POE progress: Updated!



  • Hey all, I'm trying not to wait until the last minute to work on this piece. Here is my sketches... thoughts?

    Poe 1 sm.jpg



  • Oh man, I thought this was just supposed to be a front cover (not the back, spine and front). I posed the question in the main announcement thread so I hope to hear back from Aaron. I'm glad you shared this with us so I can get some clarification!

    As to the piece: I like your Poe illustration--it really captures his likeness!

    I also really like the idea of the cat scratching his name. From the sketch I'm not sure who the girl (?) is supposed to be/represent. Is it from a certain story of his or is it there to push the creepiness factor?



  • Hey Matt (@mattramsey)
    The assignment doesn't call for a full cover but I decided to challenge myself and see what I could come up with. After reading several of the stories I decided to use Poe's 'The Black Cat' as a focal point for this cover. So in the story the cat is found sitting on a dead ladies head.

    Oh man, I thought this was just supposed to be a front cover (not the back, spine and front). I posed the question in the main announcement thread so I hope to hear back from Aaron. I'm glad you shared this with us so I can get some clarification!

    As to the piece: I like your Poe illustration--it really captures his likeness!

    I also really like the idea of the cat scratching his name. From the sketch I'm not sure who the girl (?) is supposed to be/represent. Is it from a certain story of his or is it there to push the creepiness factor?


  • administrators

    Hey Katrina,

    very nice start as always! Now, since you have won a 3rd Thursday I'm going to ask more of you. What I'd like to see on your first pitch is multiple concepts. At least three. And take them to a presentation level, even on the rough.

    Think about it like this, you are pitching three comps to a client. You need to have three totally different directions that are all pitched at the same time. This is standard in book cover work and I think you are good for it. The great thing about pitching mulitple options is that it really lets people talk about the work. With only one option, sometimes it's tough to really see if it's working or not.

    The ingredients to your pitch should be:

    • 3 different ideas
    • Show each cover with a border
    • Talk a little bit about each concept to let the client know your direction

    Here's a sample of comps and finished art for a book I did last year called "electricity".

    Electricity-comps.jpg
    Electricity-final-4.jpg



  • Hey Lee,

    I'm all over this extended challenge! squeek! I was so stoked to get working that I whipped up these for a 2nd set of idea sketches. Thanks for the extra push I appreciate it. And thank you for sharing your comps it's a huge help!
    ~Katrina

    V2-1.jpg

    Now 'grumpy kitty'

    V2-2.jpg



  • I hope i don't seem like a too much of a shmuck for mentioning that it is "Allan" with two "a's"...love your work!



  • These look great. I like the expression on the first cat's face the best and I think I prefer the muted colors in that piece better too.



  • These are great Katrina! I do like the second cover, it definitely captures the story, and would grab my attention if sitting on a shelf in a bookstore


  • administrators

    Lovely!

    Watch the tangent at the cat's left ear and the guys leg.

    Can't wait to see what your finish is gonna be!



  • @Lee-White here are my three comps. I'm not sure I took them to a complete enough 'rough' so I'm looking for feed back there. I'm actually glad a client would get to choose cause I like them all. And might just take them all to finish!! LOL. Thoughts and feedback are appreciated. ~Katrina

    3 in 1 POE_V2.jpg



  • I love your fist image composition however I think the 3rd one has stronger concept. I thought what if you have the cat wrap its tail around his neck completely and maybe the cat is turning away from the viewer but staring at the fire? I think it will draws a lot of more attention because the cat face is absent, and it is directing the viewers to the fire.



  • @Katrina-Fowler Hmmm, I think I like the first one the best. But it was hard to choose :)



  • @Katrina-Fowler All wonderful. My preferences would be #1 then #2. The first has a very interesting composition, with a dramatic and unsettling feel. #2 Also an interesting concept (love the cat clawing Poes name) - but am unsure if cat is supposed to be standing on woman's head? Might be better without her, or make it very obvious that he is doing that. #3 seems like an ordinary composition. But has the possibility of being interesting as there are many elements to render. Might be better to make the expression of man, more deliberately sinister, evil, while perhaps the creatures, either look more happy, or blissfully unaware ? Love the fire background.



  • I think the first one is the most dramatic of your latest efforts. Well done!



  • These are all great Katrina! - I lean toward the first one - only reaction I would give is that I would love to see how it would look with a slightly more realistic cat eye - to have the single eye follow us around could be quite haunting - an expressionless eye too would have a nice effect in that we could project our own feelings onto the cat and the situation he is in - looks great though!



  • Another vote for the first one from me - I love the dramatic slant of the composition, the one-eyed cat, the hangman in silhouette. Captures the dark essence of Poe. The third one is beautifully drawn but all those cute animals don't really say 'Poe' to me, as lovely as they are. The second one is a really interesting idea, love the text being scratched out...if you take this one further, personally I would try to separate the cat's bottom from the girl's head to make it read a bit better..eg extend the legs a little more.... also just an idea, don't know if it would work but you could tweak the viewpoint so that you're looking down on the cat a little more...might allow you to show a cat's eye glinting, and maybe create some more mystery about the dead lady's head (which is the final scene after all).

    Sorry this is turning into a long comment! I really like the first one best, if taking that one further I think it would look really nice to do some rim lighting on the cat (using the light coming from the doorway), would be nice and dramatic. Lovely work overall, looking forward to the next instalment :-)



  • So I think I'm going to call this finished. Could I spend another 20 hours on this? Yes. But I'm rather burnt out on this piece. I watched SVS's class on how to paint fur and think I still need to work on it a bit more. I also know my man is way out proportion. I have to complete 10 traditional paintings in less than a month and need to get started so my focus needs to be else where for now. Thank you all for your feed back. I'm sorry I couldn't respond to all the comments.

    Katrina Fowler_Poe Cover_sm.jpg



  • @Katrina-Fowler I know you called it done, but I have an easy suggestion - make the text more contrasting, Title is hard to read and bottom text is too close to border and even harder to read, imagine it on the shelf.



  • @Jiří-Kůs Thanks for the suggestion. I finished it late in the night and all the colors looked more vivid but now in the day light it looks too dark. So I fixed it and a few other things.

    Katrina Fowler_Poe Cover_sm2.jpg



  • Incredible!! That cat and the whole dynamic is just rocking! Really awesome! Love how you did the fur.


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