Let me try to show you the cover art that I dream about for my fantasy novel The Shard. It starts here:
Just the knight and horse, not the background, and he should be near the right edge of the painting. Now turn him so that he is facing slightly away from the viewer. I want him in just such a slumped posture and the same with the horse. The man knows he is looking at a scene that changes everything. He knows the long peace the land has known is gone. The only thing wrong with him is that he doesn't wear plate mail armor like this. So, on to the next picture:
This shows what the knight should be wearing...almost. It should look like this except that the surcoat design should have a red and black checkerboard pattern. If the artist puts a shield on him it should have the same pattern.
The knight has some men with him, though the ones on horses could be mainly out of the picture, perhaps just a hint of them showing up behind the primary figure.
Across from the knight is a wall of forest receding to the horizon, the trees all looking like giant redwoods, except that the bark is silver. Between the knight and the forest is sun burnt grass. Two of the trees should have hacking marks in them, with red sap leaking down from the cut. Five bodies should be scattered near the trees, with one out in the field, lying with his head toward the knight. Each body has a single silver-fletched arrow jutting from its back. There should be an axe or two lying near the cut trees. Depending on the balance of the picture, there could be a man-at-arms kneeling near the body and looking up at the knight, or he can be absent. There should be some crows hanging about.
That's about it. This is a scene from early in my book, and I feel it would be a good one to use as cover art. My dream would be to have it done in the style of Alan Lee, since I love his muted colors and elegant realism. I don't need the colors to be quite this muted, but I do want the realism. See this picture for example:
On being a girl.
3 hours ago