Exercise 21: Making a mock-up


“For this exercise, you are going to mock-up a book cover. From your bookshelves or the library choose a book title that appeals to you. Read the blurb on the back of the book (or the whole book if you have time). Examine the design of the cover to identify what the brief would be for the illustration and establish the function you want your image to perform. 

You may already have done an illustration you can use or you may be inspired to make a new one. If you are using one you have already done you may need to modify it in some way. You may need to play with the colours, edit or adjust the composition or alter the size or scale. Don’t make changes to the original.

Either copying the design of the cover and adding your illustration or designing the cover from scratch, make sure that you incorporate the title, author and publisher’s details.”

I choose a book called “The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate” written by Jacqueline Kelly that I read a while a go.

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate is a 2009 award-winning historical young adult novel and was the recipient of a 2010 Newbery Honor Award by Jacqueline Kelly. It is the story of a young girl growing up in Texas. And the original book cover looks like this:

For this exercise I decided to create the illustration using regular pencil and paper. I also knew that I wanted to illustrate the face of Calpurnia. I also wanted the image to have a personal yet freeing feeling which is what I remembered the book made me feel like.

First, I made a quick sketch to see the composition I liked and then proceeded to finish the drawing.

I choose the second drawing because I liked the more artistic feel that the extra hands gave it. Then I finished painting this illustration using an HB pencil:

Then I scanned the drawing and transferred it to a virtual canvas, to add some final details, color and the title.

I decided to add some color and match it to the tittle of the book. I added it to the tip of her fingers and to her checks to represent her youth, the story is about how she is a young girl growing up.

Furthermore, I stayed in a neutral color toned palette because I thought that it represented the book better and the personality of Calpurnia.


I am really happy with the final result of this exercise, I am curious to know what the author might think of this illustration. I really enjoyed this process, I enjoyed the freedom that the brief game me.

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