I was approached by the ever-fantastic Duncan Ralston to do another cover for him, this one for a Dickensian John Wick epic: Ebenezer! He does come up with some epic concepts.
We bashed out a few concepts and then settled on this cool image with the city skyline mirrored by bullets, the man himself looking moody, the silenced pistol and the crest of the mysterious Bleak House.
Took a looong time- very small details and fiddly bits. My phone crashed just as I finished the pistol and I lost the whole thing. Which sucked as I genuinely was quite proud of it.
Logos done in inkscape. Art done in sketchbook on my note 3.
Layout etc. by Duncan himself (he also did that sweet little gif).
Well, this one was a hell of a lot of work but I think it paid off!
I worked very closely with Duncan Ralston (the authour) on getting it just right. A lot of back and forth. Many, many emails and pictures bounced back and forwards. (Communication is key in a good project- both sides need to engage in prompt and open sharing of ideas and opinions. This is where the creative process flourishes and bears the best fruit. Artists: talk to your clients. Clients: importantly!; talk to your artists! Respond to emails. Acknowledge emails. Share ideas. Listen.)
The logo was the first thing we tackled and I came up with a load of ideas. Half a dozen of them got to be fully fleshed-out and solid designs which all worked really well but we picked the one that really popped out to both of us. It was definitely the best choice for the project (the others are really great- it was a very inspiring project- so I may end up using the designs for other stuff).
We wanted an 80s, retro feel for it. Something visually interesting. From the intial passes we picked the hand coming out of the box. The aim was to suggest all of the evil contained within and to homage Evil Dead a little.
Drawing the image tool a while- those tentacles are fiddly. Then I went in to the painting. Midtone flats (trust your midtones- you pick a base colour for a reason). Shadows (2 layers of these- faded airbrush then a solid one for definition). Highlights. Then put on an overlay layer and wash the whole thing in a fade of 2 or 3 colours to tie it together. Drop the transparency of this overlay down. Don't be afraid to flatten layers as you go- treat it like a real painting.
I hand-painted all of the stickers and textures. Those stickers are some of my most favourite things I've ever made.
I warped the logos onto the box in perspective on photoshop. Warped the whole image onto itself so it looks like it's coming out of the same box image.
I drew a couple of spot illustrations to go on the back. Then put in thumbholes where you can see a vhs tape (front and back) peeking out at the bottom of the box. Then painted on weathering textures with some splattery and cloudy brushes.
Then, after a little resizing to fit, we had our wraparound cover. So many elements and a lot of work to get them all to play together as one piece but I think I pulled it off. I hope you like it.