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: