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.
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.
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.
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.