Friday, June 21, 2013

Cover Design Process for Raspberries and Vinegar

Once upon a time, my talented Mother wrote a book called "Raspberries and Vinegar".  No wait, that's a lie.  She wrote a book called "Domino's Game".  She thought about self publishing the novel and asked me about doing a cover.  I played around with a sketch as I read the book, and came up with this:

A short while later, Mom sold the book to Choose Now Publishing and told Nicole (the publisher) about her lovely illustrator daughter who had already come up with a cover idea.  I showed them both my sketch, and surprisingly they decided to trust me, even though it was clearly a hot mess at that point.

We changed the title to "Simply Smitten", Mom told me that Zach actually wanted to wear a newsboy cap, and I told her that really, he didn't have a mustache (see, I had already refused to draw it).  She changed it to a short beard.  And told me that Jo didn't have curly hair.  Oh, and changed the name to "Raspberries and Vinegar".  No more titles!

I asked a couple friends to model for me.  Aren't they adorable?   They got married later that week.  This is actually two shots combined with photoshop magic powers.

Now, I knew that Zach was supposed to be about ten years older than my friend Kyle, and that he needed a beard and a hat.  I wanted Jo to be wearing Hunter boots (I wish I had a pair, but for now I will just draw them).  Also, I needed a border collie puppy.  Time to hit up Google for some references.

I swear, I just typed in "short beard" and "newsboy cap".  But Google choose to send me Chris Hemsworth and Brad Pitt.  Who am I to argue with Google?

Armed with my references, I did up a sketch of the couple.  I used a grid to get the proportions down and then bulked Zach up to look older and changed the other character details.

 Coloured for a while, drew in a puppy, added some text and: Tadah!  Front cover.  I can't wait to see it on the book!


  1. I love reading about the process for how it came together. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Very interesting to see how this came together, and thanks for letting us see!

  3. Following the long, long, long trail to the site so I can read all the details about the cover. I saw your mom's cover... then a friend on facebook said she loved your art... and then I got the full name... and then I found this!

    The fact I just spent 15 minutes looking for information on this cover tells you how beautifully unique and lovely it is.

    Now I need to write a fun book so I can buy a cover, ha!

    1. Thanks for tracking me down! Let me know when you write that book ;)