The Sky Warrior
Book cover, Adobe Photoshop
This cover illustrates Jeremy McDuffey's upcoming novel, Sky Paladin Expedition: The Sky Warrior.
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.
Next I did some more drawings to figure out what the turtle ships might looks like.
After this step, I drew the sketch for the final artwork and traced over the sketch in photoshop to create the key drawing.
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.