Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Painting Naked Book Covers!

Now I know what you're thinking, "HOW CAN SOMEONE ACTUALLY PAINT A BOOK!?!?!?!?" But I'm here to tell you that everything actually turned out well, better even because I'm satisfied with the end result. 

I was scrolling through my Instagram feed one day and saw this beautifully painted copy of ACOMAF by Stephanie from @pink_lemonade_reads

After seeing that amazing paint job I was like, "Yeah, that's pretty bad ass and ballsy. Wouldn't it be cool if I did that." I then started to form an idea of painting a galaxy on book. Why an galaxy? Because I've painted a lot of galaxies in my time, and it just looks so cool! Now, I have had plenty of background and routine practice with the medium. But I was still hesitant, I didn't want to ruin a perfectly good book if I messed up or something. So I held back, thinking that this idea would eventually fade into nothingness in the back of my mind. 

But then Lauren from @fictiontea happened...

So, I did a thing. I painted my 'Throne of Glass' books. This action was completely inspired by @pink_lemonade_reads who recently drew some incredible art on her copy of ACOMAF. I watched Stephanie's youtube video where she talks about doing art on her books and ultimately thats what convinced me. In her video she said the thought of drawing on your book was terrifying. But, then she mentioned that this is your personal copy, why not fill it with personal things? Draw some art that you love on it? Make this your copy of the book, not only personal, but the only edition of it to exist. I thought that was an awesome way to look at it. I decided, what the hell! I've been a fan of the 'Throne of Glass' series since the first book was released, so I wanted to paint something that symbolised each book on its cover. Assassin's Blade: A masquerade mask and swords. The masquerade mask represents Celaena meeting Chaol and Dorian at the masquerade party and not knowing it. And the two swords represent Celaena and Sam. Throne of Glass: The Stag from the amulet of Orynth. Crown of Midnight: The Eye of Elena, from the necklace. Heir of Fire: A Hawk to represent Rowan's entrance into the story (because this is the only book I really love him in, sorry guys. He's okay in the others, thats just my opinion). Queen of Shadows: The Wyrdmarks. Empire of Storms: Goldryn the sword. I was utterly terrified about painting on the books, but I quickly became comfortable with it and Stephanie ( @pink_lemonade_reads ) is telling the truth when she says that its such a bizarre, freeing feeling. I will definitely add more to these in the future, but for now, this will do. And I'll definitely do this to other books too. Its so much fun! If I ever want to see the books in pristine condition again? I can go to a bookstore! Funny story, my mum thought these designs were printed on the covers till she felt the paint. Good sign, right? • If you get a chance, go check out @pink_lemonade_reads! Her art is gorgeous and she is an absolutely lovely and wonderful person. • So, would you guys ever do this to your books? Or do any of you guys already do it? Annotating your books counts!
A photo posted by Lauren (@fictiontea) on

And after seeing this I decided to go "balls to the wall" mode, and just do it. I couldn't help that nagging idea, and how cool it would be if I pulled it off. So, it was decided. I was going to paint a galaxy on a book. But then I ran into the problem of which book series I was going to paint. Well, it would odiously have to be a sci-fi series, because painting a galaxy on a high fantasy novel is just weird. And I had to have ALL the books in the series in hardbacks for their naked covers. And literally the only series that matched these standards was Melissa Lander's sci-fi adventure Alienated series. The only snag, I own all the first editions, and they have all been signed and personalized. So, painting this series was a risk. If I ruined these books, I would die. Literally die. But since I was in "balls to the wall" mode, that didn't matter to me. I was just wanting to paint and rock it. So one painted cover turned to two, and two to three. And before I knew it, I had a full custom painted  and signed/personalized book series.

They turned out so much better then I could have ever imagined! I love them! And the amazing thing is Melissa did too!

And she is right. I did paint them in theme with how the two main characters, Aelyx and Cara, and how their relationship grew throughout each book. 

On Alienated I painted both Cara and Aleyx perpetrated, because starting out they both weren't the biggest fans of each other. 

On Invaded I painted them both holding hand, because they were both separated but, still were falling hard for one another, and by the end of this one they did.

And finally, on United I painted them both in love. 

And it was awesome to get so much positive feedback from all of you . . . so thank you!

I highly recommend that more people hop on this trend, but maybe not as hard core as I did with the whole signed copies thing. This was one of my favorite projects I've ever done. If you don't feel comfortable with your painting skills, but would like to do this too, I recommend practicing on paper or canvas before putting any paint on a cover. Remember, don't do it unless you are one hundred percent sure you can rely on your abilities to get it done. I have faith in those who try, because I did it and couldn't be happier. I wish you all luck on your creations! And if you aren't comfortable with the painting medium, you could always draw on the covers and put a clear coat on the top of you drawings; there's an idea. Maybe I'll try that next?

Click these links to learn more about Melissa Lander's Alienated series.

Click here to see my review on Invaded, the second book in the series! 

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