Tuesday, May 24, 2011

All my Scholastic covers – part 2

Children of the Lamp #3 - The Cobra King of Kathmandu

It was during the work on this third Children of the Lamp cover, that I have encountered a form of “puritanism” in publishing for the first time. The publisher thought that the opening in the Cobra King’s skirt was dangerously close to his genitals (see the pictures below). So, I was asked to cover up that part of the man’s leg, which I did in Photoshop. However, when the book was released, the “problematic” part of the cover was almost entirely covered by the red lamp and the writers name.

before the correction

after the correction

Children of the Lamp #4 – The Day of the Djinn Warriors

According to the publisher, the problem with this preliminary drawing was that the boy’s butt was too prominent. So, I had to turn him a bit to avoid putting his rear in the reader’s face. . .
After the cover was finished the publisher thought that the boy’s torso was too short. I did that correction in Photoshop as well, and sent the high resolution image of the painting to the publishers.  But, instead of using the high resolution image with the corrected torso, the publisher (probably accidentally) used the image that I made with my own camera. This low resolution image was taken before the requested correction was done. Final result - the published cover was blurry and the boy’s torso stayed “short”.

 I wish you a pleasant day, and until the next time.


  1. Fantastic covers Petar, such a pity they cut out the bottom part of the pictures.. political correctness gone mad... but fantastic pictures nonetheless!

  2. Fantastisch werk, Petar! Mooi om zo het ontstaansproces van de illustraties te kunnen zien...Dank voor het posten!

  3. beautiful. so nice to see your in-process shots!

  4. Wait a minute. They were concerned about the man's genitalia and then they put the lamp right there. I hope it's not a "wooden" lamp.

    Beautiful work as usual Petar.

  5. I remember from last week you said that your covers were not hip with the times, but I like the traditional way you paint. Maybe it's an admiration for your brush work that outweighs the new fx. Or maybe it's the reminiscent feeling of a pre-digital age, kind of like going though old National Geographic magazines when I was a kid. But I like it!

  6. These are great works Petar!! It's funny that you posted these. I'm not familar with the "Children of the Lamp" series and was at my local library with my daughter and saw the cover of "The Five Fakirs of Faizabad" and immediately said to her, "Hey! That's Petar's artwork! He's the artist that created the "Steel Bashaw" book I have at home". She thought that was cool stuff. Your work is such an inspiration! Thank you.

  7. Yes, it is pity, Damon. But one has to accept that the published cover will always differ to a certain degree from the original painting. However, I must admit that it took me a few years until I became immune to this kind of surprises.

    Graag gedaan, Paul. Bedankt voor je commentaar!

    Thanks, Vincent. Stay tuned, there will be much more progress shots in the future.

    Yes, that is exactly what they did, Bill. I guess they wanted to double protect themselves, just in case…

    Hi Scotr – If only the editors and art directors of National Geographic (and perhaps a few other magazines) would share your taste and opinion…Fortunately, there are still people, like yourself, who remember the good old times. Thanks Scotr!

    What a nice story, Gene! Only, don’t mention the "The Five Fakirs of Faizabad" cover, please. It is yet another frustration of mine. I will write about it in the next Scholastic covers post. Thanks Gene!