For those familiar with the painting for the first book, you'll quickly notice that the cover for Book 2 is a slight departure on multiple fronts. This is for a number of reasons. First and foremost is that it's smaller (16x20 versus 22x30) and painted on board rather than printmaking paper. I did this largely for my convenience. Also, since most of my earlier works are done the same way, it provided a bit of familiarity.
Also, I focused this time around on displaying two important elements in the story and dropped the unnecessary geometrical shape that is present in the first illustration (I really don't know what I was thinking with that). I did this to phase out a lot of superfluous items that didn't make it to the final book cover. With a focus on two subjects (namely Zoe Agilis and the shoreline of the Valkenistri), I could easily slot these into the appropriate sections of the cover template (see below).
Going forward, this should be the way all illustrations for the series will done (I know this for a fact because the art for Books 3 and 4 is already complete).
As a part of the book cover.