Yesterday I shared the process I went through to create the front and back covers for Darcy & Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship. That creation was arduous partly because it was my first foray into creating a cover, and also because I had to create a back cover and spine for the print version.
Today I’ll share the steps in creating the cover for the second book in the Darcy Saga Prequel Duo. Darcy & Elizabeth: Hope of the Future has a tentative, hopeful release for June or July 2014. I have yet to create the back cover, so will probably talk about that at a much later date. The front cover I wanted to have done so I could reveal the news of two books versus one with a nice visual! To the right is the finished product.
So, in approaching the cover for the second book I was at an advantage right off by having already spent hours upon hours gathering graphics, ideas, and images of paintings with couples together. Plus, I had the first book of the duo as a reference, so to speak, knowing I wanted the aesthetic of the two to be similar. I began by looking through all the images of painting with couples in love that I had gathered in files on my computer and on my Pinterest boards. You can see the latter by clicking this link: Pinterest “Paintings: Romantic”
In truth, there were several options that excited me, so narrowing it down was difficult. One image that I really loved (seen below) was unfortunately a new creation by a Deviant Art designer. I could have asked permission to use and then tweaked it to not be a snowy scene, but because I had so many other options, I didn’t take the time to pursue it.
The painting I chose – “Newly Married” by William A. Breakspeare (1856-1914) – was, of all the options, closest to the Knowles painting used on A Season of Courtship. Plus, the title appealed! Another perk was that the pic was perfect, the only enhancement being a slight brightening of the colors and increase in the clarity. Below is the original version. Look carefully for one big difference between it and my cover.
Did you see them? Mr. Bingley and Jane Bennet? Yep! Just for fun, I took the couple from the painting below – “An Afternoon Stroll” by Pompeo Massani (1850-1920) – and used GIMP to erase the background and layer the people onto the main image. Doing so also served the purpose of covering the woman in the doorway. Cool!
Are they heading to the church? Or maybe leaving after the wedding? Or perhaps simply strolling the streets of Meryton in the week or so before the ceremony? Could be any of those options!
To make clear the theme of “wedding” I found the lovely painting of Saint Giles Church in Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire. No particular reason other than I really loved the old look to this church.
For the title background I used a blank frame graphic, recolored it green to match Darcy’s jacket, and chose a marbled background. Again I went to Cool Text for the title, using “brock” script for a change, and the same green color as the accent.
All in all, this cover was much easier to put together. I used GIMP, of course, and worked on it in one afternoon, while watching the BBC version of Sherlock at the same time. Love that show!
What do you think? I am very pleased with both and can’t imagine changing anything. But, another nice aspect to creating my own covers is that IF I felt the need to alter something, I just open up the saved files in GIMP and tweak as needed. Sweet!
There you have it! I hope this brief education on cover creating was fascinating 🙂