Improving/revising work from book covers class


  • SVS OG

    Trying to get all these finished before the end of the week when I go on vacation and can't take my Cintiq with me. This is the third of four interior illustrations for Les Misérables from the book covers class. It's the one I've probably worked over the most and done in a dozen variations, even though it's just a spot illustration! I hope this means I'm learning something from the process.

    The idea is that Gavroche is taking care of two small boys and brings them to his home, which is inside a large elephant statue. They sleep in a mesh cage because the statue is swarming with rats, and the smaller boys are frightened. Gavroche is playing tough to help them calm down, though he's really tender-hearted.

    Anyway, critique away! I think, for example, the the rats could still use improvement, and I wonder if Gavroche (the oldest boy)'s face it a little too detailed, but he keeps coming out that way! But what I'm really wondering most of all is how much punch the overall piece has and how can I improve it, given that it's going to be a small illustration. Thank you!

    I'll post the last one, another small illustration, soon.

    Rats 7 for forums.jpg


  • SVS OG

    Which is better? I think the light one but I've lost all objectivity. Also asking for serious critique from anyone who feels so inclined. I want to finish this thing! Thanks!

    Rats spot on page smaller dark.jpg Rats spot on page smaller light.jpg



  • @Laura Beautiful work! The background rats in the lighter version are much more legible but the foreground ones are still difficult to read. I'd like to see a somewhat sharper edge on them and some lighter values in it. The shapes need to be more refined as they're unclear right now, especially the left one. I like the idea of the kids being in focus and all else blurred but it's not working completely yet. Overall very strong work — love it!


  • SVS OG

    @Su How's this? I firmed them up but then took down the value, because I really don't want them to take center stage. Rats 9 smaller.jpg


  • SVS OG

    @LauraA That weird z thing on the older boy's leg is one of those stray Photoshop marks. Didn't notice it until now. I'll get rid of it, but just ignore it for now.



  • That looks better! Your illustration looks really nice on the book page. Great job!


  • SVS OG

    @Su Thank you!!



  • Love the style! Perhaps balance the long title a bit more so it's not so vertical?
    I don't know where you landed with this piece as I see it's from last year.


  • SVS OG

    Hi @Adriana-Bergstrom! Most of this series is on my Instagram now. But thanks! I can always take a look at revising these pieces later for a portfolio website.



  • @LauraA
    Wow, Beautiful covers! May I ask what class you took on Book Cover design? I am trying to learn how to do book covers and looking for anything that would help me learn more. Thank you.


  • SVS OG

    @RG-Spaulding There is a live SVS Book Covers class that has been offered twice that I know of. When I saw people's work from the first one, I asked to be on the waiting list for the next one. I really liked it! But right now there don't seem to be live critiqued classes, and I don't even see the course in the "all courses" list. So maybe write them and ask to be put on a list!



  • Thanks @LauraA I will keep checking.


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