Paddington book cover - thoughts?



  • Hey everyone, hope you're all having a great Friday so far!
    Not sure i'll manage to finish this in time for the Monthly Challenge but I thought I'd give it a whirl anyway as I've never illustrated a book cover before. I've chosen to do A Bear Called Paddington, and I was just wondering if I could get your thoughts on:

    • the overall idea and composition?
    • the sign with the book title (I want it to look like an old fashioned london rail sign)

    I haven't worked on the values yet as I added all the little bits in red last night to fill it all out a bit. For colour I'm planning to do all the background in different shades of one colour (see Ben Mantle's 'Boot' book for reference) and then Paddington will be in normal colour so that he stand out πŸ™‚
    Would love to hear what you think and if you have any suggestions/feedback?

    Paddington_book cover2.jpg



  • I think it's great! Paddington is so cute and the background figures are great, the sign looks accurate to me and nice touch on the little bird up there! I like the way the little girl has noticed him and pointing to him too πŸ™‚ The characters in the front might possibly stand out too much but that might just be because right now they are in red. I think it's quite nice!



  • I really like the composition, the policeman is great too, his expression works really well! πŸ™‚



  • I love it, it looks really great, the idea with the colors (had to look for the book) is really good. I don't know if I would make Pad little bit bigger and more to bottom and take the writers name and put it in the the sign behind the first sign. I love the pigeons...really cute. Maybe the girl, it looks to me like she is pointing behind Pad also looking behind him at something to his left. Many compliments to Your work with figures πŸ™‚ their shoes are awesome.



  • @Coley thanks so much! Yes i've been thinking that with the characters at the front too, the space just looked too empty without them there so maybe I'll try just adding smaller detail or suitcases/feet or something!

    @ShannonB Thank you! πŸ˜ƒ I love drawing characters with moustaches!

    @MichaelaH Thanks so much! I'll try that with the author and making Pad bigger and yes you're right about the little girl, i'll fix that later well spotted! Thank you for your feedback πŸ˜ƒ feet and shoes are my least favourite thing to draw...along with horses haha!


  • SVS OG

    This is looking really cool! ❀️



  • so nice! Lot's going on, my kids always love it when there is a lot to see. Can't wait to see the colored version.


  • Pro

    @hannahmccaffery Very nice! This is a bit crowded as far as covers go but it works incredibly well because it's planned so brilliantly! Paddington is obviously the center of attention and stands out, so does the title (cool idea with the sign!!). You have a lot of fun details with the characters and especially the curious pigeons (cute!). Love the suspicious agent!! Also love how the archways on each side frame the book cover. This is an exceedingly good cover composition and you did a tremendous job!



  • @hannahmccaffery I really love all about your design. Just one thing bothered me - the paw - it looks a little like pig's hoof. I cant wait to see it finished.



  • @nyrrylcadiz thank you! πŸ™‚

    @Claudi thanks so much!

    @NessIllustration thank you for your kind words Vanessa, that's really made me feel less anxious about the whole thing haha! Yes maybe it is a little bit too crowded for a book cover, what would you remove? I tend to get a bit carried away so I don't know when to stop adding detail haha!

    @Dima-Eichhorn thanks so much! Oooh yes well spotted, haha it really does look like a little pig hoof, i'll be changing that later thank you πŸ™‚


  • Pro

    @hannahmccaffery I wouldn't remove a single thing! I'm kind of anxious about over-crowding illustrations myself and tend to over-simplify out of fear of having this problem. Even on the cover of my children's book, the designer had to ask me to add stuff cause I went so minimal hahaha... Your illustration reminded me that a lot of details can work VERY well if well planned like it is here, and like someone else mentioned the kids love when there are a lot of fun details to look at! It's just harder to do, but you SLAYED it here!



  • @NessIllustration Thank you!!! πŸ˜ƒ Your illustrations never look too minimal to me, they're just the right amount and you make them so beautiful with your wonderful use of colour, plus sometimes minimal is better in some illustrations! πŸ™‚


  • Moderator

    @hannahmccaffery This looks great! I love the expressions and action in the characters. It’s hard to tell how the additions in red will read once they are rendered, but it looks like it may be too busy if all are included. The sign is fantastic, and the bird sitting on it is perfection!



  • @inkandspatter Thank you! Yes maybe it will look a bit too cluttered once i've drawn the extras out properly, i'll post an update on here once I've done it to see what everyone thinks πŸ™‚ My idea was if the people and background were all just one colour (well different shades of one colour like the example i mentioned) then it might not be too busy, but i'll try it and see how it looks πŸ™‚



  • @hannahmccaffery they might not stand out so much if they are toned down anyhow πŸ™‚



  • Hey @hannahmccaffery
    This is a great start. I like how you spent a little time on a few of the other characters. It's like they each have their own stories they we may not get to read. (Is that a waving dog? πŸ˜ƒ )

    One thing that bothers me is the perspective. It looks like 3 different horizon lines are being used here. One for everyone at Paddington's eye level and above, one for the suitcase, and one for the passenger below (and possibly for passenger's foot?).

    If you were in a room (with lots of stuff in it) and looked straight ahead, your eye line would be the horizon line. It wouldn't just be the horizon line for what you were looking at. It would be the horizon line for everything you see at that moment. So every object would have vanishing points on that single horizon line. Using several horizon lines can work in some situations but I don't think it's working here.

    Having said all of that, I really like where this is going.
    I did some draw overs to help illustrate my concerns.

    paddington1.jpg

    paddington2.jpg

    paddington3.jpg



  • @demetrius thanks so much for taking the time to do those draw overs for me and for your detailed reply πŸ™‚
    You’re right about the suitcase and guy in the foreground and the horizon line, I didn’t even think about that! I’m not 100% how I can apply that to the people in the background, do you mean that they should look more 3D or that I should angle them more so they’re not all profiles?
    Thanks again, really appreciate the feedback πŸ™‚



  • @hannahmccaffery No problem πŸ™‚

    The woman and daughter, the police officer, and everyone near/on the train all look as if they exist in the same space. For the look I think you're going for, I think they look ok as is. It was just the suitcase and bottom left person that looked out of place.



  • @demetrius Ah okay then, i'm in the middle of fixing the suitcase now and i'll work on the man too, thank you πŸ™‚ maybe once i add colour the people in the background won't look at though they're in the same place πŸ™‚



  • @hannahmccaffery Really like your cover design. The policeman's sideway glance and the little girl pointing are a nice touch. One note I do have is that I feel like the title is a bit small. Almost insignificant to the cover. I was a commercial artist/Art Director for 20+ years and I'm pretty sure a publisher would want that title bumped up in size a bit. Otherwise, looking forward to the final art.


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