And, here it is…the official cover reveal for my new novel GREENSHIFT!
The wonderful artwork and typography was done by artist Byron Winton.
Byron is from my neck of the woods near Pittsburgh, PA, where he is a member of the PITTSBURGH SOCIETY OF ILLUSTRATORS.
He paints popular culture imagery from memorable movies like Star Wars and Resident Evil, but also creates mind-blowing original concepts like Mari sabotaging a hydroponics bay for GREENSHIFT. Byron has also worked for author SUSAN K. DRONEY, the industrial band REIN[FORCED], and CALIBER COMIC. You can buy his awesome work on Deviant Art as Urbanite by Design.
Byron’s a good sport, very patient, and such a professional that he never complains when I bombard him with crazy ideas about my world in the Ambasadora-verse. And I also send him lots of photos that inspire me, like this hydroponics greenhouse…
…or David Boreanaz in a bathtub (one of my personal favorites).
Byron usually details his creative process from start to finish on his blog Layer by Layer, but today he’s doing it for the IMJ NATION!
First, the tools of the trade:
1) Spray Bottle of water – Used to keep mixed colors moist and to spritz painting when doing washes.
2) Krylon Workable Fixative – Used in conjunction with the Matte Medium to help seal in previous layers of work.
3) Liquitex Matte Medium – Also used to thin down paint. Helps create a transparent color layer.
4) Disposable Palette – Mixing and paint staging area. Pad of 50 or so sheets. Easy to tear off a sheet when out of room.
5) Sarah Graphite Transfer Paper – Used to transfer enlarged drawings on the prepped board.
6) Golden Heavy Body Acrylics – Heavy Body works great for thinning colors without loosing pigment intensity. Brand of preference. I’ve used them since 1990. Odd fact: The manufacturing plant is located minutes from my hometown. They awarded me a Shopping Spree Scholarship when I graduated high school.
7) 3M Blue Painter’s Tape – Latest discovery. Use to use masking tape but it often left the adhesive on the board when left on for more than a month.
8) Hair Dryer – Essential for speeding up drying time.
9) Golden Gesso – Great primer for prepping boards.
10) Mixing Cups – Used for mixing up washes and storing mixed colors for extended uses… just cover with plastic wrap.
11) Assorted Brushes – Natural hair, synthetic, flat, oval, round, and wash, it doesn’t matter as long as it holds color. No bristle brushes!
12) Eye Dropper – Used with the palette to moisten paint.
13) Compass with Extender Beam – For big circles!
14) Mechanical Pencil – .3mm with 6H lead.
15) Click Eraser – For mistakes… I make them.
16) Toothbrush – Perfect for creating fine to large splatter depending on the paint viscosity and flick technique.
17) Badger Airbrush – Used mostly for making things glow.
Not displayed; Masonite board – Bought and cut to 18″ x 26″ at the hardware store.
Now, how he uses all of that stuff!
After the final layout was agreed on, I enlarged the image fit the board and began transferring it. The red marks are circle center locations.
I normally paint back-ground to foreground. Here, I did a solid black fill for background, leaving the middle and foreground objects white.
Using various color washes, I randomly applied, radiated from Mari’s left eye. It’s close to the vanishing point. It’s a colorful effect, but works subtly on the final image.
Laying in the base grey color for the insides of the hydroponic cylinders and foreground pipes.
Foliage is added to the inner of each unit. Whitened the lighting rods.
Airbrushed a glow around the lighting. Also laid down the grey and foliage for the outside of the hydroponic units.
Toned the rings of the hydroponics. Also added a askew cover to the junction box. I felt there needed to be more mischievousness on Mari’s part.
Knowing that the light source was behind Mari, I had to paint her in shadow and that she was going to be edge lit.
Initial scan of the painting. I do a 4-part scan at 300 dpi on my 8.5 x 14 scanner and stitch them all together. The scan always looks gross and dark areas have reflections. I really dislike my scanner and am constantly on the look-out for alternative solutions.
Color corrected and any imperfections edited. The final product without typography…
Piece of cake, huh? Yeah, right! Thanks, Byron!!
To celebrate my cover reveal, I’m giving away a free e-copy of GREENSHIFT to 3 lucky, random commenters. My kitty Puddahs will sniff out the winners from a pile of little slips of paper with your names written on them. One extra special, extra lucky winner will win the AMBASADORA/GREENSHIFT bundle. Good luck, and may the cat be with you!