Behind the Cover

I was honored today to be a guest blogger on Elisa Rolle's website. Check out my "Behind the Cover" post HERE.

We used this as an opportunity to introduce my "Uncovered" contest, and the entries are pouring in. So far, the votes are pretty evenly divided between the three covers, so this could be a close call. I'm excited to see what happens!

I also shared a little bit about my process for developing cover illustrations. I'll include an excerpt below, and I invite you to check out her site for the complete article.

...This is the point when I start trying to envision the image. If I can convince Dennis to put down his textbook long enough to pose for me, that’s my first choice. Unfortunately, I’ve kind of burnt that bridge thanks to some of the ridiculous scenarios I’ve concocted in the past for my Cheesecake Boy pin-up series. I can’t imagine why my Jewish honey would find it slightly undignified to pretend that he’s putting a star on top of a Christmas tree while his robe flies open to reveal a pair of skimpy, candy-cane printed undies! Anyway, option B is to recruit friends, who I must say have been incredibly good sports for some of my latest covers, but they’re busy people too who unfortunately aren’t able to be at my beck and call whenever I need a random cowboy silhouette or sketches of a flamboyant fashion designer. That leaves me with my third (and, by default, increasingly popular) option – me. The good-old self-timer on my camera has made it possible for me to become my own model, though extensive revisions are required at the sketching phase when this method is employed!

You may wonder why these reference photos are even necessary. I spent four years in figure drawing class in college, plus I’m pretty well-acquainted with male anatomy anyway, so couldn’t I just make it up? While I do use my imagination to invent elements of the scene and embellish upon the photos, I find it immensely helpful to have a reference image that depicts the more subtle details of light/shadow (even if I have to imagine how those things would fall across a bicep or butt cheek with a little more oomph than what I currently have to offer as a model). Maybe if I’d just hit the gym more, we could use my reference photos for the covers and save lots of time! :-)

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