May 052011
 


Well, it’s done, the first suitable-for-public-consumption draft of the front cover of my forthcoming novel She. What do you think?

I had a different idea for the top part originally. But then I went to shoot the CN Tower from the city side on Easter Sunday. And as I looked through the camera’s viewfinder, I thought, that tower is tall, like really, really tall, like the buildings around it are shrimpy! My idea ain’t going to work. So I did some thinking. I got a new idea, to have the CN Tower pierce the H. But that’s all I came up with. I reread my first chapter to confirm how the sky should look, and I was glad to see I was on the right track with the clouds. But I had to rejig those too.

I finally sat down at the computer Wednesday and began to play. I liked the greens I had chosen for the title (they came from a photo I’d taken years ago of a Hosta leaf) and the source of the clouds — a photo I had taken in the Yukon back in 1996 (I’d scanned in the negative awhile ago). But other than that, I started from scratch again. I cut a part of the clouds out and layered them on the cover template. They didn’t fit, but like the skyline image, proportional stretching works well. For the skyline, I chose the best shot of the CN Tower and surrounding buildings, erased the background, and used the cutout effect. Love that effect. It’s so easy to use. Click, and you got a black outline of Toronto’s cityscape.

The text was a matter of trying to decide what font to use and lining the title up with the CN Tower and edges of the cover. I chose BatangChe for the title and Batang for my name, the lighter green for the title and darker one for my name.

The colour of the clouds was the most difficult part. I didn’t like the default. So I treid Corel’s time machine, film and filter, and infrared effects. I settled on cross-processing with a little bit of infrared and softening. Wasn’t sure I wanted a blue background, but of all the colours I’d tried, it was the most visible in a thumbnail and one that best popped out the title. I may have to go back to the drawing board on that one.

I use Corel Paint blah blah blah X3. Seriously, could they choose a shorter title?! Anyway, it’s a nice, easy-to-use program with powerful capabilities. But it and my computer struggled over how much memory it wanted to use. I buy a computer with two hard drives and loads of hard drive space on both plus lots of RAM, and I still have to wait endlessly for “not responding” messages before Corel finally responds again. With a couple of crashes to boot. But the front cover is done. For now.

I’d love to know what you think. Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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