Monday, December 15, 2014

Here comes the bride - wait, what???

By Michelle Lee
BWL Art Director

Finding images can be somewhat of a challenge - especially for historical fiction.  The costumes are just so expensive, and each time period had such drastically different clothing styles.  Plus there were different styles within each time period depending upon where in the world the story is set.

Yeah, historical fiction can be a challenge to create cover art for.

So I was tickled when I came across a suggestion for a simple and easy way around it (in some cases at least).  You ready for it?


That's right, most bridal gowns are poofy and have those small beading details that just add so much depth to the image.  And they really are very versatile in what you can use them for - plus the women generally have intricate hair styles, which also adds to the appeal of the images.

Now I am not saying that will work for all historical fiction (it will work best with romances), but it does offer some more options.  Like I mentioned in a previous post, not all details are going to be time period exact.  So sometimes you have to overlook the fact that some details won't be perfect ... and look at the cover and evaluate the images as a whole.  

Now for an example of how a wedding gown can be used ...

When the dress is white, it is very obviously a wedding gown.  But how I have modified it to dark blue?  It has the look of a ball gown ... and with that hair-do, she could easily fit in several different time periods.


* * *

If you are interested in other rambling about cover art by Michelle Lee, check out the following Inside BWL Blog Posts:
Alas Poor Images, I Cannot Find You
Fonts, Fonts, and More Fonts

and other Behind The Cover Art posts ...

* * *

Michelle Lee is a self-taught cover artist who has an opinion on pretty much everything, and a love of the natural world that often means tidbits and trivia are shared on a whim.  You can check out her portfolio at: Stardust Creations


  1. Michelle, Then there are those of us who do fantasy and then the clothes can be really different, Liked the two gowns. Made a big difference,

  2. Wedding gowns can be very versatile. I don't know when it became the custom for a bride to wear white. In the 18th century, which I've written about, the bride wore her best dress and a hat.

    1. In 1852 when Queen Victoria wore a white dress.

  3. Very interesting. Color certainly makes a lot of difference.

  4. Clever. I agree, the color makes a great deal of difference!

  5. I think it was Queen Victoria who popularized the white wedding gown but it's amazing how different that gown looks in a different color.


We are going to try once more to allow moderated comments. Hopefully the spammers won't ruin it for us again but we'll see what happens, for now everyone can comment and I'll approve all that don't violate our rules

Popular Posts

Books We Love Insider Blog

Blog Archive

Total Pageviews