Secrets of Secret Keepers

Here is the third book cover of the novella trilogy titled Secret Keepers by Gwen Gardner. This is by far my favorite one, it also has the most detailed bits of the three covers. On the cover you see Hazel, a witch who helps the main character Indigo Eady. She also has some secrets of her own. In this post I’d like to show you more than just the end result. I guess you could say I’m also revealing secrets 🙂 So please scroll down to view the sketches and the different stages of progress.

First, here is the finished cover, click to view a bigger version:

And this is how it all started, with a rough grey scale sketch. As you can see the idea is still the same in the end result, the end result just looks a lot better (I hope ;)!


I always save multiple drafts and versions of an illustration. So a lot of space is taken up by ‘concept A’, ‘concept B’ and so on till I start running out of letters. Still, it’s necessary to do this, because you never know if you need to get back to an older version of the illustration. In the finalization of an illustration I often tend to leave it alone for a day or two. Being away from an illustration is important. It gives you a fresh point of view. Here’s the adjustments I made before and after my ‘pause’.

Hazel adjustments

To make the changes more clear, I’ve made an animated gif. The difference is also important in Hazel’s eyes. She looks much more ‘blank’ in the early version.


Hope you liked seeing how this book cover illustration came to be. Secret Keepers is now available on Amazon.


  1. I love it all, even the rough sketches! Black and white is evocative. It’s my favorite of them all, too, because of the other hidden secret in the stones 😉

    • I should show my sketches more often 🙂 though I do not always start my illustrations the same way, I think it did help this time in getting the lighting right.

  2. This cover is absolutely gorgeous! Really love seeing the stages that led to the final version, too. Makes me even more impressed with the end result!

    Also, as an artist, I completely agree about saving multiple drafts. I do that with my own work, and it’s definitely saved me, sometimes!

    • Ah, I’m honoured you’re visiting my blog Heather! Thanks for your very kind words!

      Save, save, save. Always the magic word 🙂

    • Thank you Crystal! And thank you for visiting! I want to make more headers like that, but it’s hard to get the effect (parallax) right 🙂

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