I thought some of you would enjoy seeing the process of making a book cover. Since I have not been able to find anyone to do the artwork for me I am being forced to do it myself. While I do have experience in working with graphic images, the level of manipulation required for this project is beyond my experience, so I am having to do a lot of reading and experimenting. To begin with I needed a graphical editing program powerful enough to do the job and choose GIMP because it is one of the most powerful editors out there and it is also FREE. You can go to their website at www.gimp.org. Since I am now restricted to photographs to do the level of quality I want, I was required find a source of photos that was both legal and not too expensive. The best place I found was Big Stock Photos (click here).
To begin with I created the canvas onto which all the images are going to be layered onto like several sheets of transparent paper laid on top of each other. The canvas has a gradient image getting darker toward the lower left side. It also sets the size and the resolution that all the other images are going to reflect. I then needed to find a photo of the earth centered on Israel, clouds with a sun and an hourglass.
Take note of the background of each picture. All of these required editing on several levels, but most notable was the creation of a transparent background. These three images were edited and overlaid to create the work in progress cover you see below. The clouds were duplicated three times, transparency applied, flipped, positioned and cloned to look like one complete cloud. The hourglass still shows its outer boundary, which needs further work. There is still a lot of work to be done. To read the description of what the final look is like read this post. Due to the fact that I am using photographic images instead of a graphic artist, it won't be a perfect match, but it will be really close. I have been able to find all the required images, except the golden trumpet, which I believe can be created from scratch using GIMP after the title is positioned.