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How a Fantasy Book Cover Gets Made

On his blog, artist Michael Whelan revealed how he painted the cover for A Memory of Light.

The blog article shares sketches, color tests and materials he used to create the action-packed cover. Darrell Sweet, the original cover artist for the series, passed away, so Whelan took over for the concluding cover of the epic series.

Here’s more from Whelan’s blog: “I digitized all the existing cave and figure visualizations I had accumulated. In Photoshop, I played around with combining them in ways that might work. On my studio laptop, I set up a slideshow of the more appealing approaches and painted the figures selected into the backgrounds I had chosen. These I sent to Irene Gallo at TOR books for selection as a cover approach. Some were more highly developed than others—I learned long ago that the powers that choose such things tend to favor more finished concepts than looser ones—so naturally I tended to favor the concepts I was most interested in developing into a full scale painting.”

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