The Sky Warrior

Book cover, Adobe Photoshop
This cover illustrates Jeremy McDuffey's upcoming novel, Sky Paladin Expedition: The Sky Warrior. 

 

The Sky Warrior cover illustration

The Sky Warrior alternate cover illustration

The Sky Warrior alternate cover illustration

 
 

process

I started by drawing several thumbnail sketches to work out the composition of the cover. Originally, the author suggested focusing on the characters of the novel. However, I found that focusing on the flying turtle ships, which are featured prominently in the story, were more intriguing visually and conceptually. I experimented with variations that included several elements. Ultimately, I decided to limit the number of elements on the page so that the unique concept of the flying turtle ship could take center stage.

sky paladin 1.jpeg
sky paladin 2.jpeg
 

Next I did some more drawings to figure out what the turtle ships might looks like. 

IMG_4588.JPG
pangea 2.JPG
 

After this step, I drew the sketch for the final artwork and traced over the sketch in photoshop to create the key drawing.

skypaladin 24.jpeg
sky-expedition-insta5.jpg
 

In addition to designing the flying turtle ship, I also took some time to design the novel's human protagonists. The trick here was designing them in a way that fit the author's vision for these characters and their futuristic, dystopian world. 

skypaladin 17.JPEG
Portia 2.JPEG
Gust 2.JPEG
paladin.jpeg