Friday, February 25, 2022

Cover Art (Day 25)

Four days left of Thingadailies (though I seem to be the only participant still standing, and I think I gave up on the rules a while back...).

I made a list of five possible newsletter magnets that I could write to bring people into various other books. One of those is to go along with Dragon Freehold (available now!). The story I'm going to write takes place before the events of the book, when the main character meets his cat.

I went on over to DepositPhotos to look for an image. You may be surprised to know that "man calico mystery" and various similar search terms don't return anything helpful. (And honestly, that's a travesty — everyone knows hot guys are even hotter when they have a cat. There are whole calendars based around this.)

So my choice is to either go with a cat or go with a guy. I'm starting with a cat. I may change my mind.

Here's my starting point:

Pros: She's a calico, and she's adorable.

Cons: This is clearly a photo (which is not what people use on fantasy books), and instead of being vertically oriented, it's horizontal.

The vertical/horizontal problem I can get around by adding some space at the top and bottom and fading out — I'd need some space there anyhow for the title and author name. So we'll just assume that's solvable.

Dealing with the photo... I'm positive this would be a matter of minutes for someone who knew what they were doing, but I don't think I can even pretend anymore. I started with the "cartoon" filter in GIMP and couldn't really tell the difference. So I went to the "waterpixels" and got this.

Then I tried the cartoon again, and ended up with this

I don't know if this is going in a useful direction, but I think I'll start with this and see if I can extend the image to more of a book form tomorrow...

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