It’s tulip time again, and this month I wanted to design some book covers based on the 1637 tulip craze in Holland that resulted in the collapse of the world’s first financial bubble.
The original is a ‘Black Parrot’ tulip out in my garden, actually more of a deep purple with black edges.
Here I have transformed it into a cover for ‘The Black Tulip‘ by Alexandre Dumas in the photo app Stackables using a slightly brightened up version of its ‘Asylum’ formula. This book was about the search for the almost mythical black tulip back in the 1600s and I wanted to try and capture that time period.
Dumas wasn’t too up on his horticulture making several critical mistakes involving the creation of a black tulip, most notably when he described the colour as a ‘dark nut-brown’. He also mixed up the planting times. However, I guess there wasn’t any Google back in the 1850s so I forgive him.
The original is the ‘Lavender Ruffle’ tulip at La Conner’s Tulip Town, slightly out of focus.
Here I have transformed it into a cover for ‘Tulip Fever’ in the photo app Stackables using a brighter version of its ‘Misty’ formula, which increased the out-of-focusness so that it didn’t matter. Another book set in the mid 1600s, Deborah Moggach’s story is of an artist who gambles on the crazed tulip market. I wanted the image to look as if it was of a painting of that time period.
The third tulip is a flame tulip which sort of resembles the Semper Augustus, a streaky red and white tulip that became the most extravagant tulip of this time, especially as the virus that caused the streaks made the bulb unstable.Here I made up my own formula in Stackables, adding lots of thick brushy paint stroke layers along with a handwriting overlay to make it look as if it was part of a tulip grower’s notes on how to produce the perfect tulip.