Countdown to Halloween: 14 Days To Go!


Van Lockens Witch - Pixel - Face Closeup
Van Lockens Witch – Pixel – Face Closeup

Another week and only 14 days to go.    Nothing says Halloween like a good old witch.  Pale green skin, exaggerated nose accessorized by a hairy wort, pointy brimmed hat, completed with a cackle.  Nothing short of a caricature, I assure you.

I once was directed  to a book titled, “Juniper” by Monica Furlong by an acquaintance in my childhood.  A witch she claimed to be, I was told that the book was a closer depiction of what a witch really was.   The book is a rather enjoyable read, but what drew me in was the cover.  I entertained the thought of becoming a book illustrator later on, but ended up taking other avenues.

As time went on, I started to notice traditional art covers becoming less prominent, while photo manipulation was boosting in popularity.  An art in itself,  photo manipulation churned talented artists to an alternative form of expression, while extending the market for photographers.   I lacked far too much patience to learn the skill, and a photographer I am not.

Van Lockens Witch - Pixel - Pendant Closeup
Van Lockens Witch – Pixel – Pendant Closeup

So when I had the opportunity to create a cover for my mother’s book I was a little overwhelmed.  Let’s be honest, no matter what people like to encourage or preach, people really do “judge a book by it’s cover”.

So what does this have anything to do with witches ya wonder?  The book is a prequel to “Shadow of the Witte Wieven”.  A story about a former 17th century captain of the Dutches West Indies Company and a modern DEA Agent.  Depicted in this time-crossed tale was a ship called the Witte Wieven.  Named after the Dutch lore of the Witte Wieven or “Wise Woman” as it is translated, they were healers, herbalists, and had a penchant for prophecy.  Granted the book itself had very little to do with the Witte Wieven themselves, but the prequel does and delves into the namesake.

Van Locken's Witch - 300 PPI - Photoshop
Van Locken’s Witch – 300 PPI – Photoshop

The book title “Van Locken’s Witch” was my project, and no she was anything but the caricature previously mentioned.  I had several ideas that immediately popped into my head, but one stood out among the rest.  I wanted the heroine to dominate the cover, keep her mysterious and depict an ethereal vibe.

Van Locken's Witch - Cover
Van Locken’s Witch – Cover

Rendered at 300 ppi, 230 megabites, and several layers later, Lissa was born. I had to do a lot research, and find several resources to conceptualize this piece. It was difficult to execute. From the expression, the hair curls, all the way down to her pendant. I even had to make sure veils existed in her time period. As you can compare from above,  the color was manipulated to depict the mood I was going for. Finally, it was complete, despite the glaring flaws. It is my first venture in book cover art, and I still have many skills I need to fine tune. The result of true success will be determined by time. If I had it my way I’d continue to improve it. Alas that’s why due dates exist, to force us perfectionist to “let go”.

To quench the thirst for the curious, below is the blurb of the book, as well as  a link to purchase the book.

Kapitein Rand Van Locken has no idea what awaits him as he boards the Spanish galleon on behalf of the Dutch West India Company, or that the beautiful woman imprisoned within will change his life in ways he never imagined or even desired. Until now..

Lissa Capoen, didn’t plan for the Spaniards to capture her while attempting to rescue her sister. She didn’t foresee the handsome sea captain coming swiftly to her aid and offering his assistance. Nor did she expect him to steal her heart and claim it as his own.

Yet, as destiny brings them ever closer together, Armando Manera is determined to recapture the witch and present her to the Spanish King. No matter what it takes…



3 Comments Add yours

  1. Well, so far I’ve had nothing but GLOWING reviews of this beautiful cover! Perhaps a new venture is born! Well done Shandra!

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