Blackbird book 1 cover

April 17, 2010 6:03 PM

posting it here because I’m not posting this on DA until I have volume one printed and ready for sale! for obvious reasons.

but MAN I’ve spent AGES on this image for some reason. I was originally fond of the sketch, then during rough colouring and detailing a lot of anatomy errors began to bother me. And as I was getting through all of that, I kept wishing that I had designed more appealing clothing, even though simple designs are good for comic purposes and Veloce does have some bad memories about fancy clothing.

I was looking through a lot of comic/manga covers for layout and content reference, and I liked the cover designs for the japanese version of Bleach a lot. I don’t understand why they had to ruin it when they translated it into english. The cover art are not amazingly detailed and extravagant, but as a series I just love the congruence between each cover.


  • Wow, this is really good! I can definitely see that you’ve incorporated what you’ve learned from your realism paintings. Not only is the fabric gorgeous (as always!) but your colour choices and lighting shows so much growth. I do agree with the others though, more shading on Veloce’s face will bring a bit more cohesion to this piece.

    I think the placement of “1″ is ok. I noticed it easily, and it’s nice to have it placed with the title and your name, so it doesn’t interfere with the main illustration. It would be amazing to see Blackbird in printed form!

  • yeah you’re right on the contrast ): although with this lighting angle I’ll probably end up making her look all ghastly lmao. And I have no place to put that 1 seriously, I’m just going to hope that the pattern makes it more noticeable once I have more than 1 volume lol ): It looks so awkward everywhere and I frankly wished it didn’t exist

  • Catriona

    I would suggest more contrast in Veloce’s face shading. Everywhere else has good contrast inline with the lighting but her face seems to stand out because it lacks thae contrast the clothing and even her own hands have. Also the number 1 seems to be a bit lost in there, I didn’t eve notice it until looking back at the cover a few times. Maybe play with the position like in the top or bottom right corner? Although I understand it’s nice to have things centered.

    I like how you used moonlight at the top and fire at the bottom; it has a nice dynamic feel. I’m glad to see your progress. (:

  • I can tell you right now, the cover design is stunning Shilin! I agree with what you said about the Bleach manga covers compared to the English ones. Sometimes simplicity is the way to go, there definitely is such a thing as having an image look too “busy” with 2412312314 different things on it. I wish you the best of luck getting this printed, however you plan to sell it, I would love to buy a copy.

  • This is absolutely gorgeous Shilin, Nice work! IMHO the clothing and colors are perfect. I can understand completely if Veloce prefers her clothing understated and has an aversion to bright colors. Anyway, advanced practitioners have heightened senses, do they not? Like the Crystal Singers. . . normal tones look garish to them. It just makes her that much more interesting and of course she is bad-ass already, so any more attention to her outfit would just be a distraction. ; )
    LOVE your work. Thank you for being there and for doing what you do.

  • It’s amazing! I love the contrast. There’s something about Veloce’s face that bothers me a bit. Dunno what… maybe the shape.
    I’m really surprised, I thought that you didn’t plan to sell it… that was ages ago, I think. I really need to start checking the site more.

  • Beryl

    It’s really good Shillin, even if you could still shade Veloce’s face a bit. Can’t wait till it goes on sale. :)