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” and Maverick, Part 1: “Firefight at Overwatch Command” novella. This series will go from concept to completion of the artworks, and fans will see the finished pieces at the same time the publisher and licensor does.
In the first part of her series, we discussed planning and conceptualization. Now Sam gets into the first artistic layers of the Gongen work while also starting in on the Maverick novella cover…
Now that the compositional sketch (for the Gongen novella cover) is working, I start the digital painting. Working from large brush strokes to fill in areas, I will work my way down to the details as the characters and city (which is a fabulous blog right now, don’t ‘cha think?) develop. One character on this cover is in a suit and the other is wearing a jet pack – so for both I use Google to find reference photos for suit designs and jet packs that I can pull from to help create their outfits.
I’ve also started the Maverick novella cover, and am in the compositional sketch phase. Josh sent me a detailed description of all the elements he wanted and I have sketched them out to make sure everything works. I am working on this at the same time as the Gongen cover. I enjoy working on more than one project at a time (though more than 3 BIG projects is a bit much) – that way I can work on one, take a break, work on another, and then go back to the first. It helps to “get away” from a project for awhile because when you come back to it you will see faults and mistakes that need to be rectified, or see areas that weren’t as polished as you thought it was.
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”.