I mentioned earlier I was working on a picture book called “Round” by Shervonne Taylor. At first it was going to be a picture book app, but now it’s a picture book. It’s about Olivia, a round little girl who wants to be a ballerina butterfly in the school play. I now have all the rough pencils finalized and I am working on the finished line work. I usually do this in charcoal pencil on paper. Even though I color digitally, I like to do my line work in charcoal pencil and scan it in. I feel I can get a more expressive line working this way. For this book I’m trying something different, I am working with a digital charcoal pencil on my new Wacom Cintiq. It always tickles me when people say, “Oh you work digitally, so it isn’t real art work.” I do my line work, just like anyone who is getting ready to do traditional watercolor. The difference is, when the time come to color it in, I use a computer. This way I can make changes, which clients always want to make after the color work is finished. When I used traditional watercolor or pastel, I would have to start all over again. Now I can move figures around and change background colors without destroying entire piece of art. It takes the same skills as traditional watercolor or pastel, it is just more flexible. Computer painting programs like Photoshop and Corel Painter are only tools, in the right hands there should be no difference in the final product. It takes me just as long to do a digital painting as it does a traditional media painting. This book has taken 7 months so far, I probably have another 3 to 4 more weeks work. Illustrating a 27 illustration children’s book takes time. I work closely with the author to illustrate a book they will be proud of.
I love being snowed in. When everyone else is trying to shovel their way out and fretting about being stuck at home, I’m happy. My studio is now in my home so I always have so many fun things to do. Today I worked on some full size pencil roughs for the book “Round” by Shervonne Taylor. I will be doing a picture book app first, then a printed picture book with the same art. So all the art must be made larger than it normally would for a picture book application for iPad. When I do the final illustrations everything will be on different layers, so the characters and backgrounds can move separately.
I worked out the character sketches and the dummy earlier, so I know what each character will look like and what happens on each page, but it is so much fun seeing the main character doing her thing in each scene.
I love working with Children’s book authors. Each book is so different and so much fun to illustrate.