Saturday, October 5, 2013


-By Dan dos Santos

Here's a new cover of mine that was just released. This cover is for the latest installment of Diana's Rowland's 'Kara Gillian' series.

Time was short on this one, so I ended up painting the image digitally, something I don't do too often.

This cover is a good example of utilizing a tilted horizon line.

Even though this image has quite a bit of 'action' potential, often times I am commissioned to paint relatively static portraits. One of the easiest ways to add excitement to an otherwise boring picture is to tilt the horizon line.

Here is the image with a straight horizon line:

Here is the final image, with a tilted horizon line:

It's not a huge difference, but tilting the horizon line, even a little bit, can instill your image with a greater sense of drama.

In addition to adding drama, the tilted horizon line makes the viewer respond to the image in a different manner. They immediately know something is 'off' and therefore have already prepared themselves for something abnormal to happen.

I actually use this trick fairly often.


  1. I use the tilting trick a lot in my CCG card art. Helps to add a little flair into the very small format.

  2. Have you noticed yourself tilting in one direction more often than the other? I look back at my work and it's funny how often I tilt to the left.

  3. I can't distinguish the difference between your digital work and your oil paintings. Could you give a brief description of how you did it? PS? PS and a bit of Painter?

  4. Great cover! I've always really liked the way you paint monsters. The translucent quality of the wing in this one is so nice :)

  5. Great tip Dan, and a beautiful cover, too. Big fan of your work :)

  6. Nice trick. :) I always feel my backgrounds aren't too engaging, I think this tip will help.

  7. I love this trick, but it is funny how often I forget to see if it's the right choice for the piece I'm working. I suppose that tells me I should spend more time on thumbnails.

    Unrelated, I wonder who is going to pay for the years of therepy that kid on the steps is going to need... ;)

  8. foto payudaraThe translucent quality of the wing in this one is so nice :)