A nasty fellow: Characidae Senatrá

I put this up on Facebook – but I was rather pleased with how it turned out, so I thought I’d put it up here – all in one piece.

A non-human character (totally fictitious) from the 3rd Jarvis Love retro-spy adventure, The Ambrosia Kill is a variation on that time tested spy trope – the piranha fish. At the start of the novel, I thought I’d add some illustrations and this is how I went about it.

Firstly, I sourced a picture of a piranha.

However the picture of a piranha was a little flat (and if you’ll forgive me) – it lacked BITE! So I set about creating my own illustration – this first stage (below) was created in Illustrator – drawing over the top of the photo image.

The image is much clearer and defined, but it has a certain computerized mechanicality to it – rather than illustrative look. Therefore the next step was to convert the illustrator file to photoshop – the intention being to make the illustration look like an old watercolour image, that may be found in a journal or textbook. After applying a few filters (Dry Brush, then Sponge)…

I am rather happy with that. And here’s the finished page. The first part of my literary subterfuge is complete. I have tried to make this look like a journal entry from an old explorer.

And finally, [above] here is a similarly handled image of an orchid – which also plays an important part in the story.

A nasty fellow: Characidae Senatrá

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