I posted the original version of this mock cover for an imagined reissue of Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time, but here's the revised version with suggestions from my agent, Abigail Samoun.
Here's the original version,
An excellent artist in his own right, Monico Chavez, commented on the original post that the wings were a little distracting against the otherwise dull blue background. Abigail also suggested I add a little more light into the background, and add a little more consistent light on the figures. Here's the second version,
I gave the buildings more realistic shadows, and brought more yellow into the background, added some light on the centaur/pegasus, but it still wasn't quite there. Abigail commented that the figures didn't seem substantially rendered, and reminded her of the way a hand colored photograph looks, all in different shades of one color. They weren't quite painted.
OK, this one is finally it! I punched up the saturation, rendered up the kids more, made the planet darker so the kid's faces would pop, added highlights around the wings of the centaur and to around his head, to separate his head from the wings, put some analogous (green) shadows in the centaur, and generally rendered the bejeezus out of it. Abigail was pleased. MUCH MUCH better, she said. She suggested I add type, or hand lettering, to make it look like a book cover. I discovered that this year is the fiftieth anniversary of the book, so I decided to pop that on there too. I went for hand lettering, inspired by the lettering on Polish posters.
Abigail felt the hand lettering on the author's name and on the "fiftieth anniversary" were too ornamental. Maybe for a poster, but maybe not so much for a book cover. Also she felt the title should be in the lighter color and the author's name in the darker one. She thought that "50th Anniversary Edition" would make more sense for a book cover. She sent me a number of typefaces, and I decided on this one:
So after another few nips and tucks, this is what I ended up with! So here's my book cover! I hope Ms. L'Engle doesn't think it presumptuous of me if she ever sees this, but if I were to do the cover to a fiftieth anniversary edition of the book, it would probably look something like this. Thanks again to Abigail for pushing me to be a better illustrator!