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The editors at SpringGun Press asked me to design cover art for The Posture of Contour, a new book by James Belflower. I used the opportunity to get my mind out of an all-digital space, and spent most of my time with pen, paper, and oil pastel.


My favorite experiments involved blind contours with a capped pen over homemade (oil-pastel) carbon paper, then arrows traced on a third layer using my iPad as a light table.

Partial charcoal contours traced from a mapRed arrow contours of map negative spaceRed arrow negative-space contours of a coffee stainOverlaid charcoal and arrow contours of a jaw boneBlind contour of a mouth and noseBright color contour fills from a mapCharcoal blind contour of Belflower's faceRed arrow negative contour of Belflower's faceAbstract red arrowsUnrecognizable red arrow negative based on initial jaw-bone
Exploring levels of distance from object to abstraction, using blind contour, layering, tracing, negative space, etc.

Final(ish) Design

In the end, James decided on the abstract jawbone pattern in red arrows.

What was once a diagram of the tongue, teeth, and bottom jaw.