Imaginary cover designs for favorite books

What if I could design the covers for my favorite books?

This just looks like a book…it’s really just paint on canvas. I’ve wanted to do something like this for ages, and seeing A.J. Hateley‘s vintage paperback cover designs for non-existent books finally tipped the scales from daydreaming to doing something about the idea.

The Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys is a favorite of mine for its sensuous language and steamy equatorial images, mainly, though I also chuckled at the way Rhys cleverly, ironically braided her novel’s ropes in with the silken cords of Charlotte Bronte‘s Jane Eyre…like a cuckoo sneaking her vulgar egg into a respectable bird family’s nest.
one of these things...

Sort of the way, come to think of it, that my painting tries to hide among the Penguins on my bookshelf… 😉
The Wide Sargasso Sea

As paintings go, this one’s pretty bland…pretty, but not really saying anything. I just had the image of seaweed viewed through a cross-section of seawater, and stuck to it, even when it was obvious that there wasn’t going to be much tension or interest in a flat sea and some seaweed. There are events from the book that would have made for much more intriguing cover images, but I didn’t feel capable of a composition with burning parrot against night sky and French windows, or something dramatic like that. It’s okay for a book cover, though.
The Wide Sargasso Sea

I’m especially delighted with the way it looks hanging—like I’ve got a book stuck on the wall.


17 thoughts on “Imaginary cover designs for favorite books

    1. I’ve recently been reading Game of Thrones — if I could draw reasonably well, I can think of all kinds of potential covers ;-).


  1. Very effective. I don’t think cover artists necessarily want to illustrate scenes from a book, because if their vision doesn’t tie in with the readers it may affect sales. When you are designing covers for yourself you don’t have such constraints!


      1. If I weren’t already following your blog, the promise of more of these book cover canvases would definitely persuade me! That’s a really original idea, and I actually love the image. I mean, I would buy that book. Can’t wait to see the rest!


        1. “I would buy that book”, Thank you Rose! That’s awesome! I wasn’t trying for a real book cover, but it’s so nice to hear that, I’m kinda stunned. Thank you! Some of the titles on my ‘shortlist’ will be hard, I reckon…hope I can do the books I love some justice.


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