Friday, March 23, 2012

Illustration Project: Pages 3-4

  Sooooo much work to do on this project! It takes me about 8-10 hours to do a completed drawing of this size, especially since I decided I didn't want a hint of space showing. Lots of color-layering and blending. I'm glad I chose a good sturdy paper, cuz it's gettin' a workout and , so far, hasn't worn thin under the pressure. It's Canson 70lb Drawing Paper (14 x 17). I chose it because it had e/g I was looking for, advertising itself as "suitable for final drawings, fine surface, erases cleanly, blends smoothly". I must say it lives up to its hype!

I had a bit of trouble drawing this one as the author was set on having an indoor/outdoor scene all-in-one, with the outdoor part being seen through a picture window. I had originally wanted to do it all in a garden, with giant sunflowers. It was hard doing it in such a way that the window wasn't disproportionately large for the room, yet large enough to display the characters outside. The dimensions are a bit odd (16.5 x 6")  so it presents a challenge. But I think it worked out well in the end, and I did manage to get the sunflowers in!

Some nice features (IMO) are the 2 kittens under the toybox. It's hard to see (thanks to my not-so-great photography and the paper being too large to fit in my scanner) but the little pink and fuchsia kitty has a cute curlicue pattern to its coat. I love the look of giving just a hint of them, with the focus on their kitten paws darting out to grab objects lying on the floor. Just the way real kittens do.

As usual, per my somewhat meandering process (I think the kinder term is "Organic") I never have all of the colors thought out completely. I sorta start somewhere and e/g else takes its cue and flows from there. The boy was the only character whose color was set in stone, as the author wanted her kids wearing their favorite colors. So, I started with adding purple to the dogs fur with a touch of cream on his brows. That set the tone. It led to the two kittens, in pink/grey and pink/black. Moving on to the next page, I tied it in with a pink/purple/cream mother cat and the two kittens under the toy box in variations of the same colors. The toy box picked up the colors of the boy's clothes, w/ a scrubby looking overlay of cream to give it a painted look and bright yellow lettering, just cuz it seemed bold was the way to go there. I introduced green in the garden, picking it up in the dino toys in the corner. I then went back to the boy's socks (which i hadn't decided on) and gave them a splash of green, too. The yellow sunflowers went nicely with the toybox, but I was determined to do them anyway!

To introduce a few things that were clean (not so busy) and give the eyes a break from the color extravaganza, I scattered things from start to finish (left to right) that were white, w/ the same defining dark blue to make them stand out. It starts with the paper planes hanging from the ceiling, the tennis shoe in the boy's hand, moves to the relatively stark blue and white of the curtains, and ends w/ the blue and white spotted dog. I'm also a fan of unexpected pops of red, thus the lady's shoe and the yo-yo.

All that was left was the background, and here I debated w/ myself, going back and forth in my mind, solid color or patterns? On my scratch paper, I experimented with a ginger and cream color background. Pretty but a bit bland. I added a wavy bright blue line and was sold on patterned wallpaper. Once I had it all down, I felt it could still use a little extra punch and added the bright green line. Looked good to me! Then I dressed up the floor with boards and grain and finally, put down my pencil. It had a finished look. There was n/g left to do but clean up the mess I made sharpening my pencils. (I have a trash can right under the desk, but I'm always in such a frenzy when I work, I invariably end up leaving a huge pile of shavings on the desk).

So, here it is. What do you think?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Illustrations Contd.

Progress is being made on the book illustration project.  This is a 2 page spread. It's rendered entirely in colored pencil. Originally I was going to outline e/g with black Copic pen, but decided it looked to cartoonish. I wish I was a better photographer, but I hope you get the idea. There are several touches of pure fantasy. For instance the alligator's skin; I knew I wanted to do s/g totally unexpected with it and somehow the floral pattern just sprang into being. I find it oddly appropriate. It's hard to tell from the photo, but the background is a a blend of swarms of butterflies, little green flying critters, flowers, leaves and vines. I wanted it to be interesting but not overwhelming, so I blended it all with a cream pencil as well as a blender.

That's all! Back to the Drawing Board! ;)