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Reader Tutorial: Wrestlerish Album Artwork by Chris Valentine

This is a short case study on the album artwork I did for the South African band, Wrestlerish. There were at least 8 different illustrations for this album, so I've decided to focus on the portraits which I combined for the poster design and booklet.Apologies for the low res process pics, but I only had access to my phone during the drawing process. Step 1 My first step when drawing portraits is to make sure all of the elements of the face are accurately positioned. I first block in the rough shape of the head, and then go in and add in rough positional marks for the nose, eyes, ears etc. I always work very closely from my photograph at this point and use my pencil to measure spaces and convert to the page accordingly. I use a Faber Castelle 0.5mm mechanical pencil with corresponding 2B lead and a putty eraser. Step 2 I now begin fleshing out some of the details. Once I am 100% sure that the landmarks of the face are accurate, I can start detailing without worrying too much about likeness. I carefully analyse each element of the photograph & try to reproduce exactly what I see onto my drawing. This takes a lot of practice, but with time you start relating value in the photograph to different pressure levels with the pencil and it becomes easier to get your drawing true to the photograph. Step 3 In this step I started with the beard. This was the most painful part of the drawing as it involved hundreds of tiny little pencil marks with different areas of light and dark. Always remember, the devil is in the details. I try to pick out the dark and light areas of the beard and shade accordingly, using tightly packed strokes for the dark areas and more sparse pencil marks for the light bits. Step 4 Step 4 is essentially the polishing phase where I add in final details and make sure I've got the likeness right. If it doesn't look like the guy by now it's a bit of a problem; so always try and leave your dark shading until you're sure you have the likeness correct! This step is all about adding the finishing details and highlighting the smaller features of a person's face that aren't immediately noticeable. Step 5 As you can see in the image, I like to work on A4 (29.7cm x 21.0cm) paper, normally 200GSM as it's heavy enough to handle acrylic inks without warping. I always use masking tape to attach the page to a hard board working surface to press on. Once I have finished my drawing, I scan it in at 600DPI and bring it into Photoshop. Step 6 This is how a drawing typically ends up looking once it's ready to be integrated into my digital piece. I will normally drag the scan into a new document (with a size relative to the job description), and I'll use the levels adjustment layer to bring the darks out and improve the general contrast. I'll also go around the piece with a soft eraser and remove any marks I may have left on the page. It's also important to note that I set the layer's blending mode to 'Multiply'. This removes the white from the layer and leaves your pencil marks so you can work underneath them. Blending modes can be found in the dropdown menu above your layers palette which will say 'Normal' if you haven't changed it yet. Conclusion Once I had done this for each of the band members, I brought them all together into one huge canvas and messed around with various paint splatters and watercolor scans, as well as the cover artwork of the Johannesburg skyline. I would love to answer any questions you may have, so feel free to get in contact. For more information about Chris Valentine visit his site at and follow his Twitter at

Great Album Cover Designs

We often feature lots of album covers here at Abduzeedo, but that happens for a reason: we're all music lovers, and as designers, it's pretty natural to mix these ingredients together here. So I went looking for more great album cover designs and found some classic ones, and also some that I had never seen before. Here are my picks, and I would like to know what are the album cover designs that you like the most and don't forget to drop the link. We'd love to see them. I hope you enjoy these. Cheers! ;) Meat Loaf - Bat out of Hell III Rise Against - The Sufferer & the Witness Pink Floyd - The Wall Foo Fighters - In Your Honor Keane - Under the Iron Sea Green Day - Dookie The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow Pink Floyd - The Dark Side of the Moon She & Him - Volume Two Muse - Absolution Sonic Youth - Goo Pink Floyd - The Division Bell Michael Jackson - Dangerous Land Of Talk - Cloak And Cipher Architecture in Helsinki - Places Like This Dinosaur Jr. - Farm

Musically Inspired Album Covers

Simon Page is a self-taught designer from the UK. This month he started a project called Musically Inspired Album Covers in which he created an amazing series of cd covers inspired by the the music itself. Here you take a look at each cover and find out what music inspired the creation. Besides these awesome covers, Simon has a very extended and creative portfolio that you should definitely check it out. Inspired by Mike Oldfield album Platinum Inspired by BT's album These Hopeful Machines Inspired by Röyksopp’s album Melody A.M. Inspired by Röyksopp’s album Junior Inspired by The Avalanches album Since I Left You Inspired by Jean Michel Jarre's album Equinoxe Inspired by Gareth Emery's track Metropolis Inspired by Crystal Method's album Divided by the Night Inspired by Röyksopp’s album Junior Inspired by Gareth Emery's track Metropolis Inspired by Gareth Emery's track Metropolis Inspired by Solar Fields album for Mirror's Edge Soundtrack (and in particular the Introduction track) Inspired by Jean Michel Jarre's album Zoolook Inspired by BT's track the Light in Things Inspired by Jean Michel Jarre's album Zoolook Inspired by Deadmau5 album Lack of a Better Name

65 Examples of Awesome Album Artwork - Part 2

It's time for part two! Thanks for all your suggestions! A lot of the images I'm going to show you today came from sleevage, a site I came across dedicated to music, art, and design. Definitely worth checking out! And as always you can drop me a line on twitter or facebook! Daniel Elliott André Coelho Delphine Ettinger Only50 / Society Style Alex Koplin KalleGraphics Corrado Grilli Manuel Lariño Foe Pete Barnett

50 Examples of Awesome Album Artwork - Part 1

Following my articles on posters, I received a suggestion from @MateToth90 to try a post with indie CD covers. I thought it was a really good idea so I went on the lookout for some cool album artwork to share with you guys today. I found so many that I decided to break it up into two articles to avoid major computer crashing around the world. Stay tuned for part two ;) Oh, and there's probably more really good ones out there that I missed out on, so send me cool ones you found through twitter or facebook and I'll include them in the next one! rulico Matt Govaere Razvan Garofeanu Jeremy Dowd Jonathan Dickson Jason Drakeford KIDPLASTIK David Bez Luke Wright Ricky Trickartt Lauren Burke Three Bears Design Gokhan Eryaman Jason Alejandro Nate James Jónas Valtýsson Oliver Ward Thiago Santana teagan white Miguel Vega Haik Avanian

Super Cool Classic Album Arts as Pelican books

Flickr is awesome to find and share photos and designs just for fun or to promote your work. There are lots of groups of all sorts of subjects. One that has become quite popular earlier this year was the Omega Project. Another really cool set is the Cover Versions by Littlepixel, that is full of classic album arts reinterpreted as Pelican paperback covers... you can even send yours. Simply awesome. Having seen some nice book cover pastiches recently, as well as enjoying greatly the book on penguin/pelican’s design history by bald catholic type-lover Phil Baines, I undertook to ‘reimaginitize™’ some well loved records as if they were published neé released in the modernist sixties on the classic grid in the fifth dimension of alternate reality Donkle. via Fetter

Inspiration: German Hip Hop Album Cover

I am working on an album cover for a hip hop artist right now and looked for inspirations on the web. I found some very good articles like this on SmashingMagazine. But I haven't found a lot on hip hop cover so I decided to write one on my own.