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Jacqui Oakley 2014
I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to be asked to do this job by Cassidy Zobl the Art Director at Hour Detroit. It’s always great working with them and it’s wonderful to have an opportunity to do a cover inspired by the Farmer’s Almanac, garden gnomes, topiary and flowers. It’s like they read my mind.
Here is the Farmer’s Almanac cover from 1902 that I was asked to work from. It’s a beauty isn’t it? I’ve definitely learned a thing or two working from its gorgeous detail.
Here’s the linear I sent to the art director. As you can see I’ve squashed some of the elements of the Almanac design to allow room for the title and the different illustrative elements I planned to add.
Here’s the start of the rather long but fun inking process. I used a very very fine brush and ink for this and went through a lot of podcasts.
The cover is filled with hints to the stories inside including topiary hairstyles, baseball and gardening.
Nearing the end of my night’s work. I think I was hallucinating gnomes at this point.
The next step was to add colour! I scanned in my inked page and then started adding in painted textures, making sure to focus on greens. The line-work I changed to greens and browns, bumping up the contrast in some important focal areas. Then a sprinkling of some warmer colours to add some contrast and further emphasize the green. Here’s a breakdown of some of the colour layers….
….and here’s the final version with the very green background. Hour wanted the cover to look super green, so it was a welcome challenge to not add all the colour I usually do but to still create some focal points amongst the intricate detail.
I went a bit crazy on the detail on this piece, which I have a tendency to do, adding all sorts of little elements that probably no one else will notice but that I enjoyed.
Not sure what the weather is like in your neck of the woods but around the Toronto area it’s still cruelly clinging to Winter. We’ve had a few tempting peeks at Spring which has been enough to get me excited to start working on our new garden. It’ll be the first growing season we’ve had in our new house and I can’t wait to see what we’re going to do with the yard. It’s pretty barren now, but in a few months I’m sure it’ll be as green as this image….. hopefully!