Archive for the Book Art Category

The Kavakian Empire Book One Book Cover

Posted in Book Art, Sci-Fi Part 1 - Revised, The Kavakian Empire with tags , , , , on July 23, 2016 by Dawn Ross

What do you think of this book cover art design for Book One of the Kavakian Empire: Starfire Dragons, art by Anita Young?

Starfire Dragons Book Cover

Sketches for Book Cover – Starfire Dragons

Posted in Book Art, Sci-Fi Part 1 - Revised, The Kavakian Empire with tags , , , , , , , on April 9, 2016 by Dawn Ross

I have a basic idea for the book cover art for Part One of the Kavakian Empire: Starfire Dragons (Starfire Dragons is still a preliminary title unless I can come up with something better). The story opens up with a spaceship known as a Serpent being chased by another spaceship known as a Cougar. And the two ships are racing towards a blue-grey planet. So based on the descriptions I used in my story, here are the sketches of this scene.

Book Cover Part One Basic Sketch

The basic book cover art outline for Starfire Dragons, Part One of The Kavakian Empire.

Serpent Ship Sketch 2

The basic idea I have for the Serpent spaceship.

Cougar Ship Sketch 1

The basic idea I have for the Cougar spaceship.

My art sketches are really generic. Even though I am an artist, I really have no idea how to draw or paint a spaceship. So I have an artist that will be working on this for me.

What do you think?

Dukarian Legacy Book Three Cover is Complete

Posted in Book 3 - The Dragon and the Lion, Book Art, The Dukarian Legacy - Fantasy Novels with tags , , , , , , on July 16, 2013 by Dawn Ross

I have finally finished the editing of “The Dragon and the Lion: Book Three of the Dukarian Legacy”. It will be published very very soon, hopefully as an e-book by the end of the month. And hopefully in the beginning of August as a paperback. In the meantime, check out the book cover design.

The Dragon and the Lion Book Cover

I paid for a royalty free image from The image was of a sunset scene with the silhouette of the dragon. And I inserted free clip art of the lioness. The clip art was originally of a yellow lioness, but I modified the colors to match the silhouette of the dragon.

What do you think?

Dawn Ross

My Fantasy Art – Inspired by The Dukarian Legacy

Posted in About the Author, Book Art with tags , , on May 14, 2011 by Dawn Ross
Blue Dragon by Dawn Ross
“Blue Dragon” by Dawn Ross

My love for fantasy novels extends to fantasy art.  I love Ruth Thompson, Nene Thomas, Boris Valleyo, Keith Parkinson, and many many others.  While fantasy authors inspired me to write fantasy, fantasy artists inspired me to draw fantasy art.  I didn’t just pick up a pencil one day and start drawing dragons.  I have always been an artist.  My theme has always been animals and/or nature.  You can check out my nature and wildlife artwork at

My first fantasy-like artwork was Horse in Armor.  It was a pencil sketch I drew when I was a teenager.  I had given it to my Grandma.  Several years later when she died, I was given some of her books.  And lo-and-behold, the picture I had drawn for her was laminated and was being used as a bookmark!  It was a very memorable moment.

I didn’t draw fantasy art again until some years later.  I don’t remember what my next one was, but it was probably the Blue Dragon.  Birth of Chaos was next and was inspired by the title of Book Five of The Dukarian Legacy:  Dragon of Chaos.  Cave Fire Dragon is the most recent one I have done.  I actually started it several years ago and put it aside.  When I rediscovered it, the paper was messed up so I had to start all over again from scratch.  It is sort of inspired by Lord Kildas in Book Two of The Dukarian Legacy:  The Raven’s Fire.

My fantasy art is nowhere near as good as the fantasy art of Ruth Thompson and the others.  But it was fun to draw and paint.  I will never be a famous fantasy artist, or even just a famous artist (I may not ever even become a famous fantasy writer), but I just can’t help trying.

Birth of Chaos by Dawn Ross

"Birth of Chaos" by Dawn Ross"


Cave Fire Dragon by Dawn Ross

"Cave Fire Dragon" by Dawn Ross

Using for My Book Cover Art

Posted in Book 1 - The Third Dragon, Book Art with tags , , , on March 7, 2011 by Dawn Ross

Third Dragon Book CoverI am currently reading “How to Make, Market and Sell Ebooks All for Free” by Jason Matthews and this is helping me tremendously!  I have already learned a few things, including how to get quality book cover art relatively cheap.

You may have seen my post about hiring a graphic artist for my book cover, but Jason Matthews says I can use a photo from sites like  I am already a user of for photos on my blogs, but I guess I didn’t read their terms of service thoroughly.  After re-reading the terms of service I confirmed that it clearly says I can use photos for my book cover art.

I was a bit skeptical about finding a photo of a dragon on  But they don’t just have photos, they have artwork.  The above photo is my proposed book cover art for The Third Dragon.  What do you think?  Nice, huh?  And it only cost me a couple of dollars!

The Third Dragon is closer than ever to publication.  I am currently building a website and converting the files to pdf and other formats.  Keep posted to see when it is ready!

Should I Get a Graphic Artist to Design My Book Cover?

Posted in Book Art with tags , , on February 9, 2011 by Dawn Ross

I am an artist, but I am not a graphic artist or illustrator.  I am also not very good at drawing people, dragons, or architecture.  The above painting is my first color version of what I wanted my book cover to look like.  As you can see, it needs a lot of work.  I wanted the dragon to fade out of the fire.  I wanted the castle too look more fantastical and to look like it was on fire.  And I wanted the fire to actually look like fire.  Reyker and Tomis Dukar don’t look right either.  Reyker’s face isn’t quite right.  And Tomis looks like a girl.  He is supposed to be a 10 year old boy.

I am reading a book on how to get published and it is talking about finding an illustrator to do my book cover art for me.  This sounds great except it can cost quite a bit – probably $2,000 or more.  Ouch!!  But it might really be worth it.  I am currently researching illustrators online but how do I know which ones I can trust to do the job right?  How do I know they will follow through?  I will probably have to pay an upfront fee, even for the preliminary sketches, so finding an established illustrator is a must.  It can’t just be any established graphic artist either.  They would have to specialize in fantasy art.  And I would have to like their style.

If I do an e-book, I may not need a fantasy graphic artist.  It would be a nice touch, though.

Sketches of the Book’s Main Characters

Posted in Book Art with tags , , , on February 7, 2011 by Dawn Ross

Those of you who have read the manuscript may be interested in how I pictured the characters.  Lord Kildas is my favorite character as far as his looks go.  He is well-built, regal, and handsome.  Oh, and he is a good guy too.  Lord Kildas’ head is a little too big in this sketch but other than that, I think he looks great.  Lord Kildas is from the Raven clan.  The sketches at the top left are meant to be the symbolism for the Raven clan.

The next sketch is of King Haban.  I wanted him to look sinister so I gave him a narrow chin, but I think it is just a bit too narrow.  This won’t be too difficult to fix.

You probably already saw the sketch of Tomis Dukar in the previous post, but here he is again.  This is the second version of Tomis I drew after the first one didn’t work out at all.  See a color version of the first one next (at the very end of this post).

Tomis looks too much like a gilr in this finished color version of the book cover.  His hair is too long and he looks mean.  Tomis is the main character and a good guy.  He has had a difficult childhood, hense the angry look, but after seeing this finished version, I don’t think I want him to look angry on the book cover.