This an illustration I just finished last night. I had fun combining images of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” with a young girl’s day-dreams. This illustration was done using the pastel brush in Corel Painter 12. Digital art is still new to me, but I am loving it.
On Monday, I’m starting to illustrate a children’s book for an author I’ve never worked with before. It’s a great story and I am very excited to start. The part I love most when illustrating a children’s picture book are the character studies. In this book I will have quite a few interesting animals to illustrate and some lush backgrounds. Can’t give away too many details until the author says I can talk about it.
I’m a bit late showing my entry to the Tomie dePaola Illustration competition for 2013. Here is a link to all the entries for 2013. The winner was Sandra Ure Griffin for her wonderful illustration for the Yearling. All illustrations for 2013 had to be in black and white and greys. I love to use color, so this was hard for me. There were 300 illustrations entered this year.
I decided to illustrate a scene from Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, a book I had not read since grade school. I loved reading it again and chose part of the scene in the cave with Tom and Becky as my inspiration. I wanted to keep it as simple and dramatic as possible in black and white with very little grey.
This is the same rough pencil that I posted in my last blog (see below). I have added some color using Corel Painter 12 to experiment with technique and color. I will probably redraw the drawing for the final illustration. I like the loose watercolor on the water, I’m not so sure of the exact technique used on the sky. I also want to show a little more definition between the sky and the water. The text will be over the Scotties head on the left and on the right side of the spread.
This is a work in progress, feel free to comment. Click on the thought bubble in the top right corner.
I am writing his story myself. This week my writer’s critique group associated with SCBWI gave me a lot of great suggestions to improve it. Writing is hard work.
I can’t wait to finish all the illustrations. I must work on my own work in between my real children’s book illustration jobs. With my work I can post images as I go along. Most children’s book authors, I work for, want to keep everything secret until they publish the book. Because of that, I don’t get to show everyone what I am working on.
I plan to do this illustration in loose watercolor over a charcoal or pencil drawing. I want the water to have a lot of movement. I will probably paint it digitally.
I like to see other illustrator’s working sketches, so I’m showing my early roughs of a Scottie dog for a new book I’m working on. He’s black and I haven’t quite worked out how to handle that problem. This Scottie … Continue reading →
This poster is 22″ x 40″. I created it using Corel Painter 12. I have always used traditional media in the past, but now I am quickly picking up digital painting. Corel Painter is a joy to use. I used Photoshop for many years and still do for many things, but you can’t beat Corel Painter to give you true to life brushes. I used the pastel brush for Pinocchio, Tinker Belle and the skyline and the special effects Brush for the twinkles around Tinker Belle. Everything was drawn from my imagination. I wanted Pinocchio to be very non-Disney and spooky like King Kong. Let me know what you think, click the thought balloon in the top right corner.
I am so excited and empowered, I attended my first Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators conference today. Will Terry was the speaker for the illustrators. Will is incredibly talented and a very good speaker. Visit his site to see some of his work: http://willterry.com/ He also sells some wonderful tutorials for illustrators.
He talked about the emerging technology for e-books and story apps. It’s another tool for writers and illustrators to help get our work out to our readers in an exciting way.
I appreciate the SCBWI of Missouri for planning this wonderful conference. Thank you
I am taking a course in digital painting this semester using Corel Painter 12. Up to now I have created all my illustrations using traditional media. I have always created harder line vector work like logos and lettering in Abobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop mostly for retouching, adapting, outlining and blending photos and some simple artwork. But I have mostly used watercolor and ink, gouache, pastel, colored pencil, markers, acrylics and oils for my illustrations.
Using digital media has not really changed my style very much or speeded up the process yet. I do like the ability to make changes a lot more easily and less destructively. I also like not having to worry about my paints drying out or matching a color at a later date. I find matching an exact color after the painting dries very difficult to do in acrylics and watercolor. What I do miss, is the feeling of holding a real paintbrush or pencil in my hand, some how the digital stylus just doesn’t feel the same to me yet. I keep practicing.
Recently I was honored to receive a critique from the children’s book illustrator and Caldecott award winner Paul O. Zelinsky.
After I read his well thought-out comments about the cover illustration for Madeline Delilah, Extraordinarily, Ordinary, I wanted to make a few changes on the art, but the book had already been published and was actually in it’s second printing.
It’s nice to get a second chance in life as well as art!
I just got word from the author Mariah Richardson, that there is going to be a third printing and I can make small changes to the illustrations. I am thrilled to get a second chance.
Mr. Zelinsky made a few suggestions on the cover that I was able to make using the existing art and Photoshop to manipulate the image. He felt that the main character Madeline Delilah needed to dominate the cover. In the first illustration I was trying to emphasize the large size of the tree by making her small. In the new version I brought her to the foreground and made her slightly larger. I also beefed up the title and used a drop shadow to make the words pop out a little more. Mr. Zelinski had a few other suggestions to make the cover more exciting, but I was unable to make those changes at this time. I think it is a good up-grade that makes me feel better, but most people will not notice. Let me know what you think about the redo (leave comments by clicking the thought bubble at the top right of this post).
An inside look at the process of creating a children’s book character. When Mariah Richardson the author of “Madeline Delilah, Extraordinarily Ordinary” and I had our first meeting we discussed the main character Madeline Delilah. Mariah envisioned an African-American little girl about … Continue reading →
I want to share a some of my preliminary drawings as well as my finished work on this site. This is an early character study of Madeline Delilah the main character in the book “Madeline Delilah, Extraordinarily Ordinary” written by Mariah Richardson. … Continue reading →