How to Draw a Book Cover

Written by helen jain
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How to Draw a Book Cover
Book covers draw attention to the book. (stacks of book image by Orlando Florin Rosu from

Authors commonly need artwork for a book cover. The book cover catches the attention of readers and draws them in, making it easier to sell a book. While it is true that a book is not necessarily interesting when it has interesting cover art, the book cover is the initial impression of a book. Drawing the cover requires planning and tools, but the outcome is a cover that catches the eye and brings attention to the book.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Coloured pencils, crayons or other colouring devices
  • Reference pictures

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  1. 1

    Write out the theme or description of the cover. Determine the needs of the cover art before starting. Once the basic theme or description is available, look for reference pictures to base the art on. Reference pictures might include nature scenes for background art, a log cabin, a person or group of people or even an animal. The story will determine the needs of the cover.

  2. 2

    Sketch the picture. Use pencil and paper and draw a basic sketch. This is a rough draft sketch, so erase when necessary and make changes until it suits that artistic idea.

  3. 3

    Redraw the sketch. Tracing the sketch after completing the initial drawing and changes is an option or redrawing the entire picture is a second option. Avoid erasing if possible. Eraser marks can ruin the picture. Take extra time as necessary and refer to reference pictures whenever a part of the drawing is unclear.

  4. 4

    Colour the sketch. Most cover art has colour, which draws the attention of the eye and brings interest to a book. The amount of colour and colour scheme used is personal preference. A small amount of colour is a good option for drawing the eye, such as the "Twilight" series which has a red apple in a black and white background for the initial cover art. The red draws the attention to the book due to the contrast. Use as much or as little colour as suits the story and the drawing.

  5. 5

    Give the cover art to the author. If providing the art for a company, give it to the company. If using cover art for a self-published work, scan the picture and make changes on the computer as necessary and print it with the book when publishing.

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