Wednesday, September 7, 2016


-By Jesper Ejsing

2 Weeks ago I finished this cover illustration for a Swedish book cover. The book takes place in the univers of the roleplaying game I used to play in when I was young. It is great fun to do and the book series has a couple of more volumes each containing new professions. This fist one is about a thief.

I have worked with Theo, the art director, before and he trust me to come up with ideas on a very simple description. He said he wanted more of a mood piece with the focus on the thief and his climbing ability and including a suspence-like situation. The thumb I came up with contained almost only the pose and the angle. Theo liked it but asked me to do some kind of difused background with city and spires and such and asked if it could be raining. 

I wanted to do this cover digitally, but I do not yet feel super at ease at sketching even on a cintiq, so I did the whole drawing in pencils first on a A2 paper. Then I started coloring in photoshop. 
I went about it the same way as an acrylicpainting. I added all the values, basicly doing the whole pianing in greytones and then added colors in Overlay ( like a wash ) . Lastly I painted into the color addeing light.

The Rain is a photo of rain wich I skewed to fit the perspective and set the layer to Screen. Coming from a traditional background I get a kind of bitter taste in my mouth thinking only "you are cheating, Jesper", But I have to admit it looks better than if I had hand painted it. 


  1. Incredible piece, no you didn't cheat. Thanks for the explanation of how you did this.

  2. Yeah, I used to feel "You're cheating!!" quite a lot when transferring over to digital. Now I find it impossible to live without the little "cheats" that digital offers. Great work.

  3. Hey, what about Vermeer and his use of the camera obscura? Was he cheating?

    ...It's all about the final image, isn't it? Not about how you get there.

    But as for this piece. LOVE IT! The atmosphere is so thick!

    Good stuff, man.

  4. Very cool piece-the energy your pencil sketches really balances well with the digital. Thanks for the info on how you did it.

  5. I wonder how I could get started doing book covers. I'm sure there is a post about it somewhere here.