Thursday, October 15, 2015

'The Hunger: Rotting Frontier' Cover

I recently begun doing book covers for Dave Atwell's The Hunger series. My first assignment was to update the art for the first book which was already released, including doing a title treatment for the series. I tried to bring in the western narrative to the cover and bring it into the format we intended for all the books going forward. We wanted to keep the covers in a palette of black, red, and white, using a bloody aesthetic built around collage and silhouette.

The original cover was done by James Drake, owner of Realmwalker Publishing Group. Readers responded really positively to the cover because of it's striking palette and focus on zombies. There's a gruesome appeal to it that was working really well. We want to borrow from that look, but push it into a new direction.

The original cover by James Drake. 

I wanted to make the splatters and drips authentic, so I painted the pieces in watercolor on Arches cold press watercolor paper. I planned the changes out digitally, and then transferred them to the board in watercolor pencil to begin with. I removed a lot of the splatters to make the silhouettes more readable, and to give us more freedom in later books to lean away from the specifically zombie theme of the first book (there are non-rotting monsters as well).

My new front cover, with title treatment. Fonts are from Legacy of Defeat.

And my back cover for the book. The tree is important to several events in the story.

The cover all assembled.

Check the final book out here.

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