07 April 2018

Cover art

When we first decided to use "Reading Takes You Everywhere" as a travel-oriented theme for teen summer reading, we were looking for road-trip books to feature on our book list, and came across one that had the perfect cover for our TSRP brochure. But not only was it someone else's photo, it also happened to have words and drawings superimposed over the picture that were difficult if not impossible to remove and still maintain the background. So I decided to recreate the whole thing and make it into a painting.

Here's a photo side by side of the book cover and the "photo shoot" recreation I did with three of our book club kids (Allison, George, and Katrina) and my new Jeep:

Because our colors for the summer mimic the colors used in our Burbank Public Library logo, which looks like this...

...I wanted to keep the slightly unreal, filtered look of the photo with the turquoise shading to lime-yellow. Here are my efforts.

This is the drawing with its first layer of color. This was probably my first mistake—using sketchbook paper instead of putting this on real watercolor paper—but I didn't really want the texture of the WC paper to be a factor.

This paper stands up to watercolor pretty well...but I was about to ask it to stand up to multiple layers!

I spent about three hours on this, start to finish, and made various decisions as I went along, and although I'm fairly happy with it and will probably use it, I have some regrets. I overworked the capacity of the paper, so it's a bit blurry and scritchy-looking here and there, and the map isn't as "mappy" as I'd like. I didn't end up leaving enough whites showing; I saved some, but ended up covering a lot of them over as individual decisions that seemed right but turned out not to be. Next time I will hesitate and save them a little longer before making those decisions!

This will be the backdrop for the title page of my brochure, which will say "READING TAKES YOU EVERYWHERE!" in some appropriately funky lettering, and then inform about the dates and age range. I'll post it when it's complete, later this week. I'm hoping it works as well as (or better than) the pirated photo did. I tried to leave more space where I needed it (at the bottom) so that the type didn't go over their feet. We will see...

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