Cover Story for Warrior Queens by Archer Atwood

book cover of Warrior Queens by Archer Atwood


How did I decide and create the final cover of “Warrior Queens”?

It was a process…

Deciding on a cover illustration can be a matter of trial and error until it clicks in your mind. The first incarnation of “Warrior Queens” had a photograph for a cover and that just did not sit right. The story is original and from the author’s imagination, the covers should be unique, too.




I played with a few ideas for the cover with more stylistic approaches. I still like them, but they didn’t strike that right cord with me.


Sketch Idea





sketch idea











I decided to just relax and start painting what I thought the main characters would look like. This proved to be a lot of fun. Queen Darnell, she is VERY serious and though not a big woman, she is athletic, strong, and commanding in her armor.





Early layer of painting.











All my paintings are acrylic paint on Bristol paper. I like this medium because the colors are bright, the paint dries fast, and you can paint over mistakes or changes.

I prefer painting on paper rather than canvas because the surface is smoother and the paper is easy to move around and to store.

Queen Dana, Darnell’s daughter, is also a warrior queen, but she is just a tad less ruthless. I decided to go with a profile. I started out with her wearing a chain mail hood under a helmet. As you can see I removed the hood and kept a helmet type crown.







Early version of painting.











Helen will remain one of my favorite characters in the series. Bred and trained to be a fierce warrior, her likeness had to be as badass. Standing over six feet tall with a strong physique, I had to do some research to get her proportions right. As for her armor, she wears a variety from a lightweight leather, chainmail, to plate armor. I decided to go with a lighter version. Well, she is quick and deadly, so she would want movement in her armor. Her likeness is on the back cover.







First layers of paint










Taking my paintings and blending them into the final cover design was done by

Paintings shown for the cover of Warrior Queens by Archer Atwood

Now you know how the cover came about! It may look easy, but trust me, it involved MANY hours of trial and error, changing my mind, stepping back to let it “simmer”, and then just taking a leap of faith that it was done..well..sort of..yes, it is done, need to let it go!!









For more about this book and the story, head over to the dedicated page for the Moonchild’s Prophecy Series. I hope you will enjoy the adventure. Book Two: Warrior’s Destiny will be coming on in early 2023. For more images and cover ideas, check out the article that lists all the characters and places in the Moonchild’s Prophecy Universe.

This article is copyright Archer Atwood/N.A.M. 2022. All content and images are original and copyrighted. It can not be used in any form without permission by the author and artist. Links to this article with credit are permitted.

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