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Book Cover Illustration Idea


Messing around with Photoshop and some old snapshots of a mannequin I have haunting my drawing table.

Comments (15)


That's amazing! A 'shadow box' that isn't!

Steve M:



Okay, how'd you get the 'shadows' just right on all the objects?

John Cox:


Once I started with my photograph of a mannequin resting in a painted cigar box (shadows intact), it was just a matter of matching the graininess and light direction of the photo to the "wall" surface. The little Florida postcard was rendered in 'shop. Then I added the tiny little shadows and highlights to that.

An hour or so of detailing...Voila, cover illustration.

I know I'm making sound simple, but it's mostly taking the time to capture all the subtleties of light and texture, which, of course, comes with LOTS of practice.


Well said.

I've been racking my brain for days trying to remember where I'd seen this little guy before--it was a couple years ago in an image that looked like it could have been in a locker room--on a little shelf against a tiled wall. You did a few drawings/paintings with "him" as the subject around that time--right?

John Cox:


You are correct, sir. He popped in one painting, sitting on a wooden ledge with a figure drawing taped to the background. Also, I did some largish close-ups where the mannequin filled out the surface with dramatic chiascuro lighting. You can see these at the PAINTING category archive, Oct.24,25,27 2007

i find the mannequin prop is handy for all kind of intriguing subtexts.

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John Cox is a painter, cartoonist, and illustrator for hire. For information about purchasing existing work or commissioning new work, contact him by e-mail at john555cox [at] hotmail.com.

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