chime in as the author of The Whitefire Crossing and say I am beyond thrilled with Dave's work! You hear all these horror stories from other authors about cover art (traditionally authors have no say in it) - I feel incredibly lucky to have gotten such a beautiful cover that depicts my characters so well. You rock, Dave!

D Palumbo said...

Thanks everyone, and thanks Courtney! It was a pleasure to work on, looking forward to reading book two :D

ces said...

For me, that red looks totally out of place.

RB said...

Dave, I'm curious - how much of a book do you read before doing a cover? A couple sample chapters, more?

And on the art, I'd agree the first version is more artistic, but the second works better as a cover. My guess is the red will make it "pop" more on the shelf and catch the eye of a casual browser. I'd pick it up just to find out what the hell's going on with that tree.

D Palumbo said...

yeah, it really needed something that very clearly said "fantasy", and though swords are the usual go-to on that, they would have been a completely out of place solution in this particular book.

As far as how much I read, it depends. I try to read as much as possible, so the whole thing when time allows. That was the case on this one and the past few Night Shade covers I've done (which is doubly important as I'm sort of art directing myself on these, though the editor in chief is acting as co-AD too). On particularly short deadline jobs, I might read a few key excerpts selected by the editor and/or author to get the scene and a few chapters to get the tone. Occasionally I'll just go purely on the editor and art director's notes and whatever specific descriptions the author sends. Though I feel I can make more interesting choices and am much more enthusiastic the more thoroughly I know the book.

xi'an said...

Very nice cover: it made me buy the book right away! And I enjoyed the story very much for its mix of climbing and fantasy... Just a remark that, in mountaineering, the most experienced climber would be above rather below the inexperienced one!