Creating the Cover Illustration

The front cover for Uncertain Truths started as a scribble on a notepad.
Lee Skinner took the anthology’s title and explored the idea of a forest path leading into the uncertain darkness beyond the trees.

The idea was presented to the rest of the team, along side a few other designs, and this was the concept chosen for development.

Lee visited Cannock Chase to collect reference images. He photographed the ‘death’ in the forest, trying to find an alternative perspective to the beauty most visitors see. The images captured the textures of the forest and used perspective to create a sense of something being ‘beyond’ the trees, something hidden by entangled branches and restricted light.

Lee used these photographs to produce the concept art below, which he presented to the group.

The team came up with the idea of a whale swimming through the trees and a number of reference images were collected to help develop the final concept.


Lee used watercolours to create a background that roughly mapped out the shape of the trees and whale. The team agreed bright yellows would make the book stand out. The whale was coloured using pastels, and black ink created the twisted barks of the trees.


The Inside Cover

For the back of the cover sleeve, I wanted to continue the forest theme, showing the trees from the whale’s point of view. I built the names of the anthology’s authors into the bark, conveying the idea of natural spaces being a source of creative inspiration.

With such a distinctive image created, Lee wanted to explore it in another format. It was an exciting challenge to recreate the image using clay, as the whale would have to appear suspended in the air. A wire frame fixed the whale’s tale to the board and supported the floating body, with one of the trees offering extra support by the head.

Lee also created the illustrations for the inside of the book, at the request of some authors. Please order a copy of the anthology to discover the stories they accompany

Lee Skinner

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