Welcome to the official website of author Jayson James!

Finding Our Way Series Collection

Read the books that have made up this popular series!

Pieces of Us

Jesse is an average teenage boy making his way through living in 1988 with the help of his best friend, a girl named Dylan.

Read My Story…

As I share my experiences in "Tormented Discovery" with my best friend Ryan who continues the story in "Drifting."

T.E.D.

TIM is being bullied. ERIC is frustrated with life. DELSIN is gay and ready to come out.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Cover Art Process

I've been asked many times to write a blog post about creating the cover art for my books.  Although I am sure I am not the only author who designs their own book covers, I know of no other that creates the images for their covers.  It has been encouraging being I still get more compliments, feedback and praise for my artwork.

The idea of doing this I have always thought was great, however by the time it has been suggested, I'd already completed the artwork.  With Pieces of Us, I intended to stop and take pictures along the way, however I ended up getting into the painting and the idea was lost.  With this cover I used wet watercolors and did the images in layers, thus forcing me to wait for each layer to dry and giving me a few opportunities to take a few pictures along the way.

Knowing they were going to be eventually put into puzzle pieces, I started with the smaller images a few at a time.






They were eventually made into puzzle pieces as was originally planned.





Not being happy with the smaller puzzle images I decided that I was going to go a different direction with the cover and came up with the following idea.  It was not well received by the feedback panel and to my disappointment I was back to the original idea.

I knew what I wanted to the cover image to look like, but I was not sure about the medium I wanted to use, so I messed around with water color pencil, oil pastels, crayon and pencil.  None of them captured the look I had envisioned in my head.

Water Color Pencil Concept

Oil Pastel Concept


Then my art therapist friend introduced me to wet water colors.  I was reluctant to use them at first, because I was not able to control them as I could other mediums I used and this frustrated me.  Within a few weeks, I went out and bought me my own set of wet water colors and set forth on the cover, learning to be patient or end up having to redo the cover.

Here is a progression of my painting.  I was more into creating that I often forgot to snap shots of the process.  This give you an idea of the layers.  The sky, followed by the water came first.






The finished product was finished.  As I was cleaning up the sun disappeared and out of no where it began to rain.

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Once the cover image was drawn, it is scanned into the computer and manipulated until I have what I had envisioned.  Sometimes I get some crazy ideas as you can see.


Once all the images were created and manipulated, came the time to put them together.  Here are what the layers looked like before they were put all together.


After a few more tweaks (and tears) the cover is complete!




I hope that you enjoy my sharing of the process.