Before getting to the sketches I have I will say a little about my process, especially since I don't usually work this way.
before drawing the sketch for "The Bard and the Dragon" I listened to album several times, and then immediately went to a coffee shop and sketched both "The Bard and the Dragon" and a second piece that remains untitled at the moment. Besides aiming to give form and color to the music, I was working off three things Joel and Grant had initially spoken of when we first talked about cover art. 1) They wanted light and energy 2)they wanted to images to tell a heroic story 3) wanted me to incorporate iconic stylistic elements. Where I went with that was taking the iconic depictions of monks and hermits in the desert with my own painting of desolate and surreal landscapes:
I then decided after having the sketches that I would put Grant and Joel in the paintings. Grant is the seated figure in "The Bard and the Dragon".
Here is the sketch with pictures of Grant and Joel inserted in the sketch:
This is the final sketch I showed Joel and Grant before I began on the second piece.
Grant and Joel's response to both the first piece and the above sketch was a desire to collaborate more closely on the second image. Joel particularly seemed less comfortable with simply having me interpret their music visually, in part because he seemed to have some ideas of what it looked like. Also, both of them did not like/get the floating flowers.
So we spent about two hours producing this very rough sketch from the above sketch:
We simplified the pallet to white, reds, blues, and black. We have only one figure also in a crouching position.
Here is a sketch with the basic palette and composition, still rectangular:
Lastly we decided that the piece would be square aiming towards the whole piece to serve as the front CD cover. Here is the sketch now composed in a square:
I very much enjoyed the collaborative process as we worked on palate and composition together. I have to admit it was frustrating at times, but I think worth the frustration. And the frustration was small compared to the exhilaration of working out the elements of this piece in collaboration with Joel and Grant.
I am sitll working on the sketch the next post will be on the final sketch before going to the canvas.