Friday, October 28, 2011

Illustration Friday: Scary!

Once again I have managed to combine the week's Illustration Friday theme with my Sketchbook Project "treehouse" topic.  Here is "scary":


This is the darkest I've drawn on the sketchbook pages, and I'm pleased to report no problems with bleed through.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

IF: Fuel

I'd hoped to get this up a couple of days ago, but - oh, well - things don't always come together as planned.  Here is my Illustration Friday answer to the theme "fuel," drawn in my treehouse-themed Sketchbook Project book:


Click on image to view it large enough to see the maple syrup dripping onto the pancakes. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Playing with pencil

So I've been attempting to enhance the cover image with colored pencils.  Hm.  I guess I'm done?


Here's the scan I made after I decided to stop fiddling around with it:


Interesting how different the colors look under the influence of the glaring light of the scanner.  I suppose I could tweak it some more with my new Photoshop CS 5 - after learning the software better.  I'll let the picture sit a spell while I take a shot at another mock cover, perhaps this time a retake of a published book.

But first, I'll take a crack at this week's Illustration Friday challenge ("fuel").  Once again I have an idea that will tie it in to my "treehouse" Sketchbook Project.  Look for the picture to appear on this blog sometime this weekend. I have an SCBWI conference to attend tomorrow, so you may not see it until Sunday night.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cover with inking

I've been inking and tweaking the lines on the cover for the past two evenings.  This is how it now looks:


I'm not quite satisfied.  I know I'm going to need to produce more mock covers for the portfolio, so I'm going to play around some more with this one without worrying about destroying it.  I think I'll see what kinds of effects I can get by adding some colored pencil.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cover progress

Yesterday I transferred the cover sketch to a watercolor block, lightly inked guidelines for the paint, and erased away the graphite. This morning I photocopied the image and tested color possibilities with colored pencil on the copy, which you can see on the far left of this photograph:


Then I began painting. As you can see, I did not put a whole lot of effort into clearing a workspace ahead of time:


I let the picture dry while I ate supper, then began picking out details with ink line. I think there is more to be done, but right now I'm afraid of overworking. I really need to take a break from looking at it. Tomorrow (after I get home from the day job) I'll see it with fresh eyes and perhaps be a better judge of what needs tweaking and what needs to be left alone.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Book cover sketches


This weekend I started work on a cover illustration for my portfolio. In the interest of tying the task in with the middle grade novel I'm in the process of writing, I'm doing a front cover mock up based on it. This is the idea I sketched up first:


The scene is one I thought might make the most intriguing cover. The two girls are peeking in a neighbors window. The title is just a stand in. (I'm nowhere near choosing a final one.) I didn't quite like the way the figures are dwarfed by the title text. They also seem a little too stiff. The tree shape's not working for me either. After much struggle with pencil and eraser (I was covered with rubber crumbs by the end of the day yesterday) and a little inspiration from Ernest Shepard's Winnie the Pooh drawings, this is what I came up with:



I'm still not sure of the layout of the text and border, but I like the proportions in the picture. I think I'll go ahead and get to work on the illustration in watercolor and ink. Then when I have my new Adobe CS 5.5 (on its way!), I'll play around with the other elements.

Friday, October 14, 2011

IF: Scattered

Once again, this week's Illustration Friday theme has been easy to tie in with the "treehouse" theme of my Sketchbook Project book.  Given a heavy enough gust, leaves and treehouse inhabitants are "scattered" on the wind:


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Two more for the Sketchbook Project

Here are two more spreads for my treehouse-themed Sketchbook Project book. This first one, a treehouse ferris wheel, didn't come out as well as I'd hoped.  The idea looks much better in my head.  I may need to revisit it later.


It seemed appropriate that one of my treehouses should be occupied by squirrels.  I decided to give this one a little bit of story:


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Treehouse Contraption

Today's drawing kills two birds with one stone. It fills the next spread in my Sketchbook Project treehouse sketchbook, and it contains a contraption to fulfill this week's Illustration Friday challenge. These little tree people needed some way to move fruit from the apple tree to the pine tree (thus making them pineapples - you may all groan now).


As always, click on the image to view larger.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Christmas treehouse

After a couple of months of neglect, I have finally pulled my sketchbook project book out from under a pile of stuff, turned to a fresh page, and begun drawing again.  This one came to me as I was imagining what sort of treehouse you might find in an evergreen...


Click on image to enlarge.