"" Read more : http://www.ehow.com/how_8339780_put-emoticons-blogger.html WillowRaven Illustration & Design Plus: November 2014

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Sword Masters of Mars ~ cover art and design; plus, my idol, Michael Whelan.

I've made it no secret that the artist I credit for inspiring me to go to college for fine art and design, with the intention of one day being a book cover artist, is Michael Whelan. There are, I'm sure, thousands of artists, if not more, that can claim the same.

For those not readily familiar with his name, you have very likely read some of the books his work has graced. One such series of cover works  Del Rey commissioned ... the re-dressing of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars novels; joining the ranks of art legends,  Roy G. Krenkel and Frank Frazetta.

Now, I know I'm no Whelan, but when Rob Dorsey contacted me about his spin-off series of novels needing artwork, I jumped at the chance before some other artist grabbed the project. 

To be honest, my only exposure to the series was through the art I drooled over and the movie I found ultra-cool (although I'm told it didn't do as well as expected, and, as typical, didn't do the books justice).

Of course, I used the project as an excuse to spend hours intensely studying covers for the series, in an attempt to create a cohesive look for Rob Dorsey's, Sword Masters of Mars. And once finished, I may have to carve out some time to read the original books. I will, however, read Rob's novels.

Copyrighted

Blurb:

Sword Master of Mars is an exciting tale of the planet Barsoom, which we call Mars, and the Virginia Cavalryman John Carter, his Martian wife, the Princess Dejah Thoris, the most beautiful woman on the planet, and their second son, Darus of Helium. The noble prince attempts to settle a rebellion following a great civil war fought between Helium and the aggressor city-state of Zodanga. Zodanga loses but an army of Zodangan holdouts will not surrender and the battle goes on for twenty-five more years as the Zodangan rebels continue to fight a guerilla war against Helium. Prince Darus hatches a plan to surreptitiously imbed himself and his Zodangan adjutant into the rebel ranks, commanded by their evil Jeddak, or king, Teyos Than. Darus is to be surprised by what he discovers there and how his discoveries alter the course of the war, his royal family and his own life. There are great and dangerous beasts to conquer, sword duels to be fought and new relationships to nurture, all amongst the bizarre creatures and alien hordes of the Red Planet. Here, a Prince of Mars discovers that, like his father, he might find love in the most unexpected of places.

I still have several b/w sketches to complete for the interior, so keep an eye out for more on the pending release for Sword Masters of Mars, by Rob Dorsey.

This is an excellent opportunity to, once again, show of some of MW's amazing work, but this time, not dragons (which is what I usually show). The following are from his contribution to the Martian Tales.













***Crazy postscript update ... On a whim, I sent a tweet to Michael Whelan (@whelanmichael) the other day, after realizing his twitter account was on his newsletter that I subscribe to. My idol ... the artist who brought me through a traumatic injury, actually responded to my tweet, and not with a cookie-cutter reply, either. Knowing how little he's active on twitter, I never expected a response. I went into total star-struck, crazy fan lady mode. lol How many ways can I say MADE MY YEAR!

Thought I'd stop in & say hi. I've followed ur work for years & regularly blame you for my choosing to become a cover artist.

  oh no, not my fault! Twas Frazetta who motivated me, the blame goes to him:-)

Now was that the coolest response, or what? Sounded just like a person and not the demi-god I know him to be, lol. After my temporary mental breakdown, I tried to play it cool ...

But I only have one book of his work; I have all of yours, ;P.



On that note ... Happy Thanksgiving, everyone :D





Onto wrapping up the next book :-D
Until next time ...
Aidana WillowRaven

http://WillowRaven.weebly.com


This post edited by Grammarly*
*Blurbs and quotes provided are not edited by WillowRaven, but posted as provided by author/publisher.



Thursday, November 20, 2014

"Return to Dune Towers" writing challenge - submission by P.S. Arabella (@PSArabella)

I have found my visual writing prompt challenge much more fun and interesting that I expected to. I started rotating the challenge on twitter a couple months back; something just for fun to create a little interaction with interested new followers, not expecting mush response. Color me painted with surprise :D

Visual writing prompt: http://willowraven.weebly.com/return-to-dune-towers.html Write a short for this & I'll post it w link to you :-D

Each author that submitted, using this same image as a visual prompt, has come up with a literary short or poem, each unique from the other. It's amazing to see the visual/text relationship working in reverse. I'm usually creating the art based on the words, LOL. I never imagined there would be so many different stories for the same image. I'd love to see one of these authors take the image and run with it, turning it into a full novel. :D

Today's submission is by  P.S. Arabella (Twitter: @PSArabella). Be sure to check out her links below for more of her writing. :D

 http://willowraven.weebly.com/uploads/6/3/9/0/639044/1487123_orig.jpg

"Off in the distance, she could see it, Dune Towers. It was a captivating landmark but to her it was just a beautiful prison. For her people, she would do this; she had to do this. She would become his. She wondered what he was like. Like all the people on this world, she had heard the stories; knew of his famed encounters with their enemies. He had brought peace and prosperity to a land that had been at war, but even with all the technology at his disposal, he was still known for his barbaric ways. Her heart was heavy having left everyone and everything she knew behind, but she still had hope. Hope that the day would bring with it a new beginning of peace and happiness for her just like it had for this world. As the hover board brought her closer to her final destination, she held her head up high and resolved not to let this challenge defeat her. She would win this battle and the war within the confines of Dune Towers."

Isn't that awesome? Intrigue, suspense, and romance in one paragraph! Be sure to swing over to twitter, or one of Arabella's other networks, and let her know what you think. Keep an eye out for this writer!

Want to take the challenge, too? Write a short for this artwork, and I'll post it with links to your website and/or network profiles. :-D  





Onto wrapping up the next book :-D
Until next time ...
Aidana WillowRaven

http://WillowRaven.weebly.com


This post edited by Grammarly*
*Blurbs and quotes provided are not edited by WillowRaven, but posted as provided by author/publisher.



Saturday, November 15, 2014

Going from Photoshop raster to Illustrator vector, for logo creation..


Logo created exclusively for Carnoria Publishing



Being more comfortable with Photoshop than illustrator, I prefer to start logo creation in PS, then convert the logo as a vector, in Illustraor, after the fact.

First, I create the art in Photoshop, then design the text to go with it in a PS layer. I blind any layers I don't want to show up in the final logo, and save the file as both a PSD (to retain the layers for later use) and as an EPS.


I then open the EPS file in Illustrator.


Note, if clicked on, tell-tale vector points can be seen when the group image is selected, but the image and a white ground act as one element right now, so it's only a partial vector at this point. I also don't resize anything until after I make a few adjustments. Let's vectorize the still-raster art layer.


Double click on the white background area, which should select the entire art layer. Open the Live Trace tool and choose these settings. Don't panic if the screen goes dark for a moment, each change has to recalibrate the preview.


Make sure the method option is on the first option. This allows us to 'ignore white'. Most helpful when wanting a clear ground.


Now go to the top and 'Expand'. You should see a mass of blue points. The art is now vectorized, to match the text.


To resize everything, so it fits within the workspace, click outside the work space, to clear any selected point, then click on any one element, so that every element 'lights-up'. While holding the shift key, drag the outer corners until the size you want is established.


Click outside the work space again, so you can see what minor adjustments still need made. Like in this case, the text is a touch off compared to the globe, so click on just the top text area, like so. Then adjust the bottom text group, if desired.


Now save as an Adobe Illustrator file (.ai), and you have a vector logo to present to you client, that doesn't have the resizing drawbacks of the original raster file.


Hope someone finds this helpful.






Onto wrapping up the next book :-D
Until next time ...
Aidana WillowRaven

http://WillowRaven.weebly.com


This post edited by Grammarly*
*Blurbs and quotes provided are not edited by WillowRaven, but posted as provided by author/publisher.


Saturday, November 8, 2014

'A Witch's Tale' ~ cover art and design (@Irina_Mknight)

Lucretia T Knight and I met on Twitter (@Irina_Mknight), which lead us to Live Chat on my website, where we planned out the cover for A Witch's Tale together, first in the series.

The only real parameters were a geometric design and a water wave.

Well, I wanted the shape to represent both water and witchcraft, plus I wanted to represent a portal.

Triangles have significance in a multitude of religions, including witchcraft. An inverted triangle symbolizes water, so I thought it would make a good portal.

Let me know what you think. :D

blurb:

Amy’s life is a numb existence of work and home, until strange dreams of the moon and waves sweep her into a dark place within herself. Her mundane world begins to spin into exciting, erotic adventures. But, who is really in control? Disjointed memories of the day rattle Amy’s mind and she begins to question her sanity. She discovers an old familial connection to witchcraft. A journey into her mind and soul lead her to a place where she will have to battle for the right to her own existence. Converging blood lines will either destroy her, or liberate her.

If you'd like to follow Lucretia T Knight and her writing:

 twitter: @Irina_Mknight







Onto wrapping up the next book :D
Until next time ...
Aidana WillowRaven

http://WillowRaven.weebly.com


This post edited by Grammarly*
*Blurbs and quotes provided are not edited by WillowRaven, but posted as provided by author/publisher.




Wednesday, November 5, 2014

"Return to Dune Towers" writing challenge - submission by Harlowe Pilgrim (@HarlowePilgrim)

Visual writing prompt: http://willowraven.weebly.com/return-to-dune-towers.html Write a short for this & I'll post it w link to you :D

~

That's my Twitter writing prompt challenge, using one of my original artworks as the inspiration, is surprisingly successful (at least my idea of successful). I had no idea so many people would be interested in participating.

TM Vornes sent the latest submission, surprising me through the contact form on my website:
This is it,” she said under her breath. “The moment of truth.”

Warlord and Concubine

"Return to Dune Towers", by  WillowRaven

This is it,” she said under her breath. “The moment of truth.”
Not the moment of actual truth—she for one certainly would not be telling that. Not all of it. Not even if she were broken.
The sand whispered and eddied below the low-hovering platform at her feet as she passed, the imposing form of the palace-plex having now come into full view.

She knew that meant that she, herself, had now come into full view as well.

The master’s guard would soon be upon her.

She felt her senses pique as she anticipated her inevitable apprehension, and she fought not to show it. The best defense would be a convincing display of innocence.

How would the master accept her? Would the master accept her? He, the warlord, had never been known to suffer fools … or be willing to be made one of. For his entire oppressive reign, from his bloody, terrible rise to power and before, the master had made it abundantly clear. The burden of suffering would be borne on the backs of any fools who would dare cross him or his dominion.

The man and his dominion … they were one and the same, actually. A universal truth?

A smile pursed her lips.

As universal as any.

Hopefully so … her reason for being depended on it. He needed to need her, to want her back. To be less concerned about her whereabouts and the circumstances of her disappearance … than having back in his hand that which was his.

So his.

He had proclaimed her the crown jewel of his court—not before the court, but the court knew it all the same.

It had to be eating him alive, being without her … living without sustenance. It had to be eating him alive.

It had to be.

###
-Harlowe Pilgrim



Copyright 2014 Cock and Bull Publishing, LLC
To check out more of the author's writing, visit his sites:
Harlowe Pilgrim’s books are available at www.cockandbullpublishing.com
 Amazon, iBooks, Smashwords.com, Books-A-Million, 
and most other online booksellers.
Want to take the challenge? Write a short for this artwork, and I'll post it with links to your website and/or network profile. :D  






Onto wrapping up the next book :-D
Until next time ...
Aidana WillowRaven

http://WillowRaven.weebly.com


This post edited by Grammarly*
*Blurbs and quotes provided are not edited by WillowRaven, but posted as provided by author/publisher.