I’ve just wrapped up a five week (amazing) e-course with The Children’s Book Academy, all about the Craft & Business of Illustrating Children’s Picture Books. It was informative, interactive,challenging and just incredible. I was placed into a critique group, which I’ll be sticking with now that the course is finished, and this is where a lot of the motivation came. My awesome partners focused me and kept me going. The information was thorough and varied, and where some pieces of info (like humanizing animals) didn’t touch on something I cared to do, I had plenty to work with from other lessons. I now have something of a portfolio, too!
Check it out on my homepage at patrickg.ca under “Illustration”. (I am really hoping I can find a way to embed this blog into that site … if anyone knows how, send me an email, please! firstname.lastname@example.org)
I don’t have anything ready to SHOW that is brand new for week 8, but I have been toiling away on my promotional post card and thought I would share it here. I LOVE love love monsters. Well, the friendly ones. The grumpy ones are fine, too, as long as they don’t eat people, but I especially love the goofy ones. Without further ado, here is the (back of my) FIRST PROMOTIONAL postcard!
This week, I’m presenting you with two illustrations … of the same thing.
Part of this whole process is in refining my style and finding a voice. I’ve drawn this character a whole bunch of ways, but these two are my favourites.
This one was done in Sharpie with water colour paint, then scanned and edited to colour the background. I like the cut and paste feel of this, in the way that Oliver Jeffers often does his “Boy” books, and wanted to experiment not only with this, but with Photoshop. I also wanted to get rid of the mucky white of the sketchbook page behind Miss Molly. This character is inspired by a real-life Miss Molly, who I’ve never met, but know through an old friend’s/her mom’s Facebook account. She’s hilarious and sassy. I like a lot about this, though I’m not entirely sold on the quality of the marker or the scan.
The next one was done in Sharpie, then scanned and painted in Photoshop with multiple layers. Talk about a learning curve. I actually darkened the outline in a layer, removed all of the “inside” white and laid it overtop of the coloured layer. If you don’t use Photoshop, then this is gibberish, but it was a good learning opportunity for me. I like the style of her legs and arms – they’re fun and carefree, but I’m not sure they’re totally “me”, y’know? I’m not convinced I LOVE the computer paint … it feels a bit … cold and cheap. Some people paint incredible pictures in photoshop … I’m not there yet. The lines in this one I’m not crazy about either. I like a lot of the “feel” but go back and forth.
Overall, I think (in this moment) I prefer Miss Molly #1. Maybe you don’t. That’s okay! It’s all just about practice and exploration for me at this point in the challenge. Constructive criticism is certainly welcome.
Next week, I’m hoping to build an entire page … however, it is Hallowe’ek, so that may not happen. Stay tuned!
Saturdays come quickly when you set a deadline. My focus for the week was on children and character development. I did work on lots of versions of children and tried to continue my development in this area, but I haven’t yet quite gotten it right. I did, however, come up with this other character. I won’t say much about him – the illustrations say it all.
I’m uploading it in both colour and greyscale. I love both, but because of scan and output qualities, which I am still learning about, the greyscale one looks better (in my opinion).
My next steps include continued development and the finished quality. I’m still learning to use the software that brings it all together, and need to improve the scans and line art. I will be purchasing a graphics tablet soon to hopefully help in that area. All in all, I think Hector is a great start to a life-altering project.
What do you think?