The Death-Defying Pepper Roux
Here is a cover I did a few months back by the great author, Geraldine McCaughrean. I don't want to give away too much, but this is a really great book with a unique vision. It's not really fantasy, and it's more than just an adventure story. It's like existentialism for kids. Very briefly - the book is set Post WWI France, and the main character, Pepper, has been told he will die when he reaches the age of 14. The book starts on his 14th birthday.
There did come some minor issues with a story like this: How do we make a cover that is truthful to the story yet entices young readers to pick this up in a bookstore. The art director, Alison Donalty, had some great ideas and was just awesome to work with.
After the first set of sketches, we went with the top version. They liked the dramatic perspective and sense of adventure. We got to the color rough phase , and then the author decided that she would like to aim for a more mature look and the boy should be older looking. The fine folks at Harper Collins also liked the other sketch with the birds, so they asked for a revised version of that one. They also wanted to make his jacket reddish to stand out against the blue background.
This started off as oil on linen and I worked digitally on top.
Some time after the job was all wrapped up, the author requested the jacket go back to navy. Thank goodness for the magic of digital alterations. A few hours later, this was the final.