Lorna Doone is a classic novel that has a long history in publishing, theater, and film. In 2019, Dinh Ti (Vietnam) commissioned me to recreate the books’ covers. The story is a romance based on a group of historical characters and set in the late 17th century in Devon and Somerset, particularly around the East Lyn Valley area of Exmoor. The story comes in 2 volumes, and each volume is presented in 2 different time periods.
The first book is about the struggle, the drama, and the tragedy of the young characters. Inspired by the events in the first chapter of the first book, I illustrated the scene of young Lorna being kidnapped by the leader of a group of bandits, with young John, the soon-to-be hero of the story, witnessing it.
Before working on the sketch of this piece, I spent a considerable amount of time on material research. I learned that the character designs should be historically influenced, as shown in costumes, weapons, fonts, and wall sculptures. Spaces are split into smaller parts by using shapes that look like stone domes, a commonly seen old architectural design in Somerset, England.
Due to the goal of this illustration being to emphasize the chaos and pain caused by the outlaws, I adapted an aggressive color palette, in which red is the dominant color of the tragic scene, while the cooler tone of sage green was applied to the walls and raven sculptures. The dark grey was used in the empty background, in order to make space for text boxes and other design elements.