Well, if you know me at all, you know that I just couldn't let it go. I kept looking at those two side-by-side blue books, and at the covers that were so covered up that you couldn't quite tell what they were, and the upshot is that instead of doing other illustrations this weekend, I revisited the Reading Log books.
I made one change--I substituted Marie Lu's The Rose Society for Michael Grant's Front Lines, for two--no, three reasons. One, I wanted more color variation between all the covers; two, I think Marie's book is probably more well known than Grant's, given that it's part of a popular series while his is a stand-alone historical fiction; and three, Michael Grant was curt to the point of rudeness with me one time when I wrote and asked him if he'd like to make an appearance at my library, so why should I give his book free publicity? (That last is petty, but really--when you write to an author and politely ask if he'd like to do a book signing at your library and his complete and total response is "I'm too busy writing," no "thanks for the invite" or even a salutation or signature, phooey on him! Who does he think buys bunches of his books? Librarians, that's who.)
Anyway, I am much more satisfied as a whole with this illustration. I think I actually did a better job on certain covers the last time, but the color array is good, the covers show to much better advantage and are therefore identifiable, and the shadows came out better. This will be my illustration for the Reading Log.
I have to say that books are the hardest thing to illustrate, in some ways. First of all, you want to achieve the same effect that the cover artist intended by getting the look as close as possible; and second, there's all that lettering! Both to do, and to paint around, because it is inevitably a different color, or white. So this one took me most of Sunday afternoon, although it was broken up into intervals by reading Illuminae.
You almost have to take frequent pauses when you're doing a composite picture like this, because you paint, for instance, the book cover on the far left, and then while that dries, you paint the one on the fair right. Then you move up to the middle, maybe, but if you can't move far enough, you are in danger of sticking your hand or arm or finger into wet paint, so you have to let things dry before you move along. And then there are the different sections of color on each cover to let dry before you move on to the rest. But--in addition to being hard, I think they're fun. So that's okay.