Category Archives: Illustrations

Book cover reveal Ghostly Gallows

I promised to show two more book covers. Here is the cover of book 2, Ghostly Gallows:

Ghostly Gallows cover

Gwen Gardner and I discussed this cover a lot. The first idea was to have a much darker scene. There would be gallows from which ghosts were hanging. We weren’t sure if the subject matter would fit the target audience. So we chose another scene. Hannah, a young seventeenth century ghost, looking for clues in an old underground archive.

Prior to drawing I did some research. We all know the Halloween style ‘Serving wench’ costumes, which includes a sort of mob cap and a sassy bosom revealing costume. This isn’t entirely accurate of course, but it was quite hard to find the right sources, especially from the seventeenth century. Serving staff wasn’t often the subject matter of paintings. The movie ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ helped me get the right century and cap style. And the paintings by Gabriël Metsu and Johannes Vermeer helped me with the outfit.

Detail of Hannah

Here are some more detailed shots of the cover. I used several textures for the peeling wall. There’s also vermin and and a rat:

Some more detail

Detail of a curious rat

The cover of book 3 will be in the next post!

Book cover trilogy

To draw a trilogy of book covers is very challenging. Especially when there is a lot of time between the first and the second/third cover. The first cover was made over a year ago, and the other two these past months. I’m constantly trying to work on my style. Trying out new things, enhancing my personal workflow (the amount of brushes I’ve accumulated, both made by me or others, makes me dizzy sometimes!). The first of three books with my cover was recently released by writer Gwen Gardner. It’s a supernatural tale called Second Death. It’s available for purchase on Amazon. Now that it’s published I can finally show you the cover!

And here it is:

Second Death cover

I hope to be able to post the other two covers soon. The third cover is my personal favourite :) Please stay ‘tuned’!

Book blog tour: Swordplay

For the wonderful writer Katharina Gerlach, I illustrated part of her book cover (the girl and the wild magic that surrounds her) for Swordplay. Everything else, including typography was done by Katharina herself. The writing style of Katharina Gerlach is imaginative and quick witted. I took an immediate liking to the main character Moira. I loved sketching and illustrating all the little details.

I’ve noticed that ‘Book blog tours’ are quite common in the writing world. This is my first time hosting one :)

Cover of SwordplayAbout the Book

CSI with magic but without the gore

Despite her obvious lack of magical talent, nineteen year old Moira Bellamie apprentices with the Gendarmerie Magique, the magic police. She puts all her effort into solving a burglary at the National Museum where antique weapons have been stolen, to keep the hard won job. Falling for her partner Druidus wasn’t part of the plan. When more and more people are murdered with one of the stolen weapons, Moira must tame uncontrollable magic, or the people she cares for will die, her partner first and foremost.

For lovers of Fantasy and Mystery from 14 years up

Availability:

eBook on Amazon: German or English and Smashwords: German or English, other retailers will follow. Paperback in German or English on Createspace (Beware: postage), Amazon (no postage) will follow soon and can be found through the eBook pages.

About Katharina

I’ve been telling and writing stories all my life, but only two year ago, with the success of eBook publishing, I became an Indie author. I never looked back. Sure, my manuscripts have found praise with traditional publishers, but no one had the courage to publish something they couldn’t neatly stuff into a labeled box.

Well, just like my books, I don’t fit one box. I’m the daughter of a forester and a studied forester myself. I’m sister to three brothers, and a mother to three daughters. I’m a tomboy at heart and simultaneously tidy and chaotic – I can’t be any different with my Muse (the creative part of me) dragging me in one direction and my Editor (the neat, logical side) pulling in another.

There are three things in this world I love more than anything: my family, stories (mine and those of others) and nature. The best thing that can happen to me is when someone I don’t know leaves a review for one of my books telling me how much (s)he liked it.

Can’t wait to read Swordplay? Join the giveaway and win a copy of this book! Oh and check out the interview with me :D

SH-Jong comic published

I’ve done some really fun illustrations last year. And I can finally show some of the results! I made four comic strips (and a few smaller illustrations) for SH-Jong, a non-profit organisation for young people that are hard of hearing. These comic strips aim to show both difficulties and opportunities that can come with having hearing loss in a fun recognizable way, some are even based on a real life experiences by members of SH-Jong.

Comic strip for the SH-Jong organisation
The comic strips published in the SH-Jong booklet

I had a lot of fun sketching out the characters and locations and discussing story lines with Elisa, Chairman of SH-jong. I’m also really happy about how the booklet turned out, the colours are bright and the illustrations are sharp. Couldn’t wish for a better result!

Colour or grayscale?

One of my favourite subjects to draw are clouds and skies. They can look so many ways. Whenever I see a pretty sky I always try to make a photo of it, every second the sky changes. Here’s an illustration I finished this weekend. I made it in colour but I switched it to black and white to use as a header on Facebook (since Facebook tends to murder the colour red). I’m not sure which one I like best. Decide for yourself :) (click on the images for a bigger version)

notaportrait-colour
The colour version. It’s a little bit more “out there”.

notaportrait-BW
The grayscale version, a bit calmer.

New book Cover, a Guilty Ghost Surprised

I’ve had the pleasure of illustrating the sequel to ‘Givin’ up the Ghost’ by Gwen Gardner. The adventures of Indigo Eady continue in ‘A guilty Ghost surprised’. Gwen Gardner always knows exactly what she’s looking for in a cover, her feedback was invaluable in the creation of the cover. I wanted the mood of mystery and supernatural to be just as present in the second cover as it was in the first. The colour green also comes back, but this time I’ve combined it with a warm golden brown. I also did the typography. I wanted the stairs to sort of wrap around the title.

Front cover of A Guilty Ghost Surprised

There’s lot’s of things on the cover that come back in the story in the book. There’s Indigo, the star of the book series, sitting on the stairs. Badger is in the background, he just noticed something. There’s Chance the ghost dog (based on a real life dog!) who still has a love for playing catch. A strange green light comes from the top of the stairs. On the back cover of the book is a pile of old newspapers that tells some horrible news.

Here’s the front, spine and back of the book, click on it for a bigger version:

I am definitely looking forward to illustrate more of Gwen Gardner’s books.

Senzing

I recently had the pleasure of developing the illustrations, logo, productsheet and business cards of Senzing. Senzing is a fresh company that develops brain-computer interfaces. It’s middleware that can be used to interpret brainwaves. You can then use those brainwaves to play, control and enhance games.

Blue and Magenta were already their main colours. I brightened them, while adding some supporting colours. This resulted in a fresh, contrast rich style. Illustrations helped a lot in explaining what Senzing does, especially in the productsheet.

promo-sjusjun

Oh and… Follow my blog with Bloglovin :)

Effort versus style

In an attempt to catalogue ‘effort versus style’ I’ve drawn the same elephant in different styles, in order of effort. In this illustration a sketch is the easiest and takes the least effort, while a digital painting is a lot more effort.

effort

Still, in some cases lineart requires more work then a digital painting. It depends on how detailed and clean the lineart needs to be.

I’m capable of more styles then these four (or technically three if you don’t count the coloured lineart). But this illustration is meant to simply show the difference.