The focus was on a group of characters leaping into the fray against an opponent just off-picture. There would certainly be an interesting background, but it would play second fiddle to the charge. I had a series of characters to pick from for the cover, and the choices almost made themselves as I found the shapes in the piece. Spear? Got to be this character. Magic? Okay, let's have that one.
Before I submitted the sketch, I toyed with replacing the leftmost character with a druidic type, the herb warden, but stayed with the more magical-oriented character as he seemed the more likely to be heading into a fight.
With the sketch done, I got some feedback about balance in the piece but it was otherwise approved. I'd been having some issues with the ranger as it was, so he was easily removed. The white box shows the bleed I was asked to include, to make cropping and placement on the final cover easier.
With that, I dove into painting the final. A couple of elements were tweaked for balance or anatomical reasons, and a mid-way work-in-progess pic went off to Jon, who approved the progress. Back at it...
Not so much to say about the final stretch - I refined and re-worked certain elements, I made sure it was popping in all the right places and held back where it needed to be, and worked it up until it was done.
When sent and approved, the text was placed (not by me) and this is what came out:
The process in .gif form:
Thanks for looking! :)