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Friday, 18 November 2011

So this is how I did the cover for Death of a Fop, an Austen sequel

I wanted to have a very Regency feel, not a glossy painting, largely because I tend to associate glossy paintings with bodice rippers.  Jane is a sedate, serene and classy lady.
My immediate thought therefore was to start off with an Ackermann fashion plate and see what I could come up with.
I browsed a lot around 1816 to see what I liked.... and this was the one I decided to work with.

January 1815 Ackermann's Repository

I figured that Jane might not be in the highest kick of fashion - but in any case, I could always tweek that when I came to paint. So I lightened it to as pale as possible while still able to see some detail and printed it out on heavy cartridge paper
Then I was ready to add a background and overpaint the picture. I liked the expression of the girl, so I had to work hard when painting over it to retain as much of that as I could. I had to put her into mourning and add some hint of Caleb Armitage, the Bow Street Runner in the background

And this was what came out of it.  Jane's hastily dyed gown, her modest downcast gaze, and Mr Armitage respectfully in the backgound by a window - a window on the rest of Jane's life that she can choose to use to look further.

So on to the sequel - as yet to come
I stuck to the theme of using an Ackermann print; I wanted Caleb Armitage more prominent here so I needed a male figure.  I decided to use an 1809 fashion print of a gent to use for him as fashions for men changed less, and a 1816 walking gown for Jane.

I wanted to lose the muff, so I did it a bit brute force by cutting and pasting [not needing to have it perfectly formed in the computer pic, merely a guide]
I wanted Jane in half mourning and a little bit pregnant; and I wanted her expression less constipated looking; and Caleb had to be blonde.  I picked a country house to copy to put in the background to suggest Enscombe - or indeed any other country house Jane visits during this set of 3 novellas.

So now all I need to do is to drop it into a cover and add text etc.....

1 comment:

  1. excellent artist at work!!!