Acrylic - 28" x 20"
When a book has a character as interesting and well delineated as Killashandra, the best cover approach is simply to render an accurate portrait of her. If the painting works, the force of the character's personality alone confronting the viewer should be sufficient to draw the attention of the casual observer to the book.
In this instance, I had just finished a painting of similar approach With a Tangled Skein, a very direct front-and-center composition. To avoid the feeling of duplication, I turned Killashandra's attention away from the viewer and toward the impending storm threatening on the left. This change turned the illustration into a narrative one, added the symbolism of the storm, and heightened the tension and interest in the painting. The result is a whole lot better than my first sketches for this book. There is an interesting extended interlude in the story where Killashandra is marooned on a small island in a vast sea, and my earliest sketches illustrated that scene. After re-examining the pictures, I realized that such a cover would give the casual observer the impression that the book was a 'Ms. Robin Crusoe' story, so out they went...