Australian Manga Anthology   -   Tutorials

Xuan Xuan

Drawing a Cover

The first thing you need to do when drawing a cover image for anything, is work out what needs to go in it. For this example, the cover of the first issue, what was needed was a representation of what you're likely to find within the issue. I thought about what elements were in each story, and wrote a list of one item from each story. From that, I was able to think about what I was going to draw on the cover, and come up with a concept sketch. You may not have the advantage of having read all the stories, as I have had here, in which case it's not a bad idea to ask whoever you are doing the cover for, for ideas and hints on what to include.

The first drawing that you do at this stage is small, and very rough. The example to the right here shows you just how rough you can be. The idea at this stage is to block out the elements in the design, and get overall gestures and poses looking good. You may do a few of these before you come up with a design that works, so there is no need to be precious, and spend hours filling in detail, if the layout is not suitable.

You'll also notice that I've drawn in where the title banner is going to be in this rough sketch. It's always a good idea to include it, if you know what it is going to be, so that you don't end up with one of your character's heads being chopped off by the titles. If you don't have access to what the banner or title is going to be (perhaps it has not yet been designed) then always leave space for one.

cover_concept
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