Tag Archives: picture book

Here I am

After the longest time!

Hi there. I’ve missed you. Work on Leonard Doesn’t Dance is going well. And I’m also working on another exciting project. A picture book by Sofie Laguna called When You’re Older. It’s a bit tricky working on two; just when I’m submerged deeply in one, I have to haul myself out by the scruff of the neck and focus on the other. But it’s fine, because both are lovely books.

Leonard and his pigeon friends are learning the can-can. I can’t do the can-can. (I might yet learn… A fake leg might be helpful.) But pigeons can can-can.

Here’s a small section of what I’m working on today. The background is in progress so the yellow area is sketched in. And all around what you see here are plants and other birds and a couple of beasts. But this is one of the white pages. The full colour pages look different.

Leonard and the Can-can pigeons

Detail of the can-can page from Leonard Doesn’t Dance by Frances Watts

They look like this.

Leonard colour page sample

Detail from a full colour page as the sun sets in Leonard’s world.

I’m using a big mix of media in this book. I’m printmaking, painting, drawing, collaging and digitising. (I’m doing the same for When You’re Older, but with a different colour palette.)

The printmaking is the most fun part. There’s something so intoxicating about printmaking. When the outcome is uncertain, due to the variability of the process, you are always on the brink of something… and it could be wonderful. It could be a treasure. Those op-shoppers among you will understand the feeling as it’s rather similar.

The print below is saved to my computer with the ignominious title ‘Disappointing Flowers’. But once colour and collage treatment are added, it actually works very well.

‘Disappointing Flowers’

This is a quick mock-up showing how the application of colour and a trim here and there, bring a disappointing print into a context that works. At least, for me. It’s not from the book.

A quick digital collage of my disappointing flowers to see if they rise to the challenge.

This one I was truly delighted with. It’s such a simple pattern, printed with a single block and roughly aligned. The roughness appeals to my deepest instincts in a way that nothing tidy or perfect can do. And the print has become a raw material like a delicious cheese that I might put into some cooking.

repeat pattern lores

Rough, ready and rambunctious, this print appeals to me like a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

And here are some of the inky painted areas I’m using. These too, will be barely recognisable when I’ve finished colouring and ornamenting them on the computer, but for me, the shapes produced with a brush have more animation than anything I can draw directly on the screen.

8-9 tree shapes lores

Inky tree shapes for Leonard Doesn’t Dance… Or maybe for When You’re Older.

Now it’s back to the page. Some ducks are calling for my attention.

Yes. I think some of them are Call Ducks.

 

Bird Immersion

Sorry I haven’t been around in Blog Land.

20-21 Leonard with 2 heads

 

Happily, this is mainly because I’ve been so busy drawing my roughs for Leonard, (and turning 50, and looking after an extra child because we have an overseas student staying with us at the moment).

I have to say, despite the fact that I’m multi-tasking like crazy (bad) Leonard is really fun (good!).

I can’t show you very much (bad). Many of the roughs describe the finished image. And this book, true to Frances Watts’ Style, will be brimming with humour (good!). So by showing you the full page roughs, I would be giving away all the gags (terribly, terribly bad).

But I can share with you bits and snippets and here-and-there touches.

chickens lightened.jpg

It’s interesting that the roughs have reverted to pencil, maybe my most natural medium. And this will pose its own challenges when it comes time to make the final art with broad paint strokes. The roughs began as large paintings, then switched to charcoal, and finally, to pencil.

singing

swingin Leonard

And something I’m excited about is my new light box! Wowsers! It’s so cool.

But I’m going to leave this and write more later.

I’m multi-tasking, remember?

 

 

 

 

Swirling and Swinging

P24 Lachie judywatsonart lores

This afternoon I finished the second last illustration for Thunderstorm Dancing, which I should add is yet to be approved as the editor is not in the office today.

All being well, I’m now working on the last illustration for the book. I can hardly believe it. Wish me luck!

scribble cornish judywatsonart lores

This is not from Thunderstorm Dancing. This is a scribble-of-joy.

Okay… so this Scribble Cornish may exhibit some slight exaggerations of conformation… but the rest is true :-)

 

Week 38 – Giraffe

giraffe judywatsonart loresA quick watercolour giraffe for the 52 Week Illustration Challenge.

I’ve since Tomi Ungerer-ated hiim. It had to be done.

Tomi Giraffe contrasty head judywatsonart lores Tomi Giraffe judywatsonart lores

 

Lucy

I’m drawing whippets over and over again until I get the expression just right for final art.

Sometimes, when I’ve drawn the dog several times over in the ‘pose’ (for want of a better word) required for the illustration, I still can’t get it right. Low growl.

Then I sometimes draw the dog (or cat, or person) in another way entirely and it gets my brain out of the gridlock.

Here’s Lucy telling me to play ball and chill out sister.

Lucy with winning expression

Ball anyone?

Thunder Gulls

A fragment of a Thunder endpaper.

Prismacolour artsticks are great to use. I’m enjoying the corners and flat sides to get sharp and gravelly effects, all rather rough and imprecise, which is a good thing when you have a tendency to over-detail things as I do, in the context of illustration work.

Here’s a fragment of a spread with brindly-blue whippet. (I am so into whippets at the moment. Shame my chickens wouldn’t be.)

Thunderstorm still raging

Answer… no.
Ha ha. Oh, well. We’re getting closer…