May 24, 2010

William Burroughs

The William Burroughs paperbacks that I illustrated earlier this year along with Naked Lunch just arrived from the printers. Because the art director liked the style of the Silky Shark print in my portfolio for the initial Naked Lunch assignment, I continued the process using a silk screen-style approach and a limited palette throughout the sketches and finals. The Soft Machine, The Ticket That Exploded, and The Place of Dead Roads all followed the same process as Naked Lunch, including two or three layers of drawn tones, which I attempted to keep in tune with the style of each book and as a set. The final layouts and text were done by Jo Walker at Harper Collins and I think they did a nice job of pulling the artwork together. (Below is a bit of a process breakdown of the finished covers.)

Initial sketches for The Soft Machine, The Ticket that Exploded, and The Place of Dead Roads (columns L to R respectively.)

The selected sketches with some adjustments in the saturation and color to help balance out the group as a set.

Ink and brush on Bristol Board drawing for the Soft Machine shadows layer.

Ink drawing for the Soft Machine mid-tones layer.

Finished colors on the background layer with some separations for black.

Finished cover illustrations and designs:





Matt E Wood said...

Just superb

NADA said...

These are all amazing - nice work! I love the one for 'soft machine'. I am struggling to come up with concept for my next book but these are inspiring.

Luke said...

such a badass.

Shannon Freshwater said...

wow. these really look great together! That's awesome that you got to do the whole wrap around too and I love that they used your colors for the type. My favorite is the Soft Machine one. I love that negative shape of the reflected sky!

Arthur Fong said...

Owen... you are KING!!

Sasha said...

i browsed around a little, i gotta say your work is pretty amazing!

sorry this has nothing to do with the post though :P said...

gorgeous! JUNKIE forever!

mozart a. bautista said...

great stuff, Owen!

drawler said...

great as always owen.

Andrés Feliciano said...

I recently discovered this set on my local bookshop and immediately fell in love with the designs. I'm wondering what happened with the third one in the series, Nova Express, and why it's not part of this set. I'm guessing Harper Collins UK doesn't own the rights to that one, but were there any talks about using your art for the third one. It would be great to have The Cut-Up trilogy complete with such a badass design.