Monday, September 30, 2013

Productive Monday!

Well I have had a productive Monday. I have been experimenting with technique all day, trying to figure out how I am going to execute the finals for this book. Well I think I'm close, and here is a sneak peak at my experiments...

So excited to show you more when I can!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

This week's thumbnail developments

Hello everyone! Just wanted to show this week's updated/refined thumbnails for my book. It's really coming together and I'm finally able to start picturing how the illustrations will layout on the page and interact with the text!

Here's the whole book:

And here are a few of my favorite page spreads:

Next step is starting to experiment with technique/ how I want to execute the finals. Thanks for following along this journey with me!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fairy done!

I think this fairy is done.

It was done in graphite, ink washes, acrylic, watercolor, pastels, and colored pencils, (a little bit of everything!)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Character Ideation

This is a fun exercise in character ideation that I have been employing. First you take a mid-toned surface and scribble on it with some kind of media (dark in value) that you can be very loose with. For me this was india ink and a thin, long bristle, round brush. Scribble with a form in mind, but without thinking or trying too hard to create an actual, logical form. So I scribbled with the idea of creating a human shape, but you can see my initial scribbles were very loosey goosey:

Then I cut into the scribble forms with a white ink pen. Defining the form that I saw within the scribbles. Cutting more and more until I found the form that looked right to me:

These are some of the figures I found. They may not all work for the characters I am creating now, but they are all inspiring and may help create characters for future stories. It's a fun exercise, allowing yourself to just be loose with mark making and form creation.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Refined Thumbnails/Formatting

I'm discovering that a willingness to constantly look critically at your work and refine, refine, refine (even when you think you are done refining) means a better outcome. This is what progress looks like today:

Fourteen new page layouts with fourteen tiny new drawings (probably not the last!). I am grateful to all those who have given me advice along the way.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Coming Along...

I think she's almost done. Since the last post I added some colored pencil and pastel "glow." I also added some scales to her skin and seeds to the dandy lion with ink. I think the magic is coming along.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

WIP Fairy Just For Fun

It's a work in progress in ink, watercolor, and acrylic. Going to add some fluffy seeds to that dandy lion stem and more of a windy feeling to the air around her. Feedback welcome!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Cutting and Slashing!

I am cutting and slashing my way through my manuscript right now. It is painful to do but very necessary. A picture book needs to hold the often short attention span of a child (and their adult) for the duration of the entire book. So it's hack time for me:

Of course this does mean changes to the thumbnails/layout of the book, but it's all a part of the process! Expect more posts. Lots of them...

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Adventures in Character Design

People are SO difficult to draw (for me at least). I have particularly struggled with creating characters from my imagination who look the same from page to page. SO for my next book I plan on fully preparing myself in the character design department. So...

Meet Del:

He is made of Sculpey.

 He is not yet painted.

 I hope I can make him look this adorable every time I draw him.

And he is about to go on a great adventure!

I saw that this is something that a lot of illustrators do including James Gurney, author and illustrator of Dinotopia (and a personal hero of mine). It helps to create believable characters over and over again. I can light and photograph this little guy from any angle for reference! Here's hoping it helps...

Friday, September 6, 2013

Book In Progress...

I have been working on a manuscript/children's book concept for the past few years, and now my next book is finally taking shape. After much heart wrenching deliberation I cut the book down from about 50 pages to a more manageable 36 (and I think I can still cut more text!). I have planned out illustrations for each page:

And now I am working on nailing down that main character:

His name is Delphinious, named after my great-uncle Del. Del is a cautious, but adventurous child, who discovers a world that he never could have imagined out on a twisty old road at the edge of town...

Stay tuned for more updates on this book!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Bathroom Signs!

I just moved into a new studio, and my studio mates decided to make the two bathrooms in the space gendered. So, I thought I would help the process by making signs. I started with the "Ladies" sign. Here is the first solution I came up with:

Then I thought maybe it was too hard to read so I floated a very transperant text behind the figures. What do you think? Which one works better? Thanks for any input!

The figures were all done in graphite and watercolor washes on watercolor paper. Next up a "Gents" sign! (although I'm a little baffled by the G shape...)