Monday, 29 November 2010

Twelfth Night - alternative US cover

Abrams publishes SelfMadeHero's Manga Shakespeare titles across the Atlantic and I was given the chance to do an alternative background for the cover of the US version of Twelfth Night.

Originally I modelled the landscape in Twelfth Night on the dramatic mountains and valleys of certain regions of Switzerland and once I told my father that I'd love to go travelling there. My parents now live in Norway and my father, who's been to Switzerland, scoffed and said that I didn't even have to cross the border to see that kind of landscape.
When I redid the background for the cover it was not long after I'd visited the beautiful Geiranger fjord, just a few hours' drive from my parents' town, and that proved immensely helpful. Often I find that the most frustrating and time-consuming part of painting is searching for that something that you can't quite grasp, probably because of a lack of understanding or knowledge of what you're trying to paint. In contrast, when you have a clear idea of what you want you can avoid a lot of false leads and pitfalls, and shoot straight for that image in your head.

If you ever visit the fjords, make sure to pack warm clothes. It gets surprisingly nippy, even in the height of summer. This was July.

The memories of the fjord were put well to use when visualising the colours and atmosphere for the painting and it was an enjoyable and surprisingly agony-free experience to paint.
I'm not sure which version of the cover I like the best. I like showing the landscape in the US cover, it adds to the story, but the title and the characters stands out more in the original cover.


Faye said...

Congrats Nana! :D USA distro here you gooooo!!!

I like the bg. Really nice and clean, particularly like the bit of the wall + window. :D It does make me think that Viola is going to burst into "THE HILLS are ALIIIIVE, with the sound of meeewwwzzziiikk" any time now. XD

Do agree though, that the UK cover is a lot clearer in terms of title-clarity. :3

koalapuff said...

Wow it looks so beautiful, almost like a photograph! The fjords look amazing, but somehow quite different to swiss landscapes. Alpine mountains are less majestic and don't have that 'lord of rings feel' :P. They tend to be quite cosy, quaint and have little villages & chalets tucked into valleys. (And valley people...Faye will know what I'm talking about XD)

PS. Has anyone been tempted to try a Bob Ross tutorial? He's the king of painting happy little mountains XDDD

nana said...

@Faye: Your book is on their site too! Although they haven't uploaded the cover yet:

Cheers! :)

@Joannna: The pictures I was looking at were from Interlaken, and there the mountains look even more majestic than Geiranger!
I think I can see what kind of landscape you're talking about though, I found a few pics of those more friendly-looking valleys too. Still, stunning!
Lol I really don't get the Bob Ross jokes. Is he supposed to be good or bad? Or so bad that he's good? XD

koalapuff said...

Nana, Bob Ross does these hilarious landscape speed painting tutorials, mostly for people who don't know anything about art but still want to paint XD. And he's got the most hypnotic voice in the world. Could only find small clips, not full episodes but those are amazing to watch if you can find em: