Clay & Yumi Boutwell have just updated their Momotaro Japanese reader. It will be out in paperback very soon. The ebook version should update tonight. Here is the new cover I just finished.
I thought it might be fun to document the steps I took.
1) First, I sketched out some ideas in a notebook:
(Click any image below to see a larger image)
2) Once I had what I wanted in mind (including a few changes), I pulled out the good paper and started sketching there.
3) Then I inked it. I don’t do many line shadings here. It makes it easier to use Photoshop’s magic wand if the open spaces are left open.
4) I scanned the image and did a quick magic wand in Photoshop to get rid of the background. (I first made a copy of the original!!) Under Blending Options in Photoshop, I added a thick stroke so I could easily see the dots the magic wand didn’t pick up.
5) Next, I put a Blending Color Overlay over the original so I can easily tell where I need to color. Here I did the monkey with flat color.
I just used the magic wand to select the dark brown area, created a new layer called “dk brown” and filled that with brown. Did the same with the lighter color.
6) With my Wacom Graphics Tablet (you can use a mouse if you like torturing yourself), I put darker and lighter browns to give shadows and sheen.
Maybe the flat color looked better…
7) And I colored in the rest of the characters–every color has its own named layer. Don’t be lazy!
8) And added some shadowing and details and lines:
9) And added a starburst background using a Brush I found–maybe this one.
I decided the oni needed to be orange.
And here is how the paperback will look once printed:
The ebook should be updated tonight. If you’ve bought it before, please email Clay (clay AT The Japan Shop dot com) and ask for a free updated version. The new update also includes the Tortoise and the Hare story as well as MP3s for both stories. Click here to view in Amazon. (If you see the new artwork, it has been updated.)
Originally, the redhead was the cover for book one (with a red background). I decided, however, The Temporal was more about Suteko and A Temporal Trust, about Kaileen. These covers are the result of much tweaking and experimentation over the course of the past year. Whew. I’m finally happy with them–I think.
Here is the first page from A Temporal Trust.
“How many of them, boy?”
The old man’s eyes were wide, his mouth hanging open as if still in the process of releasing his last word. Sam couldn’t tell if it was from fear or simply the anticipation of the moment.
Sam closed his own eyes and shut out the world around him. Patterns soon emerged within his mind that represented Nephloc—the dark creatures under the enemy’s control.
“Three—no, four,” Sam said, opening his eyes and turning to Marcus who was not twelve inches away. “And they are closing in fast.”
Seeing a burgeoning smile, Sam determined the wide eyes were revealing anticipation and not fear.
Sam looked down from the rafters upon which they were hiding and watched as Suteko walked casually around a chair on the floor below. She wore her long, silky hair back in a ponytail. Her clothes were loose to enable quick and varied movements. She was dressed for battle.
She was the bait.
The Temporal – a 327 Page Supernatural Thriller
A Temporal Trust – a 370 Page Supernatural Thriller
The image you see on the right of a Red Headed woman is now the cover of the forthcoming Book 2 (The List of the Temporal)–the only perk out of being unknown and unread is I can do things like this and no one will notice.
Here is the brand new cover for Book One of Suteko, the Japanese Temporal:
Book Two, The List of the Temporal, should be out later this month. I am in the final editing stage now.
Tanaka, Sons of Redemption is due out mid-December. My partner, Joe Lemont and I are also making great progress.