We started here with a sketch showing a windswept beach. A beach was a new setting for a cover in the series and the story in The Case of the Pretty Lady is set against the background of a hurricane. These provide the main elements that we work to build on.
Richard, the illustrator, gave me three different options for the main subject of the drawing and I chose the deck chairs and rug as I felt it was the most natural for the story. As always, tea features. Jersey doesn't have white cliffs so we changed those from the original sketch to grass and brush covered ones instead.
Something I think Richard does really well is his ability to create a mood with sky. Here, he makes it brooding and atmospheric, stormy. At my request he pulls the umbrella to the foreground and places a ship in the background.
Now we're motoring. He enlarges the ship and starts adding the details, the damaged boat, the storm strewn beach and brightens the sky close to the horizon. The beach is textured, shadows are added and he changes the color of the umbrella.
And finally, the finishing touches. I ask for a helicopter which is added to the sky, along with a diving helmet, and a protest sign. Richard always likes to add a few finishing touches to give the illustration some life, in this case a couple of seagulls . Shadows give the artwork perspective, the colors are saturated, the image is produced hi-res and we are done!
“I’m secretly in love with DI Graham! He makes my heart go putter patter!”