Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Book dummy nears completion!

At the beginning of October I posted that my goal for the book dummy class was to finish one book dummy and start on a second one.  I am on track to make that happen.  I have finished all of my rough layouts and have three finished illustrations.  We'll see what the reaction is in class tonight.  It always helps getting a crit to have things pointed out that perhaps haven't been noticed before.  It is a great way to improve, improve, improve!

I am now refining the manuscript for the next dummy and re-working the rough storyboard.  I have two rough illustrations that I worked on when I started refining the manuscript in the spring that will probably be my finished illustrations for the dummy. 

I have several other manuscripts waiting in the wings!  There is never a dull moment!

Picture Book Writer Seminar

Last weekend I took an excellent picture book writer's seminar taught by Marlo Garnsworthy.  The seminar helped to refine my thinking and gave me some tools to make my writing more effective.  I spent yesterday applying what I learned to my manuscripts and even wrote the start of two more, although I have to figure out the ending in one and how to bridge from the start to the end in the other.  But that solution is for another day!

Friday, October 1, 2010

New Book Dummies in Progress

I am on course for finishing my second book dummy and having a good start on my third before the end of the year.  My goal is to actually have the third done, but when it gets closer to the holidays, all bets are off. 

Currently I have finished the storyboard for the second book, and have almost all of the pages blocked out.  Some of the pages also have the start of some detail work completed.  The target age for this book is 3 - 6 years, and consists of 180 words.  I have one place in the manuscript that needs some very minor tweaking and then the manuscript will be perfect.  Any manuscript changes at this point will not change the illustrations or page layouts.  Of course, after I submit it to a publisher, and if they accept it, there will always be changes and I'm OK with that!  That is part of the partnership that goes into producing a great book!

At this point, I need to finish the second dummy before I do any more work on the third.  The third dummy started its life a couple of years ago as what I thought would be an illustrated early reader.  Then, after studying at RISD, I discovered that my 5,500 word manuscript was too long for that format, and too short for a chapter book so it got shelved.  I brought it back out last spring to try and solve the word count problem.  In the end, I cut almost 5,000 words.  I started the process by seeing how many words I could cut by illustrating them instead.  Finally, after an ahah moment, everything became clear and the excess words melted away. OK, they didn't actually melt.  Highlighting the words and pressing the delete key did the actual job, but they were gone none the less!

Monday, August 2, 2010

I'm working on moving my studio to another room in the house that our youngest daughter is vacating.  She is taking over the room we reserved for our oldest when she comes to visit us from her own place in Vermont.  I am excited that I will have enough room to spread out and work and still have room to store all of the necessary supplies.  Even though I am working on the move, I am trying to spend at least a couple of hours each day on new illustrations and manuscript revisions for my next books. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

WIP - Latest version

Here is the latest version based upon the great crits I received.  Thanks!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Work in Progress - Digital 3-D

This is a companion piece to the "Tall Buildings" piece I posted earlier. I haven't had a crit on this yet, so I am sure there are a lot of improvements to be made. Since more of the girl's dress is showing in this piece, I felt that the wind would be whipping it around.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Digital 3-D

When I opened the document today, I was able to re-apply the textures with no problem. The smudgy area in the foreground is from me cloning over the text since it will make no sense without the rest of the book.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Promotional piece

This is a rework of a previous digital piece that was done for the digital tools class at RISD. I took off all of the parts that did not represent the work that I do and turned this into a promotional piece.

Digital 3-D

This is another extreme perspective piece that was produced for RISD Final projects class. This is also one of the full illusrations for a book dummy that I am working on. The text goes in the lower left portion of the page and has been omitted at this time. I once again had problems with Illustrator not able to render the textures when the last changes were made. The textures were originally added when I thought the project was very close to completion. After the class crit, I made some changes and lot the textures. I tried eliminating them and re-applying and it did not work. I am current researching the solution and asking artist friends if they have any ideas on how to correct this. Will keep you posted!

3-D Digital Image

This was a RISD Childrens' Book Illustration Final Projects class assignment created in Illustrator to show extreme perspective. I had a difficult time keeping the Illustrator textures from disappearing. I was able to keep them by deleting all of the textures and then replacing it at the end. That worked well for this illustration.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

3-D Octopi

Most of my friends at RISD know that along with hedgehogs, I love to draw or create octopi. There is something about all those legs and suckers that amuses me. I just love the way that they bend and curl. I wish that I had taken photos at each stage of the process, because it really was a process for me. I started out making the box to slide in a frame that I had already made. My thoughts were to have elements of the artwork attached to the side, creating, in effect an integral matt. The octopi, fish, worm and coral are made out of sculpty; the oceam floor out of painted styrofoam; wire and tissue paper for the plants, the boat is made out of painted scrap foam core board and aluminum foil; and the waves at the top are made from prismacolor tinted mylar. I love making the true 3-D pieces!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Inspired by "Three Cups of Tea"

I was inspired by Greg Mortensen's book "Three Cups of Tea". After reading his book about his committment to the wonderful and important work that he is doing I could not get it out of my mind. For those of you who have not read his books, he is building schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan, educating the children and giving them so much more than an education. He is giving them hope. It is also the story of how the compasssion and action of just one man, with limited means can be the catalyst to make a change for good in the world. He is an inspiration. This image was created in acrylics on 140# Arches hot press.

St. Lucia's Day

These two images are part of a series on St. Lucia celebrations in the Swedish tradition. They were done in oils on primed 140# Arches hot press. In one illustration the daughter is looking out the window thinking about the next morning. In the other, the family wakes the father up with a tray for breakfast dressed in the Lucia day costumes.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Digital Illustrations

This piece used as inspiration a layout from Paste magazine. The illustrations were done using fairy tales and other children's literature as this is my area of interest. All of it was created in Adobe Illustrator with the exception of the mermaid which was taken from public domain clip art; the dragon which I took from one of my 3-D pieces posted on this blog; and the hedgehog photo which was manipulated in photoshop. The work was brought together and finished in Adobe Indesign.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Illustrations for original poems

These two illustrations were done in oil on primmed 140# Arches hot press. "Berries" was created with a pre-school age range in mind. "Clutter" was done for an elementary age range.

Inspired by Vera B. Williams "Something Special For Me"

I was inspired by a SCBWI post that talked about the power of words and how illustrations compliment the text. There were partial texts from several very well known books referenced in the article and I was inspired to try my hand at illustrating one of the texts. The text I selected was from "Something Special For Me" written and illustrated by Vera B. Williams. I chose this text because when my oldest was little, I read another of her books, "A Chair for My Mother" to her frequently. It was a well loved book. This illustration was done in gouache on Arches 140# hot press.

3-D Creations

I enjoyed creating these two dragons in 3-D. The were exhibited in two shows during Fall 2009.

"Dream So You Can Soar" features a dragon made of Sculpty, paper wings enhanced with dimensional paint with a background of various papers and layers of painted tissue paper. The wagon in made of cardboard with button wheels and raffia substituting for hay. The girl is made of paper with ysrn hair. The harness is made of ribbon.

"The Castle Dragon" features foam core board in various uses. The castle is made of painted foam core. Parts of the wall have been mitred to enhance the perspective and depth and were raised from the paper to add more dimension. The turret is also made of painted foam core that has been back cut so that it could conform to the rounded shape. The dragon is made from foam core covered in paint enhanced paper, sequins and seed beads. The harness was made of ribbon, the collar of cardboard with small bells attached with wire. The wagon and the girl were constructed the same way as in "Dream So You Can Soar". Moss was used for the shrubbery at the base of the turret and in the archway of the castle wall.