Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Placid Girl cover design

I'm so glad to finally be able to share the cover of my friend Brenna Ehrlich's debut YA novel, Placid Girl! Brenna and I have known each other since we were both under 3 feet tall, and have stayed friends since then. I was honored when she asked me to work with her on the design of her book, which she has decided to publish through her own independent publishing company All Ages Press. The cover was revealed on The Huffington Post last week!

After I read the manuscript there were a number of ideas that came to mind that I thought might capture the dark, suspenseful feeling of the story. The Keds evolved as one direction for cover imagery because in the opening chapters of the book the main character gets a new pair of Keds and purposely works to dirty them up. In some ways I saw this as a metaphor for what happens to the characters as the story progresses. Below, you can see some more cover choices I did for Brenna:

Included here is the original version of the Keds cover. We decided to rough it up more and make it darker to represent the ominous undertones of the story. Then we settled on a font and voila! we had a cover. I can't wait for the final book to be published!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Owl Calendar Painting

© Ashley Halsey 2014
I'm very pleased to have my painting be part of the Owl Lover 2015 Calendar which has been curated by Shivani of My Owl Barn. It is the fifth annual calendar created in collaboration with 46 artists from all around the world. From these 46 artists you can pick and choose which owl paintings you like the best and put together a free downloadable calendar!

I was excited to take part in this project and have an excuse to paint a Barred Owl. I love all kinds of birds, and raptors I find to be particularly arresting in their mystery. You can head over to my Etsy Shop to see another of my owl paintings - the Eastern Screech Owl.