Friday, January 10, 2014

Illustration: Sneezing

This was my entry to the 2014 Tomie de Paola award over at the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. The winners have now been announced (not me, alas, tis ever my lot in life) so I've dug it out to post here. 

The prompt was for a book for babies (2 months to 2 years), 8"x8", illustrating the small poem 'A sneeze is a breeze in your nose', and it was noted that America is a country of diverse ethnicity and the illustrations should reflect that. 

I wanted to include motion somehow, which was a bit tricky with the square format, so as so many baby books include flaps and the like I chose to do a moving circle to follow the progression of a sneeze and mocked-up the illustration to indicate that. 

I would have liked to have been a bit more creative as to style, but I had such a lot to do on top of this that I ended up doing something that I knew I could do quickly and decently.

Adobe Photoshop with a Wacom Intuos 3

Monday, January 6, 2014

Inking: The Glass Slipper

My lovely friend gave me the dvd of The Glass Slipper for Christmas – I'd been wanting to see it for some time, being a sucker for a sweet fairytale adaption, especially if it involves pretty costumes. Continuing on with my inking practice, I took Boxing Day off work (although most of it got eaten by a family visit) and did some sketching from it.

I think I'm definitely getting better with the brush pen here. 

This was technically the first of the two, but I didn't finish it until last night. I wasn't happy with the (nonexistant) likenesses (that's supposed to be Leslie Caron and Michael Wilding there, who knew? =P), so on the basis that I couldn't very well muck it up any further, I extended it far beyond the original screenshot I was using as reference, and practiced foliage (never a strong point) in a big way, inspired by Chris Riddell:

These were done with a Pentel Brush Pen and Artline Drawing System 0.4 pen in a Moleskine Sketchbook. 

Inking Practice

I recently ordered a Pentel Brush Pen for myself – they don't sell them here, but the internet can breed discontent when you can see all the lovely art things other people in other countries can have... so I ordered one from, along with some extra cartridges. I've always liked the look of brush inking, but rarely do it myself as the set-up and clean-up is a pain, so I'm not as good at it as I would like. The brush pen precludes the need to decant ink, dip continually and wash brushes, so I'm happy. 

I've been pretty busy with work (not to mention the inevitable social engagements over the festive season) since I got it, but I've been putting in some sketchbook practice with the aim to do some new black and white portfolio work when I get some solid time:

Here's the first try-out I did. I was completely swamped with stuff to do, but if a new pen arrives in the mail you have to at least try it, right? So I snatched about 15 minutes and did a default I-don't-want-to-think Regency lady with boofy curls:

The next two were from screenshots of the Tamil movie Kandukondein Kndukondein, the first being Tabu:

(I tried hatching with the brush pen here)

And the second being Aishwarya Rai: 

(And here I tried having no shading at all)

And then I played around with Ann Miller in the 'From This Moment On' number in Kiss Me Kate:

By this time I was playing around with hatching using ordinary felt-tip pens. I think this one was a Uni Pin Fine Line 0.1.

I'm getting used to the pen more now. If I was less pressed for time I would be doing illustrations instead of working from screenshots, but what with a general lack of time and the fact that I'm still learning how to use the pen, I've just been having fun without having to think too hard. =) 


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