Here is the original piece from senior year in college. I painted a specific scene in which Montag watches as a woman sets herself on fire. I wanted the design to be kinetic, because I feel that old classics get mistaken as boring too often. I can't say that, even at the time, I was very happy with it, but it does tell a story.
I just didn't feel that it covered any of the important thematic elements of the book. I also felt that orange was 'too easy.' I get it; the book is about burning books, the title is the temperature at which they burn. Fire! Fire is orange! Bleh.
I was always struck by the calm beauty of the scenes with Clarisse. I'm also trying to illustrate things more subtly these days. Not every illustration needs to hit the viewer with the obviousness of a ball peen hammer. Yes, fire is still a very important theme, but can I have my cake and eat it too?
I still have some orange-yellows in there, but I limited their use, thereby increasing their effect. I also tried to be very conscious of the cover aspect of the design.
I wish I was good at type. All that time I could have spent learning to kern and vector my own font was spent learning to paint the crap behind it... but this is a good placeholder. It lets people looking at it know what the illustration is for, and it lets them know that I was conscious of the application of my composition. So there it is, another one in the books. Or for the books.