This is a rather rough sketch of what the cover of my second book would look like, if I ever get it published. And no: the first book isn't finished yet. I think I'm about half way (and at page 150 approx. I'm starting to get worried). Anyway, I did it with derwents (coloured pencils), and used the forbidden technique of pushing REALLY hard to get the strong colours of the black and red in the phoenix. And yes: my phoenix ISN'T a great big bird of pure fire; it's a smoulering mass of sooty feathers and burning embers. They might have an internal power source for generating heat but unless they consume a nuclear bomb right before detonation, well, they won't be able to come out bright and white ALL the time. They can get pretty exhausted doing that. And in case you're wondering who that funny little guy is down the bottom, that's Samuel, one of the main characters in my first book, only a few years later. His armour did have components of green to it (the bracers were particularly cool), but unfortunately my PC decided it would edit that out. You can see some colour loss in the fire down the bottom, but the phoenix appears as it was. The smooth (or smoother than it would have been otherwise) texture of the blue in the sky way achieved by shaving off fine bits of my blue pencil and then rubbing it into the paper. And I might just point this out just in case you can't see it: Sam's cloak is burning off his back, but he remains unhurt. What do you think, how's it all look?