Cover art for the sixth and final book in Shane Peacock’s award-winning Sherlock Holmes origin story.
A brief look at how this cover came together. There were 24 sketches before we settled on our eventual image. Here is a sampling. They initially wanted us to be inside the mausoleum with our villain.
We took it outside, changed the look of the mausoleum, and reduced the real estate of the snake scene. It was during this phase of development that we had to eliminate the moon as it was determined we are looking north. Fortunately we were able to pull light from the fog over the River Thames beyond the horizon line.
At this point the sketch is approved, so we build in the initial masses.
And now it’s just a series of tweaks until we have our cover.
The ivy was something that we knew we wanted, but we weren’t sure if it would make the scene hard to read.
Overall heaviness of ivy tones alleviated with some brightening in the background and details.
As a final touch, a bit of beauty lighting was added to our hero. This is the first time in the entire six book series in which Holmes actually appears in his entirety on a cover. All five preceding books showed only the back of his head or less.