Here’s an old book of mine called “How the Wind Plays”. The top picture shows the finished cover, and beneath that you will see the sketch I did for the cover.
Every book starts with a “dummy”, which is a little hand-made book with black and white sketches, made to give an editor an idea about what you’re thinking your book may look like. For every painting I make, I start with a pencil sketch. It would be like what you might do with markers or crayons or colored pencils, once you’ve made a rough sketch. It is hard to just start painting without doing a sketch, first! I recommend it to everyone who likes to draw. It might seem like a bore and a waste of time to make a sketch first, but believe me, it helps.
After seeing my sketch, my editor asked me if I could make the finished cover painting a little more action-packed. So I decided to show the wind blowing on everyone, and not just flying past, like he had been in my earlier sketch. Sometimes it is nice to have another pair of eyes, like an editor, to help me come up with my best choices! And my wife, illustrator, designer and teacher Julia Gorton, designed the lovely lettering for the finished cover.