With the final design agreed upon, Scott Christian Sava provided me with some quick color ideas. He scanned the sketches into Photoshop and used that software to color the image quickly, to give me an idea where he was thinking of going once he started putting brush to canvas. Since he’s using a physical medium (as opposed to purely digital like a lot of artists these days), it’s important to work out color details ahead of time; changing Mungus’s fur, for example, is no trivial matter when we’re talking paint on canvas.
As I alluded to, my feedback was to darken Mungus’s fur and Ix needed a complete color change. The valtraxian is brown with stripes. Jenny’s hair is dark in my 1st draft, but I actually don’t mind the light-haired look here. It’s easy enough to change in the manuscript since I only mention her hair color once or twice.
Looking at book cover art separately from the book is an interesting experience. Most people aren’t used to seeing art that’s so right-justified. When you’re designing art for a cover like this, if you’re going to have wraparound art, you need remain aware of what the title text, blurbs, UPC codes, etc. will obscure. I like how the forest in the background frames the area reserved for the cover copy (the blurb). The title should look really nice with that big orange sun behind it.