Process: How Simon Dominic paints our new cover

Using Corel Painter 12, Simon Dominic paints a dramatic creature encounter for our latest cover!

We wanted a unique feel and approach to our latest cover, for issue 98's creature themed issue. From the outset issue 98's cover needs to celebrate the impact of creature design. Simon Dominic was approached and signed-up for the task of painting our new monstrous cover!

Simon Dominic lost world sketches
Simon Dominic created six colour sketches for issue 98's cover.

Using Corel Painter 12 Simon began brainstorming the idea of a lost world creature. Not wanting to be tied down, Simon sent in six colour sketches that explore a variety of ideas and themes from a Jules Verne inspired ocean floor octopus fight to a pulpy T-Rex and an underground volcanic world. Choosing one was tough…

We opted for the epic octopus and created a mock cover design.

We decided to explore the idea of the watery creature conflict. This would be a challenge. The colours, tone and complexity of the design will make a cover difficult to design, but we love the idea and plough on, creating an early cover. Some problems appear… too busy, too complex and our creature, the cover's hero, is lost in the murky waters. We need a change of plan…

The alien T-Rex idea has an immediate impact, we explore our new beasty.

We want a more visible creature, full of colour and impact, and so Simon hastly returns to his tablet and begins doodling a new design. Building on the T-Rex idea, Simon adapts and morphs his thumbnail into a full colour sketch. An alien dinosaur surprising human explorers and a tree line full of humanoid creatures. Who was hunting who? A mock-up cover is created to test the design.

Simon sends over a more detailed image, with a rendered head and developed colours.

We love the idea and Simon's skill at sketch in full colour is impressive, and crucial to his process which he share's in issue 98's tutorial. Simon paints directly over his colour sketch to make use of all the texture within the image. A version with more enhanced colours and a detailed head arrives, we love it.

The cover is finished and on sale now!

The final cover art arrives and we develop the cover lines and small details to enhance the creature theme, bones appear in the FX logo and placed around the cover! Read more here or pick up a copy of issue 98 and see for yourself, on sale now in the UK. Buy in store on online here.

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