Painting Over Book Cover: About A Boy

Painting Over Book Cover: About A Boy


Hello and welcome to my channel
Today I’m going to be painting a new book cover for this book
I got this idea from a youtube channel I really like called The Average Artist
what she’s been doing is painting over movie cover versions of books and I really liked
that idea but I saw this version of About a Boy in a
charity shop and really wanted to do something for this
this is actually the original book cover but I personally don’t really like it
I don’t think it really has a lot of relevance to the plot of the book and it’s just sort
of you know
the title without a lot of artwork or anything I’ve seen a lot of different covers for this
book since then which I think get that across a lot better
most of them emphasise the relationship between the two main characters, Will and Marcus,
which is kind of at the core of the plot I’m gonna try and do something a little different
to that but hopefully something that’s still relevant to the book
I’m going to try and come up with something that would make me want to see what the book
is all about So yeah
let’s get started I’m gonna start off by priming the book by
putting a layer of white acrylic paint over it
wow, sorry, that was ridiculous [laughs] thank you to my editor for enabling me there
About a Boy is a book by Nick Hornby and it was made into a really famous film
which had Hugh Grant and Nicholas Hoult in it
the book’s actually really similar to the film
I think the main difference is that the book is set in the early 90s
and the film is from the early 2000s so that changes a lot of the cultural references
I’m not really a painter and I’m a bit rusty with acrylics
so I wasn’t sure exactly how this was gonna go
I haven’t actually read this book in some years
I had a flick through it since buying it but decided not to fully reread it
because I felt that the images and memories that stood out to me when I think about the
book would probably be a good start in distilling the plot into moments that would be a good
teaser for a front cover one of the moments I considered is one from
later in the book that involves stealing a cutout of Kurt Cobain
the book title is actually a reference to a Nirvana song called About a Girl
and that part of the book is something I did really like
but it was also fairly near the end so it didn’t seem like a good choice for the cover
so I ended up drawing the trainers that Will buys for Marcus
it’s an important part of the story but doesn’t really spoil anything as far as plot goes
it’s a pretty abstract image I feel it represents a lot of the themes of
the story though in terms of consumerism and money Will comes from
and the kind of youth culture that both of them are trying to get to
in the book the trainers are specifically mentioned as being Adidas and the book is
set in 1993 so I tried to find some that were popular in that year to use as a reference
I did really want to try and make the whole cover kind of read 90s as much as possible
I thought about going further with the colour palette and going for like neon green and
a graffiti style font but I thought maybe I was only influenced
by my memories of the 90s which were mostly kids’ shows
and I didn’t want it to seem like a kids’ book
it’s a pretty simple design I think it works okay as a book cover but
not so much as a standalone piece of art I do like the idea of going a bit more conceptual
with something like this but maybe that would fit a different kind
of book better I also like the idea of doing a whole wraparound
design maybe on a dust jacket for a hardback book
I found the painting pretty fun when I started getting into it
it was a challenge in places because I like to have very small details
and even with the smallest detail brush I own
it was still difficult to paint the stitching on the shoes
but it’s probably a good thing to try and do art that feels less about being in control
I’d forgotten a lot of the things I really like about working in acrylics
like being able to layer paint up and rework details
so it was quite freeing that even if I made mistakes I could go over them
this whole project was a lot of fun and again, check out The Average Artist’s
videos on painting over books covers she’s done loads of these and they’re all
absolutely amazing I’ll have a link for them in the description
I really want to do more art challenges so if you have any ideas please comment those
it’s really fun to do things that push me out of my comfort zone a little bit
anyway this is my final piece I feel pretty good about it
especially since this is the first time using acrylics in at least a year
so part of the process was getting used to the medium again
I do like the design I think maybe it’s a little bit basic but
for a first go at painting on a book I do like it
thanks for watching like and subscribe if that’s something you
want to do and I hope to see you again very soon
bye!

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