My client needed an illustrative cover art design for her EP. The title of the EP was “Times Are Changing”. All five songs are about relationships – love, moving on, saying goodbye etc. The lyrics were very personal to her and she requested the album artwork to reflect the same. The image in her head was of a rustic/rural farmland with an oak tree that had her name carved into the tree and a girl sitting under it reading a book with the album title and a guitar propped up against the tree next to her, but she encouraged other ideas/takes as well.
My first idea was an illustration of a girl playing guitar under a tree with a cityscape in the distance drawn in the same style as the Little Golden Books covers. After seeing the mockups, she realized her vision was for something a little bit more photorealistic than a hand-drawn illustrative style. She wanted the oak tree on the right hand side with more focus on the trunk than the scene. She decided to nix the girl and the books and only have the a guitar leaning against the tree in a meadow in the Autumn. She sent some landscape photographs as visual aides. A new oak tree was rendered in photoshop, keeping the engraved layer styles from the previous design. Then grass was painted and the sky rendered to be more gray/blue for the realism she requested. The final steps were adding some texture and color blending to the tree, leaves and guitar to make it resemble the guitar she plays in real life, as per her request.