I’ve been planning on rewriting the serial Destroying Angel I released on Kindle Vella. It’s a good story, but it could be better. There’s a lot more I want to add to it. I’ve decided to retitle the pending rewrite as Immortal. I’m still in the early stages, but I always enjoy making concept covers for my works in progress. I find it inspirational. For Immortal I was playing with a concept of rotating the title and byline 90°—having them run up the side of the cover instead of the more traditional horizontal treatment, which I’ve been getting bored of. All I knew starting out is the cover had to incorporate a couple key elements: a desert world orbiting a gas giant and/or an eclipse, and a female soldier.
This was my first concept. I liked the title treatment, but it was a little heavy on the left, and didn’t feel balanced enough. So I experimented with moving the title to the right.
Much better. I especially like how the sunburst lights up the top of the image, and the spaceships add a nice extra bit of balance to the image and Military Science Fiction feel. In the story the desert moon has a long day/night cycle, and the system’s primary star is eclipsed by the gas giant every dawn, so the image ties in with the content.
Next I played with different potential poses for the featured character on the cover.
While I was mulling over the character design I started on the final background art, incorporating three images.
Next I worked on masking out the star fighters I wanted rocketing over the gas giant at the top of the image.
Partway through I noticed I hadn’t caught all the artifacts in the sunburst, so I had to clean those up.
Next came the character design. I fell in love with an illustration by Polish artist Vladimir Buchyk, but I wanted the character’s face showing. She’s of Persian decent, and I found a model that fit my image of her perfectly.
Work on removing the helmet came next…
I also added some wear and tear to the armor for effect. It’s subtle, but I think it goes a long way.
Add a little FaceApp magic and we’re in business.
Tying all the elements together required some digital painting to hopefully make it look less “photoshopped” and more an integrated piece of artwork. I produced the art with enough bleed for a hardcover. The shaded are you see is bleed, and the crop is for a Kindle cover. There’s enough space to play with for hardcover, paperback, and eBook versions of the cover.
Finally I took my renderings (which at this point I had made exclusively on my phone!) into Photoshop and added crisp fonts, cleaned up a little more of the image, added a perspective blur to the desert background, and finished it off with an oil paint filter to the image to give it a more cohesive feel and clean up any pixelization on the images.
Close. But not quite what I want. I imported the image into mage.space for some further manipulation…
At this point it’s still a concept, nothing more, but I’m really happy with it. Happy enough I could use it as the final cover art. At the moment I’m trying to hunt down Vladimir Buchyk to get permission to use his armor. If I can’t I’ll have to think of something else. There’s still a good chance I’ll commission an artist to do an original illustration based on this concept. Time will tell. In the meantime I’ve got to work on the rewrite!
UPDATE: Still no luck tracking down Vladimir Buchyk, so I set about creating an alternate cover. First I generated a backdrop and portrait with an AI art tool.
I didn’t like the helmet, so I did some digital painting to remove it.
Good, but still not what I’m looking for. I decided to spend some more time with the AI and Photoshop. First I started with this prompt image:
And then after a considerable amount of time in AI and Photoshop I ended up with this:
Now that’s a book cover!
Do you have a book that needs a cover? I’m open for commissions. You can check out my other covers here.