Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Railsea - route 1

Of the number of initial sketches I submitted for the recent Railsea cover (see last post) the example above was one of two that Pan Macmillan's art director Rachel Vale selected for development.

My initial colour rough for this route (above) just seemed a too predictable, a bit of a pale Ashley Wood or Jon Foster imitation, likely to to get lost amongst a sea of other similarly sepia tinted steampunk covers.

I went back to the source of inspiration suggested by the brief. I wondered if those modernist and art deco rail posters that had suggested the composition and foreshortened speeding trains might also suggest a 'new' palette and a fresh approach to my mark making that would help the cover stand out.

Another point of reference for me were the vintage motoring posters of illustrator Geo Ham. These images seemed to capture the excitement and dynamism that the brief required, but also looked quite different from what you might normally find on a fantasy book cover.
Two of my attempts at dressing my composition up in Ham/Vintage rail styling are shown below.

It was a fun exercise but I'm not entirely sure I'd have been the best person to execute this style had it made it to the final stage. None of this was to prove a concern however as it was later decided that this route was to be retired to the sidings in favour of route 2... which we'll meet in the next post.

1 comment:

Jonny Valentine said...

this is so much better than the cover they ended up settling on (for 1st edition hard covers)...keep up the great work.
-jon-laurence esnard