The final cover we decided to have at night. This one required a bunch of repainting, but not nearly as much as it could have, thanks to some of the other strategies I employed from the beginning (like the way I managed the layers and made use of File Objects). One of the challenges with these nighttime covers is that they can print way too dark, and it’s always a struggle to get them to print correctly. I’m still learning how combat that, but one of the strategies I tried here was to maintain some good contrast and to minimize how much actual black there is. Some of the colors and tones look dark because of the colors and tones next to them. The fireflies were an after thought, but the author approved. One of the thoughts I had had early on when we were discussing how to have these 5 unified covers without over cluttering them (the original idea was to have the sword on book 1 and add a new “prop” every cover, totaling 5. Despite my efforts, I couldn’t get 5 items in there without it being too cluttered) was to introduce some “magical” elements, since the books are about witches and warlocks and spell casting. The author didn’t have a strong idea for a particular spell that was visual, but the fireflies kind of fill that purpose for me (I wanted to try painting some glowing magical stuff, haha).
Here’s a close up:
Please let me know what you think, it makes my brain happy.