This project was the result of yet another Skillshare class taught by my idol--the one and only Jessica Hische. I am so happy that I was able to observe her process and hear her tips. The project for the class was to pick any book and illustrate a drop cap for its cover.
I chose Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (the first book in the series). I am absolutely in love with the movies and am ashamed to say that I have just now started reading the books. Better late than never! The key concepts that I used for my initial rough sketches were magic (duh), flying on broomsticks, and of course the Sorcerer's Stone. I chose to illustrate an "R" for J. K. Rowling.
After reviewing a few of my favorite thumbnails, I decided to explore a whimsical version of the letter. I tried to change up the skeleton of the letter (like Jessica suggested) to see where I wanted to put the curly parts.
I actually really like the big one at the bottom of this picture. I was playing around with making the letter 3D. I found it easier to make it 3D once I got rid of the script part of the R. But in the end, I love the playfulness of my thumbnail--combining a script with a fancy serif.
I was having a hard time figuring out where I wanted to put pattern and embellishments on the actual letter. I finally chose to put the checkerboard pattern on the top half of the stem, and a hint to the Sorcerer's Stone on the bottom half.
Then I started digitizing.
I added some texture for interest and also incorporated a suggestion to add a shadow so the letter looks like it's floating. I think it turned out great!