Court/Ship: Funny Face

This post is about how I developed the cover for Court/Ship.

Fred Hicks had the idea for the Court/Ship cover – a face, half alien and half human. Covers are important, so this was the most time consuming part of the photoshoot – the makeup itself took about four hours, and the editing afterwards took an hour to complete.

After I cleaned up the image, adding extra curls to the hair, putting in some special effects and enhancing the makeup, the image looked like this:


Court/Ship is going to be published in black and white, so I converted the image to black and white and made some adjustments. Some people think that converting to black and white means just desaturating an image – and you can certainly do that, but I have some techniques that make a black and white image pop a bit more than if I used just a simple conversion.


I could have stopped there, but I started thinking about the movie “Funny Face”. There is an image from that movie of Audry Hepburn, where he face is changed to black and white and sort of blown out, so that only her eyes, nose and mouth are visible. I decided to try that with this image.

Halfway though doing that though, I found a midpoint (pictured above), where you can still see some parts of her face and hair that I thought was very appealing.


Above is the final image, the full conversion. I think I like the “halfway” point better, but there is something truly alien about this final, stark image that is very striking.

Do you have a preference? Which is your favorite?


6 thoughts on “Court/Ship: Funny Face

  1. Out of context, I really like the final image, but it says “Alien” rather than “Hybrid”. I think the one before it would be better for the cover … possibly with the dials turned a notch or two further away from the final image so the outline of the face shows up a little more clearly.

  2. The halfway picture keeps a hint of the curled hair, which helps set the tone of the fashion/court you’re going for. With the eye shadow the human side has a sensitivity, sadness, or vulnerability about it. The full conversion doesn’t have that, it’s a much more aggressive, predatory appearance. I also like the tiara on top; you don’t get that in the final.

    The final image seems really alien because there’s nothing to delineate where the human half of the face ends – all we get are the features, no curvature of the cheeks or anything. The slight shading in the halfway image, on the other hand, helps define the structure of the face and give it a definite femininity.

  3. I really like the last image, the final one. It has an alien feel to it. But, if you want to hold some of the human feel, then the image at midway might be the one to work with – still seeing hair and more human features in the face. But I really like the last one best. 🙂

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