I start out with a black and white ink drawing
of the entire cover - front and back.
I choose the alligator character from the story because it is appealing to the younger readers. This alligator is exciting and says we will find adventure inside the book.
I add a watercolor wash. I need to consider where the title will be. And leave room on the back cover for some text.
After the watercolor, I use colored pencils to finish the drawing.
Here I've added the title and author on the cover.