Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Let There Be Light

When it came to prepping final art, I thought I had it all figured out. I had a three step method. (See this old blog post where I lay it all out.) 1-Transfer approved sketches to good paper. 2-Ink the transfered sketches. 3-Finish out in Watercolor. This deal worked out good enough. No need to improve. So I thought.

Recently, I needed to make a single piece of art in layers and to do this I needed to see through several sheets of paper to get everything to line up. So, I bought a light box. It worked out swell. Then, as I went to get cracking on final art for the book I'm doing now, I had a light-box revelation. I could totally bypass that whole "transfer" nonsense (part 1) and use the light box to trace over approved sketches and ink at the same time. Hallelujah, boy, cause that transfer stuff was mind-numbing.

Thereby skipping step 1 altogether.

What I'm talking bout:

Take, for instance, this approved sketch.

I print out a laser print of said sketch, get a piece of sturdy hot pressed watercolor paper, and click on the light box.

Tape the laser print securely to the back of the watercolor paper (in at least two places, so there's no shifting between sheets).

Begin inking on top of the good stock. With the light shining through underneath, you got a good lead to follow.

Finish up and carefully pull the tape off with the laser print underneath. Right on.

Why wasn't I doing this all along?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Jam On It

Last week, Julie and me and family were in Orlando, FL's Walt Disney World. It's crazy. Huge. Blown up. It was fun.

This week, I'm officially in finals for my much talked about (by me) first author/illo pic book. It's exciting. Intimidating, as well, but all quite, quite good. I'm jazzed.

Before we left for Dis. World, I got a full set of color proofs on a pic book I recently finished drawings for, called TOOT TOOT ZOOM. My first work with Candlewick on a great story written by Phyllis Root! As the book's designer, Pam Consolazio, said, there's gonna be some tweaks to the overall color for another set of proofs, but it's looking pretty sharp. Here's the cover (a bad crop, a little wonky on the color--apologies...):

And now I must jam. Gotta deadline, September 15.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Pig Droppings–You Can Win!

Dear Readers,

Below is a sketch from a picture book I'm currently working on. A pig runs, and as he does so, several choice items fall out of the bag he's holding. I'm wondering how easily identifiable those items are. Can you identify them? I don't know. If you can (first one who does correctly via "comments"--include your name), I'll send this pencil sketch, signed, to your home. Not much incentive to comment, but 'tis what 'tis. (Disclaimer: it's on standard "copy" paper. Not high-dollar paper.) If you're right, I'll post it to "comments" and have you email me your mailing address. Watch out!



(click on image to get a closer look...)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Color Me Badd

I'm in the middle of sharpening sketches and sharpening text on one of my newest picture books. This will be my first offering as both illustrator AND author, so it holds a special, special place in me heart. I'm very fortunate to be working on this with Feiwel and Friends--the too awesome Liz Szabla, the too awesome Rich Deas, and the too awesome special guest editor Rebecca Davis. I'm in good hands here. So I just whipped up some color tests to see how the art will look with some different color scheme ideas. I'm diggin the idea of a limited color palette. I'm leaning toward the more monochrome ones--specifically the all purple/gray background right now for a few reasons. We shall see.

(click to zoom)