Books, By Their Covers: A Christmas Carol





For my fourth illustration in the series Books, By Their Covers, I chose one of my favourite classic stories: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I've loved reading this for a large part of my adult life and its a credit to its author that even in today's world. the story has lost nothing. It still grabs you with its dark, supernatural feel leading to the emotional rebirth of Scrooge and a feel-good ending.

For the illustration, I decided to choose one scene as a subject, where The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come takes Scrooge to an unkempt graveyard to show him one final marker of his misdeeds to turn him back towards kindness.

Rather than make the environment very clearly a graveyard, I chose to keep it interpretational - one thing I always like when viewing a book illustration, particularly the cover, is to not give too much of the plot away. I think you need an interesting picture to entice you to look further, but without giving you the core of the story. In my illustrations, we see a supernatural death-like creature, pointing towards us, with a weak looking man in a nightgown before him. The colour palette is chosen to give you a feeling of coldness, which is a curious contrast with the title of the book. But as the story is 95% dark and negative, I think this works for the story. Having a bright, colourful christmassy subject wouldn't for me correctly portray the plot.

So a very simple composition its used here, to give us a ghostly feel of what may come, but without overlaying too much detail and spoiling the excellent story.

2 comments:

  1. Can this seriously be printed into a book cover please?!! It looks amazing

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  2. Thanks Wil! Glad you liked it :) It would be great to make a real book with this cover on it - maybe one day I can make that happen - I think the books is in public domain now. Thanks for the feedback!

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