Thursday, January 16, 2014

Fablehaven Book 1 of 5

Last year I was asked to illustrate new covers for the popular young adult series called Fablehaven. The story centers around a young girl and her brother as they adventure in a hidden refuge for mystical and legendary creatures.  Here is one of the first sketches I came up with for the project. The two siblings take a ride on the shoulders of a golem made of earth and stone. You'll see in the second iteration of the sketch that I switched the positions of the boy and the girl. Girls seem to be ok with reading a book with a boy featured on the cover, but boys don't seem to be too keen with reading a book with a girl as the focus. So even though Kendra is the star in the book, her brother Seth had to be the star of the cover.  I also backed things out a bit so we can see that Hugo the golem is in motion.

The client was most interested in the Hugo sketch as well as the following sketch that was ultimately selected. It depicts Seth climbing up to negotiate with the preserve's devious cliff troll, Nero.

Here is the final artwork:


  1. cover looks good!!
    i would've never imagined a troll looking like this - great design.
    but i must ask, why isn't the golem in the final like in your sketch?

    love your work :)

  2. Thank you Dave. In the book the cliff troll is described as having a slightly reptilian body and slick black skin if I remember correctly. I think there were yellow markings mentioned as well. So I was glad that I wasn't stuck with a typical troll.

    The client decided that they didn't want to introduce too many new characters on the first cover. They asked that I take out the Golem and the grandmother and just focus on the brother and sister.

    1. Oh I see :)
      This troll is much more unique and interesting!
      You got me interested in this book I am going to look it up online

      Thank you!

  3. Awesome work. I look forward to more art!

    1. Thanks John. Here is book 2: