Above: a pencil and wash rough.

Hey! My first book cover! Wow! And the book just came out.

The above images IS NOT the cover. But it was getting close.

Here's the background:

I was contacted last spring by an editor at St. Martin's Press about drawing a cover for Ed Breslin's nonfiction hardcover memoir DRINKING WITH MISS DUTCHIE.

The book's about a guy (Ed) and his beloved black Labrador dog who helps him beat his dependency problem.

Here are a series of drawings, in 2 different styles, showing the process.

A dog helps a guy beat his addiction? Now that sounded like a damn interesting book.

So, yes, if you look, there are 2 different styles. I knew that they wanted something in my smoother, "cartoon finish" style, above.

But I didn't feel the style I was drawing in fit -- I wanted to give them something sketchier, more illustrationy. So I drew the ones below in addition to the others.

As you can see, the pen line just loosely suggests shapes.

The visual was: a guy and his dog in a bar. The editor suggested this. And I agreed.

Fortunately, the editor liked my loose, illustrative style. The drawing got better when I began to place the dog on the adjoining bar stool. (Above: new, loose style.)

They liked the drawing so much, I was asked if I could do some more drawings for the endpapers. So I drew more Miss Dutchies.

So ... all in all I guess I submitted 6- drawings, with maybe 2 rounds of edits. The job was finished mid-summer 2010.

DRINKING WITH MISS DUTCHIE is out this week from Thomas Dunne Books, a division of St. Martins Press/Macmillan.

Above: the cover, below: the art picked for the cover.

The publisher "flipped" the dog in PhotoShop for the final cover image.

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