One of the the ideas I got from my idea development was the idea of a rose to represent love through what it represents, the red colour which is symbolic of love, as well as the link to cultural exploration of the book. I started this illustration by using reference imagery to draw round, organic shapes to build it up the design as shown below. This have a really smooth and soft feel to the design which I thought could work well as a book cover.
I used a Wacom tablet to make sure I had smooth consistent lines with the pencil tool to draw out my shapes. I built up a skeleton of paths over the reference imagery then used the colour picker (with the chosen settings as a 3×3 average to get a better overall colour for each section). This was a slow process but the results were beginning to come through and I was pleased with how it was coming along. Here is the final illustration of the rose: