Tedrick Gritswell Gets Crabby got its first draft completed, so that’s something to celebrate, but what better way to keep the book rolling than to get cracking on the cover? I had three main designs going into this, one involving Tedrick looking decidedly upset, the second involving a new character from the book and the third with Teddy hunting down a crab.
I’ll give you one guess which one I went with.
I started with some sketches on paper, seeing how the eye might flow around the page and where the background and foreground might exist only, with a coral reef, it’s tricky to have any kind of proper depth going. Too close to the ground, and you’ll see sand a rocks. Too high up and you’ve got a lovely view, but you’ll miss anything even remotely camouflaged. The trick, then, was to put Tedrick behind a ridge, the crab in front, and the rest of the reef behind him.
Next I had to block in the colour – and so I went with Orange for Teddy, and Blue for the crab. This adds a contrast between the octopus and the crab in both the colour and the positioning. Behind Ted we have dark blue water with some crashing waves and bubbles and whatnot, along with coral to the side. Tedrick needs some suckers – perhaps more than I’ve given him. And he needs patterning. The crab is trundling unawares among the rocks and sand and algae, so that needs to be in front of Tedrick:
Once that is done, I worked in sections, adding texture, lighting, shading, spots, crud on the floor, coral and some other bits and bobs. The lighting is from the top right, with waves distorting it and crud in the water casting weird shadows, so that has to happen:
And we get something akin to Tedrick looking kinda peeved, a menacing arm casting a shadow over the oblivious crab. Finally, we need to turn that into a front cover. For the audiobook, I’ll just use the 3,000px square image:
Of course, I’ll need to go have a chat with Larry to see if he’s up for it. With the eBook, however, we need to make it 1400 on the longer side, conforming with the other eBooks:
Up the contrast a little, colour the text and tada! We have a working front cover, people! Time to celebrate with a cup of hot coffee and a biscuit. Then it’s back to work starting on the second draught!