The jacket shown here was, in essence, an “audition” for Stefan Bachmann’s The Peculiar (Greenwillow Books, 2012). The publishers weren’t sure what approach would best suit the debut novel, so they asked a few illustrators to execute a bunch of different ideas.
If I remember rightly, for one of my three sketches I was asked to go in a deliberately Apothecary-like direction, i.e. moody, atmospheric, and featuring a bird (in this case a mechanical brass sparrow, instead of an American Robin) and the London skyline (Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, not the Tower of London and Tower Bridge).
I always liked the result, but it may have been too dark for their purposes, and ultimately they went with something more lighthearted.