Monday, August 24, 2009

Bird Book roughs

So far in my career as an Illustrator I've always had clients tell me what they needed from me as far as the art goes.
I'll continue to do that. I like to do that.
Lately I have been experiencing some "creative dissatisfaction" with the career.
I used to like to write a bit but never thought I was good at it. I'm not the type to let that stop me,
so I've decided to take some initiative and start creating projects for my illustrations.
I know my current limitations so the first one won't be the next Harry Potter. It will be a basic board book.

It's a color book featuring birds.
Each bird would have a 2 page spread.
The idea is to take the red bird and paint it in a monochromatic red scheme.
The green bird in a monochromatic green scheme, and so on, and so on.
So here's what I have for the first go round of roughs.

Red bird.

He'll be skipping down the sidewalk next to the street, probably with a picket fence in the far background.

Orange bird.

He'll be floating in the water. Maybe a fish will be jumping out of the water to make that upper right space more interesting.

Yellow bird.

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He'll be playing with a couple of yo-yos that will replace the O's in the word Yo-Yo. I don't know what his background will be yet.

Green bird.

This one's self explanatory.

Blue bird.

Option A

He's sitting on a stump in the Bayou singing his heart out.

Option B

Same thing, different bird.

Purple bird.

Option A

He's jamming on the piano. Think Jerry Lee Lewis.

Option B

He's painting a portrait, I know he's painting grapes right now, like Picasso.

Brown bird.

This one will be a bakers kitchen scene.

Black bird.

He's catching the baseball out onn the field.

White bird.

I know this one is repetition. I need to think of something else for him to do that starts with a W.

The final art will be painted in a combination of watercolor, gouache, and possibly colored pencil.

That's what I have so far.
Your feed back/comments are welcome.

A few questions...

1. Are the birds interesting enough.
2. Are the pages too crowded. Laid out well?
3. Is one character enough per page?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Camping Fishing Guy

I spent a couple of days painting and finishing off this guy.
He's painted on watercolor board using a mix of watercolor, gouache, and colored pencil.

I intend to mock up a booklet cover using him.
Once that's figured out I'll scan a real map to fill in the blank area of his map and the map of the hampster on his back pack.
I have to say that this is the way I want to work for book/magazine jobs.

My Flat Stanley

This weeks IF word is unfold.
I submitted the art from the previous post, the map guy, because he was unfolding his map to see where he was going.
I was able to post it early in the week so I still had time to think about the word of the week.
I was in the book store a few days back and I saw that the character "Flat Stanley" was in some new books.
He had a new look, so I started thinking that I could do my take on the character for the word unfold.
I figured he could fold up and mail himself to different places and unfold when the letter was opened.

The line art...

and the color...

It was painted with watercolors on illustration board, and then colored pencil was added for shading.
Below is a close up to show the use of the colored pencil better.

IF - Modify - The Dragon's Treat

This weeks IF word is MODIFY.

What you are looking at is the use of a treat to Modify the Dragons attitude so that he will be helpful.

It's painted with gouache and watercolor on illustration board.
I've decided that I like watercolor board better.
The illustration board surface gets rough when a lot of water is used.

July 24 2009- I received some more comments from the SCBWI forum and made changes to the image and went to tight line art.

Next is to start to figure out the color.
I plan on doing a color wash over the whole image with watercolor and then going in with gouache to do the rest of the color.
After that I'll probably go back over the line work and give it more variation.

July 23 2009- Ok, I have reworked the rough after receiving comments from the SCBWI forum boards.
Here it is.

I made the image space larger to give the dragon some breathing space and show more of the balloon.
I also added in the tail.

July 22 2009- This is my rough for another possible portfolio piece.
It's a boy and his grandma feeding a dragon his favorite treat...Oreo cookies.
Grandma's got a purse full of them. I think I'll have some sugar packets and stuff falling out of the purse as well.
I'm still trying to decide if the dragon will be a boy or girl.

I know it's really rough, but if you see anything that stands out as "wrong" or have an idea that will enhance the work, let me know.

Depending on how this turns out, I just might use the grandma and boy as the focus of the next batch of drawings.
I think I'll add a little dog as well.


This is the final art for the previously posted line art.
It's painted with water color and guoache.
I added the story element using Illustrator and Photoshop.

If I were a story writer I'd be able to flesh this idea out into a story.

At the bus stop

This is one of the results of working on new images for my portfolio.
It's painted with a combination of water color and gouache.
It's posted here for "IF" because the bat creature's name is Tango.

My intention here was to show a simple/common scene of a bus stop with some fantasy elements.

Up Up And Away

Previously, I posted a sketchbook page of a boy and his dog in a balloon dragging the clouds out of the sky.
I liked the image, so I reworked it. Mainly because the balloon was in the shape of a butt ( old school joke with my friends).
I changed the format to horizontal and made the balloon a normal shape and zoomed in so that the viewer is closer to the boy and his dog.
I added a couple of birds for interest and depth. I also opened up the clouds and added the earth below. It will be farmland. Simple rectangular shapes of color. I added a barn and the horizon line for scale/depth.
I wanted to add more "story" to the image so that it works as a children's book image.

Here's the tight line art.

I'll be painting it with watercolors and possibly colored pencil and gouache.

I have also worked up two other images for possible inclusion to my portfolio.
The first is a bit of a fantasy piece.

As you can see, it's not over the top Fantasy. Ogres and Knights and stuff.
I wanted a normal scene with fantastic elements.
I usually make everything up from my head/memory, but this time I went to google and found images of what I wanted to draw and used them to help me be a bit more realistic/accurate.
Here are some of the images I used for reference.

This will be painted in watercolors also.

The second image was drawn because I went through a short jag of drawing rats in my sketchbook.

In this page of my sketchbook you can see that the rats started out as simple shapes where I was exploring how to draw them in as many poses as possible.

In this page you see that I started to make them more complicated.

If you take a look at the top right corner you'll see where the rat for the following image came from.

I was drawing this page of rats while watching a show about the bombing of Pearl Harbor, which explains the wings on his back.
This one will also be painted with watercolors and possibly colored pencil.
I'm thinking the background stripes will be red and white and the rat will be done in blue/grey.