November 3rd Thursday "The Black Cat"

  • Ah this is dark and this is love. Poe had a lot of dramatical experience in his life, losing love ones and dealing with poverty in his older age. It seems his dark stories draw my attention the most because they really reflect his life. I chose "The Black Cat" for this book cover challenge. Here some of my rough sketches and ideas. Comments, critiques or anything welcome! Thank you.

    1. I want to show how the main character trying to tell the truth about who the real murder was. It was always about black cat that seemed to drive his violence. So I have the cat drew the murder chalk outline with a split head from the axe in the story.
    2. This one is about guilt. When a cat wrap its tail around you it means it shows you affection and trust, and in this one I want to show how he took away one of the cat eyes, and felt guilty after remembering all the affection he had from the cat.
    3. Having hard time trying to tell the story about being controlled by demonic force here. I want to show how he was controlled by the evil force and instead of killing the cat he chopped his wife in the head.
    4. No one had a clue how the house was on fire in the first place, but the story hinted that the cat was behind the fire because the main character abused the cat and maybe it wanted revenge. As a result, the house was on fire.

  • Naroth, you have done a really well thought out job here! They are all good, I can't pick one!! Lee is really going to like the way you planned it out, great job!

  • Wow, i love both your first two sketches. Well done, I think monochrome or tritone color palette would work really well for your designs, cant wait to see more.

  • SVS OG

    It will be great to see where this goes 🙂 i couldn't read black cat past him taking the eye lol

  • @Naroth-Kean said:

    1. I want to show how the main character trying to tell the truth about who the real murder was. It was always about black cat that seemed to drive his violence. So I have the cat drew the murder chalk outline with a split head from the axe in the story.

    I love your planning, thought process, and wonderful preliminary sketch/compositions. Your results always seem to be wonderful.

    However as for the first sketch - I don't see a cat (I see a crow) and it looks like he is dangling a person hanging off a piece of string (is it a cat dangling?). I don't see a chalk outline. Did you upload the wrong sketch?

    I don't think I would be able to choose which concept of yours that I prefer - they are all wonderful!

    Thanks to you (and the storytelling class, and the composition class, and the etc, etc classes) - I am going to try also doing a process like this. I usually jump right in, way too soon.

  • SVS OG

    @Naroth-Kean I love the thought and the sensitivity with which you are thinking about this. Concept-wise, I think the most arresting/eye-catching image for me is #2. I like the intertwining of the face and the cat, the directness of the face staring straight out. One thing that jumps out at me from seeing these sketches is that I don't know where you intend the text to go or how it will interact with the image - they said that was an important part of this challenge, so would be good to see how you would develop that side of things.

    @Nancy-Gormezano At first glance I saw a beak too, but on closer look and judging from the description it's a cat's claw. Maybe that could be a way to develop it into a double reference - the claw and raven's beak combined in one shape perhaps....

  • Thank you guys for the input and much appreciate. Yes i'm leaning toward the 1st or 2nd but obvious not number 3 haha.
    @Steve-Young I love your color idea! Thanks!
    @Nancy-Gormezano for the first image that suppose to be cat claw, I guess I need to make it a bit more claw like.
    @Dulcie Chalk outline, cat tail, puppet sting or staircase and flame would become the text. I'm pretty bad with text design.
    I will come up with a tighter sketch process. Thanks again!

  • I think that #1 has the most potential. I like the concept and think the sketch is cool. It did seem "beak-like" to me as well but I know that the final version would clarify that.

    To me, #2 could almost be a Hallmark card about a man loving his cat or one of those "ha ha who is in control the cat or the human amirite haha!" cards. If you pushed the concept for #2 it could work: the tail could be digging into his skin, his one eye would be open in surprise/fear, his other eye pressed uncomfortably shut, the rest of his face in terror, etc.

    The man could be Poe himself (I think the challenge prompt mentioned that we should reference his likeness in some way).

    I don't know if you would need the cat's head in the shot.

    Another point: is the prompt about a collection of stories or just one story? If the judges want to see a cover for a collection then this might not meet the criterion. Just something to watch out for.

  • SVS OG

    Adding my vote to #1

  • One or three. I'm tied on which. I thinking I'm leaning more towards one, but both are really strong.


  • SVS OG

    I'm kind of an odd one I guess, but I really like #4. They're all great concept-wise, so which ever you choose will be cool. I'll be excited to see what you end up doing!

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    really liking these. Can't wait to see where you go with them!

  • facebook log in is not working again.
    Here my take on the first concept but this time I combined with the 4th idea. Second image was done first. @Thrace-Shirley-Mears Thanks Thrace for the paw advice for the second image.
    Edgar-Allan-Poe2.jpg Edgar-Allan-Poe.jpg

  • SVS OG

    Looking great Naroth!! I think you need to round out the paw a little bit more, and make the toes less defined if that makes sense? It is almost reading as 4 legs with a paw and claw apiece. I love how you have illustrated the fire!

  • @Lynn-Larson, Thank you so much Lynn and yes I totally see what you mean. That's a great image to work on!

  • So glad Lynn sent you this picture. It will really help your cat paw. I love the updated image with the house! So much stronger concept I think. Great work!!

  • SVS OG

    @naroth-kean227 I know you will make it your own with your great style 🙂

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    very good crit you guys. And of course, the image is coming along nicely! Posting the reference was great! Two things to observe with the cats paw (as well as our own hands!):

    • When seen from above, the shape of the claws follows an arc. Using this, you can place the claws around the paw, or on humans you can track the knuckles using the same arc idea.

    • The shape of claw is pulling down and pulling back. The actual claw will dive into the object it is scraping (I know this from my own ripped up arms due to my 3 kittens!). So you really need to get that force in there and make us feel that resistance and shredding of the material.

    Keep goin! This is gonna be awesome!! demo.jpg

  • Thank you so much everyone. Now it is clear to me about this paw/claw/nails of a cat haha. I'm going to work on it till it looks right! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • @Lee-White, I really love the idea of the Force and Below surface! Thank you for showing me with the picture! really appreciate it!

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