Olivia is again front and center on her book cover, and as if her belly isn’t cute enough what about those ducklings? Patricia had the idea and the photos of Olivia to start, all I had to do was come up with the ducklings.
I envision the cover with a close up of Olivia surrounded by sweet baby ducklings. I have some cute photos of her laying down on her back–so maybe one of those will work. Do you have access to baby ducks to use with this artwork?
Actually the scene with the ducklings could be in the grass. It is March in Colorado, so no lush grass. I think throughout the story we’ll find Olivia in a variety of scenes with the baby ducks.
Olivia likes to sleep on her back, curled, stretched, twisted, but which one fit the cover format best? I did like a few of the twisted poses, but when the ducklings came into play, it had to be the one with one paw over her eye.
I had several photos of ducklings from the ducks I see along the creek, but they are more of a tan color and in all my photos they were a little older than Patricia wanted. I found some in my stock photos too, not sure why, probably because they are cute and they show up in advertising, and my stock photos were originally for advertising. I mixed and matched as many as I could find seen from above and placed them all around her, and then some grass. It all happened really fast!
Here’s the synopsis:
Olivia helps unravel a ghoulish mystery. Parker takes Olivia, her spunky calico, to visit family at a guest ranch in Colorado. Olivia makes herself quite at home among the critters. She even learns how to ride a horse. But their vacation turns ghastly when dead bodies show up in the most unexpected places, then disappear seemingly without a trace. Olivia is on the job, though, pawing up vital clues that could eventually lead them to the macabre truth. Along the way, Olivia is catnapped in a cruel plot, she rescues vulnerable ducklings, and she teaches a few lessons in cat appreciation.
I illustrated and designed this cover in October. In the meantime, we’ve also finished Klepto Cat Mysteries book 55 and Olivia books numbers 5 and 6. As always, it’s a challenge to keep up with Patricia!
About the illustration materials
I use a self-prepared two-ply illustration board with a very fine surface texture to hold the pastel, and also be able to use other media. It’s not entirely opaque so I can put it on my light table and trace the details in place. I start out with a sketch in watercolor and even marker to block in the colors and especially the dark areas. Then I put it on my drafting table and finish it with my pastels, first the soft pastels for coverage, then pastel pencils for details.
Depending on the detail in the illustration, I work them about twice the final size of the cover. Getting all the details just right on an illustration like these book covers can be tricky when they are small. The books are 5″ x 8″, but these illustrations are usually about 10″ x 16″, which helps me to paint in all the details.
About these book covers
I’ve also illustrated covers for Patricia’s original cozy cat mystery series. You can see them in any post for the Klepto Cat Mystery series.
CWA 2018 Muse Medallion AND Certificate of Excellence for “Illustration: Series”
Illustration: Series, Klepto Cat Covers 27 through 32
MUSE™ Medallion and Certificate of Excellence
Click the links above to see the other awards.
All books are available in electronic format and most for print on Amazon.com as well as find the print versions on Patricia’s website. Reviews have been good, and a few reviewers have even mentioned the covers! I hope you enjoy these books, and Patricia and I are currently working on the next cover. That woman can write!
When we finished book 12 we also updated the two-sided bookmark that includes all twelve books so far which Patricia can hand out at book signings and book shows.
We’ve also printed several runs of note cards from multiple covers, including a Christmas series.
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Read more about book covers I’ve designed. Also, click here to read more about the Purrs of Wisdom cover and bookmarks, and also about books I’ve designed on my blog, What’s New?
Are you interested in illustrations or a book cover, or book design? Please contact me, I’ll be happy to discuss your project.
Each week on Wednesday I feature a piece of artwork, sometimes a current or historic portrait, sometimes an illustration or an art project from years ago, usually cat-themed, but sometimes wildlife or even non-animal subjects, and even projects from my commercial art life. Read other Featured Artwork posts.
Custom Commissioned Artwork and Illustrations from Portraits of Animals
From Animal Portraits to Book Covers to Advertisements
In addition to creating commissioned portraits beloved animal companions for the past 25 years, I’ve also been a commercial artist since the 1980s both full-time and freelance and created many illustrations, book covers, advertisements, display signs and more. Visit my Commissioned Artwork pages to read more. They are not quite complete at the moment but there is still quite a bit to look at.
All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission, although links to your site are more than welcome and are shared. Please ask if you are interested in using and image or story in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of an image or a product including it, check my animal and nature website Portraits of Animals to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.
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Weekly schedule of features:
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Thursday: New Merchandise
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!