After choosing a colour palette in line with the authors requirements, I started to draft out a rough idea with colour using watercolour.
I wasn't happy with the layout and orientation. I had initially planned to create front, spine and back within this piece (A3 in size), however after trying the layout I felt that it would become too cramped. The front and back covers were subsequently changed to a vertical orientation and each piece was scaled up to A3, thus providing adequate space to add collage.
The next stage was to create a rough of the cottage that John, the author, had asked to be included. A few photos were exchanged and John was happy with the sketch below.
Using the initial draft (thrifty and environmentally friendly!) I changed the orientation and started to work back into the piece with watercolour intensifying the depth of colour. The book "Jack Reusen and The Fey Flame" is atmospheric and magical, therefore it was important to capture some of these feelings within the illustration. As a lamp and flame are involved the piece is set at night to deliberately showcase the strength of the flame.
The following images show the progress of the piece as it evolves with various elements such as the cottage and path being adjusted as the piece develops.
In this photo you will see the cottages appearance has become increasingly darker to create a more sinister looking cottage.