Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Making Of A Cover: Mistress of the Manor

Dear Reader,

With the last post about making a cover being such a hit, I thought I would do another one, since I had so many private inquiries about changing the color of clothing, and/or recreating them.

What I was going for with this project, was to create an ominous atmosphere, to emphasize, specifically, the model’s facial expression. 

Below are the three photos I started with. When looking at the picture of the house, I knew adjustments had to be made to obtain the desired results. I cut out the house, and added the stormy sky behind it. 



After removing the model, I adjusted the positioning of the three pictures, until I was happy with the layout. (Below) 



With so many muted tones, with the exception of the green, I wanted a very bold stroke of color: the dress. I duplicated the layer of the model, cut out her face, neck and arm from that layer. Using the tools hue, saturation and contrast to brought the material to a dusky rose (picture below). From there, I erased all of the lace on her dress, revealing the white/cream layer beneath. In the below picture, you can see the process half completed. 


With the lace completed, I added three layers on top of the material layer, and filled them: one medium red, one deep red and a purple. I used a clipping masque so the solid colors stayed to the outline of the layer beneath it, but not on the rest of the cover. I set three solid color layers to Soft Light (Purple), Overlay (Blood Red) and Screen (Medium Red) to create the finished effect. I wanted the bold color, but I also wanted to keep a little of the satiny gleam. I zoomed in, cleaned up any mistakes that might've been empathized with so many layers set on top of the original model. When making such a dramatic color change you to have double check...  

After that, I added a  bit of shading, and darkening to the ground, by creating a new layer, painting over the gravel, and setting the masque to Soft Light. Then erased and smudging to smooth the effect out. 


Someone asked me the other day, how I make curly hair in some of my fantasy pictures. From experience, I know how difficult it is to cut out a model with curly hair, and make it look natural. When it comes to design, I have a lot of patience--but curly hair is where my patience runs out. After having looked up tutorials online that didn't work for what I wanted or looked right, I decided to try something new. I "hand" painted a spiral curl (below), which look me several hours of trial and error. Now, I can change the color and shape of the curl, which helps. My rule of thumb is to use three shade variations, dark, medium and light of whatever color I change it to, adding depth and realism. And yes--I apply one curl at a time, lol. 
Below is the model with the finished hair. As this is a pre-made book cover, I rarely do much with the text as I normally would for a project a client requests. It will have to be changed anyway, to fit the clients needs. But here is the finished product, ready to add to Otherworlds Publicity's website for sale: http://www.otherworldspublicity.com/pre-madecovers.php



Hope you enjoyed!

Kayden McLeod

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