Got the best email tonight from Lance Ganey, very brilliant cover artist. Sultana's Legacy is ready, at least the cover. The various elements of this book were a struggle to find and settle on. I wanted something that captured the darkness of the period, the sadness of my heroine, Fatima. It had to be a female figure that was similar in some ways to the one for Sultana, somewhat older and more world-weary, but familiar. Again, Orientalist art proved a goldmine. Then I needed a background. Fotolia was a great resource for royalty-free images. GIMP is also one of a self-published author's best resources; never thought I'd learn to layer but it happened.
First, here are the originals.
This is Femme Orientale by Jean Francois Portaels Belgian 1818-1895; available through an attribution license from Creative Commons. If you've seen the cover of Sultana, do you notice the similarities between the figure on that cover and this one? Amazingly, they were done by two different Orientalist artists.
Looking for a fantastic, royalty-free background for your commercial projects? Check out Fotolia.
The layered image. I reversed both the background and female figure, cropped the background and figure separately, and then layered and enlarged the figure to dominate more of the space. All with GIMP. Then I turned to Lance, for his magic. So, here it is:
I love it. I almost cried when I saw it, but that's just because I'm a sap. What do you think?