CD Cover Concept

This week I commenced a short online course through Skillshare, where I’ll be able to learn and apply some new skills in Photoshop. The course is based on CD illustration and I’ll be posting my progress here over the next 3-4 weeks.

Research/Mood Board

The first step for this project was to choose a real or imaginary band or artist to base an illustration concept on. I was stuck for ideas about what band or artist to go with for this, but I was listenining to Kate Miller-Heidke’s ‘Nightflight’ the other night, so I decided to run with that.

The original CD cover from Kate Miller-Heidke’s Nightflight is pictured in my mood board above. The songs throughout ‘Nightflight’ meditate ‘on homesickness, mortality, love and surrender.’ So the album itself sounds a little melancholic, but really beautiful at the same time.

While most designers create slick mood boards digitally, my mood board is a little bit old school… Yes, I cut and pasted into a visual diary like a college student, but it allowed me to splash a little watercolour around to explore some colours that may suit the tone of my illustrated concept art for the album cover.



These are some initial sketches. The album explores melancholic themes, but sounds really beautiful. As its titled ‘Nightflight’, I’d like to weave that into the visual. To capture the theme of loneliness / long flights / being in transit etc, expressed in the album, I thought an illustration of a single hot air balloon travelling through a beautiful and vast night sky might effectively capture those elements. I think a hot air balloon also looks kind of whimsical, a little like Kate Miller-Heidke’s music.


Cover Art

Below: Developing the digital work – Using scanned paper textures, playing with colour etc.


Below: A little more development, playing with colour and texture. I’m feeling a bit happier with the blue colour here. It’s starting to look a little more magical.