Martin has very kindly allowed me to post some of the preliminary sketches he did for his covers for the Tapestry. Not only that, but as you see, he’s also given us some explanations to go along with them. For a larger copy of a sketch, click on the image and it’ll appear in a pop up window. It’s well worth a closer look at the larger images; you can see a lot more detail.
This little gothic moment was the first attempt at drawing “The Summer Tree” after it was decided to veer away from the literal rendering of a scene from the novel. Galadan is almost in place and that must be something important floating up there. You can see the roots of the finished image here quite clearly. As Pooh would say, I went on a big “explore”.
I think this must be Jaelle, a design idea for the back cover before I started on the tapestry idea. I’ve no idea why she’s carrying a bowling ball.
Another idea for the back cover featuring the extremely annoyed Rakoth Maugrim and a pair of svart alfar giving him a helping hand slipping his “bonds”. It’s all wrong of course, but it’s all right too. The design is fairly strong, but Rakoth doesn’t have a face, just a pair of glowing red eyes.
When drawing up ideas for “The Wandering Fire” I already had the stage set, in fact that is how I thought of the image, as a stage set with a strong horizontal thrust; an area for the characters and animals to “perform” with a beautiful backdrop. I have a great fondness for the initial sketches I do, I suppose it’s because the best have a rough magic, it’s where I see all the visual possibilities, although I rarely achieve them.
In the two sketches for the final book in the trilogy, note the line the top of the wing forms in the first drawing, and the change of rhythm in the second. Everything is altered because of that one change, there is now an inner circular movement which I find far more satisfying. William Blake, a great favourite of mine, always felt that a drawing or painting should have a line running through it, a flow of movement that binds all the disparate parts together.
“The Darkest Road” is my favourite of the three covers, I feel in fact it’s one of the best things I’ve done, and I would like to do it again, thanks! Dipping one’s toe into the same creative river is difficult however, the flow of water has moved on and you are somewhere else, I think this is why I prefer to enter “Fionavar” again with decorative or graphic images rather than paintings. I can only do it when I heed a certain call. It will always be an inspiring place for me to go. Thank you Guy.