Republishing Dragonflame – Cover Art Progression

In my last blog post, I showed you the initial cover sketch for the upcoming new edition of Dragonflame, the final volume of my Ultimate Dragon Saga series of fantasy novels.

Dragonflame by Graham Edwards - cover art progression
“Dragonflame” cover artwork – early work in progress.

Work continues apace on both the cover artwork and, of course, preparation of the manuscript. This latest update on the former shows how I’m developing that initial sketch into the finished artwork. First up, I scanned the pencil drawing, then traced over it in Adobe Illustrator to create a set of stencils outlining the key parts of the dragon’s body – head, body, wings and so on. I then transferred those stencils into GIMP, where I’m using them as paint masks.

Dragonflame by Graham Edwards - cover art stencils
The “Dragonflame” cover artwork begins with the initial pencil sketch (left) and progresses to a set of outline stencils created in Adobe Illustrator (right).

Building the artwork in GIMP allows me to combine hand-painting with photo-real elements. For example, working in Strata Design 3D, I’ve mapped a repeating scale pattern on to a simple serpentine form. By rendering the 3D model from various viewpoints, I’ve created a grab bag of dragon textures that I can cut, paste, warp and generally finagle into position within the confines of the stencil.

Dragonflame by Graham Edwards - dragon scale texture model
This 3D serpent model, mapped with a scaly texture, provides the raw material for the dragon skin in my finished illustration.

The new edition of Dragonflame will be published later in 2023. Stay tuned to the blog for more news as work progresses! Check out these links to read up on the previous books in the series:

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