Monday, November 24, 2008

What’s New This Week…

This week I’m wrapping up a really cute little product for MasterPieces Puzzles. It’s using a style that I developed for them a few months ago. We decided that a simple “cut-paper” look would be best for quickness and ease. Here are a few of the sketches prior to the finished piece.

Sea Otters:


Friday, November 21, 2008

“Going On a Train”

My first children’s book is published and printed, CDs are done and it’s ready for sale here « Music Speaks Publishing ».

It was printed locally by Skyline Printing and they did an excellent job. Great color, great binding and quality work all the way. This was definitely a learning experience for me as I am well into my second children’s book. I’m learning how to judge my time a little better as far as the illustrations go, and I’ve also learned to trust your own judgment. If an image isn’t working there is no sense in not just scrapping it and starting over. I did this on two of the spreads in the book and I’m very glad that I did that.

The finished book looks great and I hope that I can work with Pamela in the future on more projects.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

Illustration Style: Step by Step

Today I’m working on coloring pages for a new Children’s Book. As I was working I thought it might be interesting to see the numerous steps that I take to achieve the finished result. Every illustrator works differently, and each one has their own techniques, but here are mine:

STEP 1: I use a blue colored pencil (not the non-repro blue; I find the pencil to hard to draw with as the lead is very dense) to draw in my line-work to work out the shapes and style. I then go over this with an HB graphite pencil and scan in the image. In my case, I don’t actually have a scanner, so I take a macro-shot with my digital camera and import this into PhotoShop to clean up. (A scanner is high up on my wish list!) Sometimes, I might rearrange elements in PhotoShop that I didn’t think were working as well as possible in the original sketch.

: I open my sketch in Adobe Illustrator and with a personalized brush that I have created, go over my sketch and create linework. I make subtle changes to the style and shapes to help refine the sketch.

: I add the color and refine the pallette in Adobe Illustrator. They have a tool called Live Paint Bucket, which is essential do doing these drawings quickly. Thank you Adobe! Here is where I start to notice little things that annoy me, like the girls sword tip lining up exactly on the edge of the ship – or tangent to this line. There’s also a few other areas and of course the rope needs to be brought in front of the girl, not under her leg to trip her.

STEP 4: I bring all of my layers into Adobe PhotoShop and start painting using a custom brush that I made. I want this to look like it was created in pastels, so it has a bit of a rough edge to it. This file is only 80% done at this point, however I’ll update it when it’s complete.