I haven't done one of these in awhile, but today I am going to show you how I created the cover for the upcoming Dark Erotic Romance by Jade Eby and Kenya Wright.
If you like what you see and would like to hire me just send me an email, or visit my website for more details.
1. The very first thing I do is get a new photoshop file all ready to go, I design my ebook covers at 1600x2500 300dpi for those of you that want to know. Then add in all the stock photos I plan on using. For Cupid I only needed on stock image chosen and provided by the authors.
2. Here I have clipped out the image of the guy, enlarged it and adjusted the position. I have also picked a font that looks a little like cuts in skin, and played around with some settings to see how it would look as cuts. Namely the layer blending settings just to get a feel for how the text is going to look like. (I originally presented my client with four different font looks, creating four different types of cuts. This was the winner.)
3. I have enlarged the guy and moved him around some more to get the text/title in the right position. I have also created my own text from that base font I found. Sharpening the ends of the letters, overlapping them, and creating gaps to make it look more natural knife work (don't ask how I know what natural knife work looks like :s). I also wrapped and distorted the text to curve around the muscles of his chest to make it look more believable. Finally, I added a gradient to the bottom with a little blood splatter effects. Using layer masks I also continued the blood splatter into the base of the guy.
4. With the text in place I focus more on making adjustments to the man. Playing with the levels, curves, and adding some color changes. All of which makes the image darker, sharper contrast on the shadows for a more dramatic look, and changed the blue reflective light to a red one that better matches the theme of the cover. If you notice I have left a little blue just to play off the red. I also left the warm color in the shirt to make it feel warmer and more inviting.
5. Now time to focus on the text. I darkened the red color because a wound is shadowed and also darker then people often believe it to be. I also add some darker colors onto the flesh around the text to give the appearance of the flesh being wounded/damaged.
6. Here I have added more coloring around the wording, a bruise like darker color, and some red to so irritation. To add some depth to the cuts I made the centers lighter color. If you could zoom in close enough you will also see some texture I added inside the cuts using blending layers.
7. In this step I have finished off the cuts with a little highlights around the edges, and also added the lipstick kiss on the side of his neck. For the kiss I took a pair of lips from another stock image of a woman I had on hand and blended it onto his skin.
8. I added some more blood splatter effects to the base of the guy's chest and background to give it a slight messy look. Since the text looks just alright I felt it needed more, so I drew in some blood trailing from the text cuts. This gives it more believability.
9. Almost done! With the blood drips I darken some areas and add minor highlights to others, because blood is liquid and does catch the light. You might not be able to tell since they are so thin and small, but when you look between this image and last you can see the depth it creates. I also change the background to black at the request of my client. (this is just one of three different colors for the background we were thinking).
10. Finally, I added in the author names and position them just right, and DONE!
If you like these process posts comment below and let me know that you want to see more.