This was my initial idea, the tortured soul of Kaith shadowed by the nasty events that were to follow. Tharg had asked for a "novelistic" cover idea, and I tried with this one but I didn't think it had everything it needed...
This was the second idea. A change of angle and use of the wings for the hallucinations I liked, but it was a bit weak according to tharg.
I went back to the front on shot, but decided to use a common gimmick of mine, ie to split the figure in half to show the conflict within the story. This made more sense to me, was a stronger image and Tharg agreed.
This was the next stage, where I take the photoshop sketch and add another layer to basically draw over the image and tighten it up. This was all done in greyscale with the brush tool in photoshop on my mac. The first time I'd ever done a cover fully digitally.
Here I've added the background paper texture, selected the 2 major colour areas and have started painting under the pencil art on a layer. I do this because with this style of art I like to keep some pencil lines very sharp, so the colour/tones have to go under the line art.
Here I've started painting on top on a layer. This is good for adding white lines with the black, such as on the arms here. The background paper serves as the mid tone, the lines act as the black, so with this painting basically all I'm doing is adding the light. This is also my favourite part of the whole process:)
I wanted a face in the sky above initially, but after a while I decided that just a painted colour would work better. We need to have the face of kaith as the focus. Seeing as the colour scheme is 2 tones, I figured a dark red wash above would really get the image humming. As for the content of the cover, well one would need to look at it once the story has ended to see the significance of the imagery, such as the mirroring of the dead pigeon and the axe, the tents and the spikes etc.