The staff on cover 4 belongs to the original main character from L.S. Gagnon’s first series: Thea from the Witch Series. It was on the very first cover I drew for the author waaaay back in…2013ish? I was fairly new to digital painting at the time, and her hiring me was really my first serious commissioned work (between that and how many times she’s commissioned me since, I refer to her as The Patron Saint of My Art). The staff itself is based off of one the author actually owns.
This cover has the most obvious time of day/lighting shift (other than the last one…which is at night). One of the things I am really drawn to in other’s work is their ability to capture light and make the viewer “feel” something. I try to study it, learn how they do it from their tutorials, but it’s still somewhat elusive to me. That said, I like the way this turned out, but it’s definitely an area I need to work on more. It has the ability to make or break an illustration, to make an image “pop”, and to really draw the viewer’s eye.
Here’s a close up: