WARS™ cover artist and illustrator, Samantha Nowak, has happily agreed to document the major stages of producing the cover art for the upcoming The Battle of Phobos – Gongen, Part 1: “The Great Journey”. This series will go from concept to completion of the artwork, and fans will see the finished piece at the same time the publisher and licensor does.
In the first part of her series, we begin with the the very first step in the process: planning and conceptualization. This is perhaps the most important phase of the process since it must be decided on by the publisher and artist what works best for her skills, but also what will work best for the book in terms of the representation of the WARS™ universe and the promotional and presentations aspects for the marketplace…
When first starting a project, I always gather my resources and references. This will include any pictures of characters and places I will be working with. Josh kindly sent me images from the Gongen universe, but I also look up pictures of oriental architecture and armor, and dig out my figure reference books down the line (The Figure in Motion and Atlas of Anatomy for Artists are my favorites).
Once my references are gathered I do quick compositional sketches. If a client does not have a clear picture of what they want, then I will come up with about three ideas based on the information given to me. Josh had a clear picture of what he wanted to see, so I drew up a sketch based on his description. I then sent the sketch to him and make sure we’re running on the same page before I start digitally coloring.
Samantha Nowak is the founder of Samantha Nowak Illustrations, which is home to her fantasy art and original customizable Enchanted Names. Most recently she produced a series of rubber “inking” stamps for Queen Kat Designs based on the theme “Princesses Around the World”.