Guest blogger Pete Wallbank takes us through the process of creating our fabulous cover.

I used to do rather a lot of Doctor Who based artwork, but not for a quite a while (it’s a long story as to why I no longer paint the man – or woman – in the ‘Blue Box’), so it was with some trepidation that I even considered working on this project, originally sounded out to me by Mr. Richard Molesworth, colleague and friend of writer and producer Steve Broster.

After initial reservations, I was won over by the fact that it wasn’t entirely a Doctor Who project – and armed with this information I set about talking to Steve about what was required. After a number of conversations I was then able to start creating initial art concepts.

All initial ‘roughs’ were created by free hand drawing with a Wacom Cintiq in Photoshop which enabled me to manipulate the final files if changes were required.

After several concept drawings, we finally arrived at the idea of featuring central character Mervyn as the focal point, together with various different story elements which included actress Sophie Aldred and a ‘Doctored’ Mark Reynolds. I tried very hard to be faithful to Steve’s original intentions – after all, its important to deliver the client’s requirements even if obviously you want to include your own signature ideas.

Pete’s final preliminary drawing

The finished original art was created using traditional materials, in this case Acrylics and Prismacolor pencils, together with fine brush upon a heavy weight hot pressed watercolor surface. The experimentation of using a new surface on this occasion proved not to be entirely successful, as the whole job was made hard going because of this.

So there you have it! On the ‘Cover’ section of this website you can see various stages of the process: one piece of cover art from start to finish for The Man from Venus, or as I like to call it ‘The Man from Norton Canes’ – Whilst working on this job I learnt that it is indeed a small world in that Steve Broster had lived and grown up in pretty much the same part of the world as me. If only I’d known!!!