Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Cover Reaveal: The Scarecrow

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Ready for a look at the book?

"Pure evil rises once again in Albia…

Three years have passed since Baron Reen’s trial. A terrible accident on the island of his exile has transformed him into a nightmarish scarecrow creature with dark, mysterious powers. Staging his own suicide, Reen breaks free of his prison and, with the help of the former queen Sofira, embarks on a ruthless quest for vengeance against his worst enemy, the woman responsible for the overthrow of his schemes and his own ruination: Brynne Sullyan.

Sullyan is tasked with investigating Reen’s suicide. The missing body and a series of disasters in Port Loxton—a vicious murder, a brutal ambush, and a devastating fire—raise suspicions in her mind. She probes deeper, determined to uncover the truth, unsuspecting of the evil that’s about to be unleashed…"
And now for the big reveal!!!

I really love how this cover turned out. I feel it is one of my best covers. I thought I'd share with you a few of the steps in creating this. First I started with a really rough sketch, just trying to get the feel for the shape of the painting. Then I created a finer sketch that I then presented to Cas for approval. This is what she got:

After Cas approved the sketch I moved on with the painting process. We chatted back and forth about the colors I should use. I wanted have Sofira's robe be red but we almost ended up having it be green. One other thing you might notice, in the original drawing I had the torches flaming. Cas thought, which I agreed with, that red embers would create a better lighting effect. You'll also notice I hadn't quiet decided how I was going to pull off the Scarecrow's face at this point. Also Sofira's necklace was too light. So we changed that up to be a little more on the heavy side. I like pointing out the changes because no artist is going to be able to get it right the first time. I try to get all my changes made in the sketch where it's easier to make changes. Next I started painting. While I don't have individual layers to show the next picture shows the colors being laid out under the sketch. 

You can see some of the slight changes that I made during the paining process. Sometimes things look a little different once you start adding color, shadows, and highlights. We didn't make any changes once the paining was done except we did play around with the Scarecrow's eyes a bit, trying to make them more sinister. In the end this is what we came up with:


Cas lives in the lovely county of Hampshire, southern UK, where she was born. On leaving school she trained for two years before qualifying as horse-riding instructor. During this time she also learned to carriage-drive. She spent thirteen years in the British Civil Service before moving to Rome, Italy, where she and her husband, Dave, lived for three years. They enjoy returning whenever they can. Cas supports many animal charities and owns two rescue dogs. She has a large collection of cacti and loves gardening. She is also a folk singer/songwriter and is currently writing and recording nine folk-style songs to accompany each of her fantasy books. You can listen to and download all the songs from her website:

See the video of her performing live at the King’s Envoy book launch here:
Find out more at her website:

Social Media links:

And now for a wonderful endorsement. 
“Cas Peace's Artesans of Albia trilogy immediately sweeps you away:  the drama starts with King's Envoy, continues unabated in King's Champion, and climaxes in King's Artesan, yet each volume is complete, satisfying.  The Artesan series  propels you into a world so deftly written that you see, feel, touch, and even smell each twist and turn. These nesting novels are evocative, hauntingly real. Smart. Powerful. Compelling. The trilogy teems with finely drawn characters, heroes and villains and societies worth knowing; with stories so organic and yet iconic you know you've found another home—in Albia. Start reading now. I, for one, can't wait to find out what will happen next.”
Janet Morris: The Sacred Band of Stepsons; the Dream Dancer series; I, the Sun; Outpassage.

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1 comment:

  1. Mikey, I love that you used this fabulous cover to share your artistic process. It brings it alive even more to hear what happened behind the scenes. I too think this is your best ever cover, and I'm so privileged to have such atmospheric artwork on the front of one of my books! Thank you so much, my friend! xx


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