Thursday, January 19, 2017

Postcards: Making Changes

In my last post, I mentioned that it was time to send out promotional postcards. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the illustration I planned on using was just not going to be readable. Don't get me wrong, I'll still be doing that piece (possibly even expand it into a story/book dummy?), but I need to simplify for the postcard. I was doodling in my sketchbook, trying out some different ideas, when I came up with my [new] current postcard plan.

It began as a simple idea--a bird nest with a winter scarf wrapped around it to keep the birds warm. But then I thought I could expand a little. How did the scarf get there? I thought I'd do a little sequence to work it out, and this was the result:

I still needed Photoshop to play with the size of my characters (again, I wanted them to be more readable). This is the final sketch:

I haven't yet decided if the bottom image will be on the back of the postcard as a little surprise, or if it will look better as it is here.

I also did a rough color study in Photoshop just to get an idea of where this will be going. These colors aren't set in stone, they're just a guide.

And now, on to the final!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

An Ode to Photoshop

Admittedly, I need to be more diligent with sending out promotional postcards. That should probably be my belated New Year's Resolution. So I am starting by sending out a winter-themed illustration. I was doodling in my sketchbook when I had a fun idea that had a lot of moving parts.
There was one problem: in my excitement I left no room for text, and text is kind of important for a postcard. I also wanted to fiddle around a bit with the scale of the animals so they not only read better, but so they remained the focus of the illustration (not the snowman) and kept the eye moving.

Enter Photoshop. I love Photoshop. It's a little early to declare a Valentine, but I. LOVE. PHOTOSHOP. It's really the perfect tool for when your composition is already established, but you need to tweak EVERYTHING. It's also just great for cleaning up scanned sketches.
It doesn't look too drastic, but TRUST. So much is different. Everything just works better. I debated removing the owl from the upper left corner, but I kept it because I think once my name gets put at the top, it will work.

Here's a side by side comparison:

Monday, December 5, 2016

Tomie dePaola Award Contest 2017 Entry

As I've done for the past few years now, I submitted my entry for the Tomie dePaola Award Contest. The prompt was a little different this year:

This year’s assignment is to cast yourself, as a child, in a picture book. Show your autobiographical character in a scene and make sure to convey the emotion of your character. The viewer should be able to read the emotion of the character immediately and clearly.

I was very intimidated at first, but once I got into it, I had so much fun. Here is the final image. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Departure from the Usual

Back in September, a dear friend and fellow Pratt Alumna had her wedding on Pebble Beach in Brooklyn. I usually don't give illustrated gifts (too much pressure!), but I just couldn't resist-- plus, this friend gave me a beautiful illustration for my wedding. AND I remembered that her ceremony site also overlooked Jane's Carousel, sooooo...

...yeah, I couldn't resist.
Congratulations Annie and Andrew!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

SCBWI Draw This! Submission

Although I usually sketch out some ideas for the SCBWI "Draw This!" prompt (from their Insight newsletter), I don't always submit them. However, this month was different. This month's word, "Admire," just triggered something in me, and with all of the chaos in the world right now, I just wanted to create a sweet, quiet moment in my piece. Here is the final, and below that is the sketch:

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Dummy Re-do

Sorry for the radio silence, y'all. Whenever I do (or re-do, to put it more accurately) a dummy, I disappear off the internet while I work out the story and pagination. It's done for now, but this is Dummy #3 of manuscript #7. The story is almost unrecognizable from the original, which is, all-around, a good thing. It's also extremely different from Dummy #2, which I've partly featured on this blog (though at it's core, it's still a retelling of an old classic). My next step is getting a little distance from it before I start the Query Extravaganza. But before I go, I'll leave some new comps from the dummy below.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Black and White

Recently, I've been trying to work a little more variety into my portfolio by playing around with black and white illustration. Don't get me wrong, I love working in color, but sometimes it's fun to mix things up by de-saturating a little bit. So, here are the four little spot illustrations I did this week.

I guess I was REALLY vibing on wrinkly dogs.