Thursday, 26 June 2008

Red Stone of Passion

Coming soon to Total-E-Bound ...

Red Stone of Passion by Tuesday Morrigan.

I've had a sudden rush of covers released. Can you tell? LOL.

Red Stone of Passion is a Menage book, obviously as there are two bodies and a head on the cover.

I just had to lighten the woman's skin tone to a 'coffee colour' and give her a bob hairstyle. She also had orangy-gold lipstick which clashed with the red diamond so I just changed the hue to something more suitable.

The guy's were straight forward cut and paste. There was a bit of jostling for position but they fit in quite well. It's funny how something as simple as a belly-button can cause me to re-work a cover. Originally the middle guy's belly-button was framed by the 'd', making it stand out too much for my liking .Of course now that I've mentioned it, everyone will be looking at it. It's still a bit prominent, isn't it. It looks like a bullet hole.
Oh, hey AJ! Does the fellow in the jeans look a little familiar LOL!

The diamond was a simple colour change from blue. I like the vibrancy of the red. I also played around with a few different fonts for this one. For the title itself I've used three different fonts.

Now for something a little different. Jacquelyn Frank is holding a raffle were you get the chance to win some truly mouth-watering prizes and all for a good cause! So if you're a pet lover, head on over and see if anything takes your fancy. Best thing is she's happy to post WORLD WIDE! Godiva Chocolates, ladies ... an advanced copy of NOAH, the final book in her Nightwalker Series, AND a load of fantastic reads from some carefully selected authors. So get on over there and have a squiz, buy a ticket and support the Animal Compassion Network!

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Men of Tokyo - Sudden Surrender

Coming soon to Total-E-Bound!

Men of Tokyo - Sudden Surrender by Sedonia Guillone is book 3 in the WhiteTigers series.

This is the first cover I have done of this series and damn if it wasn't a tricky one LOL! I honestly thought that body tattoo was going to be the end of me as a cover artist. Seriously!

Anyway, because I'm pretty chuffed with how it turned out, I thought I'd share with you how I managed to pull it together.

First things first. I needed to find the characters. In all honesty there's not a lot of Asian/Oriental guys available out there. Well. I don't think chubby business man is quite in the 'Erotic Cover' league, but someone might yet surprise me.

Anyway, so I managed to find some nice bods. The guy on the left worked perfectly for the Character he was to portray. The Guy in the middle though, looked like he'd sucked on a lemon so I decided to lop off his head and give him a new one. Oh, if only it were so easy in real life, eh?

The original head I chose was a bit too 'cranky' so we went for the guy on the right. Sweet!

Okay, so now with lots of cutting and pasting of heads we have our two characters ready to go. Now for the hard bit.

The character over on the right called for a full body Yakuza tattoo - white tigers and cherry blossoms. O.M.G.!

Now I'm pretty adept these days at adding a tattoo here and there and getting them to look relatively natural. BUT a whole body tattoo??

So the search began. Firstly I trawled through the stock sites. There were a few things I could have thrown together but in all honesty the amount of stock required would have killed me. However, in my searches I managed to stumble across this image on the right.

It had the tiger AND the blossoms. Bingo!

Unfortunately the tiger was yellow, but thanks to the desaturate tool I was able to leach out the colour and produce a white tiger. Next, it was obvious that this image was not going to fit on the big guy's body without looking a bit odd. Plus the larger I stretched the image, the poorer the quality became. So I was going to have to keep my images small.

What I ended up doing was creating a new document and copying and pasting parts of the image around the tiger, gradually expanding outwards. I'd blend the edges of the image so there was no obvious seam by erasing with a large, soft brush.

This gave me a broader canvas to work with. Also ensuring that I would not notice the edges of the cut & pastes in amongst all that busy background.

So back to the big guy. Using the expanded tattoo design, I enlarged it enough to cover his chest. I had to dabble with the perspective so that the angles were correct. Then using a displacement map of his torso, I was able to distort the tattoo so it fit to his chest. I worked like this in sections all over his torso, upper & lower arms and shoulders. Cutting and pasting, blending and merging sections of the basic design until I was happy that his body was covered.

As you can imagine there were quite a few layers. At least 20 just to cover his torso, arms and shoulders. Once I had him covered I copied those layers and then merged them into one. I changed the layer to Multiply and fiddled with the opacity until it looked more natural. Phew!

My next challenge, but obviously not so difficult was to try to find an image of the Kanji for Suzuki. I did manage to find one but it was of poor quality. So I had to recreate it in a new document. I hope to god it is correct LOL! This was just a 'normal' tattoo that needed to go on the background guy.

The hard bit out of the way all I needed to do now was bring the design over from the previous ones of the series. Pop the the guy's together, blend them in, fiddle with contrasts, shadows, highlights, etc and then go and find myself a nice quite corner to huddle in. LOL!

Of course there was a lot more fiddling involved, but I don't want to bore you all with the details. This is just to give people the gist of what goes on behind the scenes.

Monday, 23 June 2008

Hershies Kiss

Hershies Kiss coming soon to TEB!!

Hershies Kiss by Carol Lynn is book 10 in the Campus Cravings series.

This was a pretty basic cover. Again it sticks to the series theme. From memory one of the characters is a Chef or at least likes cooking. Hence the pots at the top.

The two fellas say it all really. Simple cut and paste and a bit of contrast balance and shadowing.

I hear that this book is pretty hot!

Got myself another book to read. This time it's Damien by Jacquelyn Frank. The Nightwalker Series. I so easily get sucked into these series LOL! I'm almost finished it - of course. Books don't last long in my grasp. I'm hoping that by the time I finish this one, the next in the Sookie Stackhouse series will be available in Paperback. Although I doubt that will be the case by tomorrow LOL!

Once I've read that book though I will have to wait a good 12 months before the next book in any of these series come out. Actually, no I lie. Noah comes out in September 08, but that's in the US. Although I could pre-order it I guess. We'll see.

I think I'll be pretty busy in between books though. I really do need to set myself up with a desk diary so I know what I'm doing these days. That includes fitting in housework around covers, computer time and reading LOL! I really do need to set aside quiet time for my reading though. I often find I'm reading my book whilst trying to get the kids breakfast or when I'm cooking dinner. I'm so impatient when it comes to my books. Still, it would be better if I could concentrate without the constant interruptions. I'm sure I'd enjoy the books even more.