Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Secret Cellar Cover...

Here's my new cover for Michael Beil's fabulous Red Blazer Girls series, out today! These adventures follow a feisty group of middle school sleuths who solve mysteries throughout Manhattan. My daughter and I are big fans of Michael's writing, so it's a thrill to contribute to these tweener mysteries. I'm also thankful to art director, Kate Gartner, who pushed me towards this bold style. You can see some interior spots from the The Secret Cellar here.

Here's my sketch process, starting with thumbnails:

After feedback from the thumbnails, it was time to create some more detailed comps:

A fountain pen plays a central role in this mystery. Here's the circular art and sketch ideas:

It's always nice to see my artwork in it's proper context. Here's an older photo of my daughter reading the second book in this this series, The Vanishing Violin:

I'm looking forward to presenting her with a new copy of The Secret Cellar!

Happy reading everybody.

You can view my new illustration website here!


  1. It's so informative to see all the development work needed to produce a thoughtful cover illustration. Great work, Dan.

  2. Thanks Graham! It's incredible how many sketches can pile up to create a single image. It's helpful to look back at the process, and to see what worked, and what didn't work. Thanks for viewing: - )