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Thread: Pulp Book Covers

  1. #1

    Pulp Book Covers

    It seems like an age since I last posted here - but then it's been a while since I've posted anywhere thanks to computer problems. Anywho, I've continued here and there with my efforts to re-create the look and feel of pulpy novels. The original goal was to develop techniques to produce them very quickly with a view to entering the pre-made book cover market - I've completely lost interest in attempting that market myself but not in the original project. I will, at some point, be putting up a blog with all that I've figured out but that won't be until well into the new year (and maybe when I've a new - and stable - computer).

    Anywho, here are a few of the ones I quite like, all of which follow the same method. I can't draw for toffee (at least, not without a set square), so I start with a 3D staging program called Poser - I try to keep the scenes fairly simple and render against a transparency. Next, there's a little adjustment in GIMP or PSE8 before I load the result in ArtRage as a tracing image. I create a background layer, then turn the tracing image into paint layer. I then paint a background and merge the layers, finally attacking it all with oil brush and knife. I'm finding it much easier now to add colour myself, along with highlights and shadows. I also used to rely on a Cutout filter to help block out colour before taking into ArtRage but no longer feel the need for that.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Algarve, Portugal
    Very good work i like very much
    Visit my website here

  3. #3
    Interesting art work created in interesting ways I really do like the book cover styling .
    If you like my art come join me on my facebook page

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Wilmington North Carolina
    Love your work, all are so well done, looking forward to more

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Pacific Northwest
    This is so much fun! Well done!
    Be well,

    "Teach, Learn, Thrive"~DM

  6. #6
    This one was created as part of a possible tutorial going from the cover design template though to the painting and assembling into a cover. I've based the design on the old Pan paperbacks of the 50s through 60s and the artwork also follows a pattern common to those books. The artwork on this does take a bit more time, as it needs the three background figures rendered individually and then composited, finally there is an extra layer of painting going on in ArtRage. Still, I didn't think that it took so much extra to price it out of the pre-made market if that's the goal.

    Here is both the display version with the wear and tear and the cover full cover version that would be suitable for print (I used the CreateSpace guide for a 5x8 inch trim which, while too big for an old mass market paperback, is the smallest size for extended distribution and has roughly the same relative dimensions).

    Oops. posted the wrong image files - I'll have to try and sort out the right ones later
    Last edited by TheEarnestBunbury; 11-26-2017 at 02:21 AM. Reason: wrong images

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

  8. #8
    Two more...

    These were both efforts to try a different composition with a couple of different cover designs. Anyone who grew up on hold books will recognize the first design as based on that of Pan books from the mid 50s through to the mid/late 60s. The second was partly inspired by one of the designs used on Mike Shayne novels - I deviated quite a bit but drew more on the use of the gothic font - this one is League Gothic, which I found a close enough approximation.

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

  10. #10
    One for the close of the weekend.

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