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Doing more digital stuff. These are kids on the playground, all in different stages of being fiddled with, re-drawn, edited, etc.
Having fun working out their outfits, and making them individual people - not just generic kids.
These will be in color, but I would like them to work as line art as well. So I will save one version as line art before I get into the coloring. I'm using Photoshop and my Wacom. I used to do this with ink and watercolor - I love being able to make changes with digital art! Not sure what "look" I'm going to do for the color - part of the fun of experimenting!
By: Carole Anne Carr,
Sophie Bignall drew three little characters for my next book cover and I then tried to use an eighteenth century painting of the famous Ironbridge as the background. But whatever I tried to do, and however much my Grandson, James Brinkler, manipulated the cover in Photoshop, the painting just would not sit happily with the charcoal drawing, (Sophie used charcoal so that this book cover
USC student Simón Wilches-Castro sent a message to let us know about his new short, Semáforo (Stoplight), inspired by the street performers of Colombia:
Due to the ongoing war in the Colombian jungles, many people are forced to flee their rural territories and find refugee in capital cities. Their only mean of acquiring money is to put on shows under the city stoplights. Some dress like clowns or do acrobatics, others spit fire or juggle; and some show the only thing they have left: deformities and amputations in exchange for some sympathy and change. This is the life of the people who live under a stoplight and the people who watch them.
Castro’s animation (made in Photoshop) is fun and creative, and he takes full advantage of the cinematic possibilities of the medium. The film will screen in competition at the Annecy festival next month.
A while ago I mentioned a mural project that I am doing, based on children's drawings created during an illustration workshop, focussing on characterisation and movement. The wall I have to cover, at Wakefield Library, is over 13 metres long, but only 2 metres high - very long and thin - so the idea is to create a chase scene along it, as if the children's animals are running through the library.
I let the teachers take the drawings back to school with them, for the kids to finish off. Unfortunately, instead of posting them a couple of days later, as promised, it took them 6 weeks and repeated hassling, so I am only now getting down to it.
I am currently spending my time on Photoshop, trying to work out how to lay things out. It's so massive, and such a weird shape, I'm working on a one-tenth, low res mock-up, into which I have placed scans of all the animals, so I can move things around and re-size them, until it looks OK. Then I'll re-scan everything at the right size, as the final artwork will be created digitally (in sections and at one quarter size, so my computer doesn't blow its brain).
Although my initial chase idea sounded simple, I soon discovered that, if I don't want to end up with just a 'procession' of animals, in a long, uninteresting line, I will need to draw in incidental props, like bookshelves for animals to climb onto, or chairs for them to jump over. I might need to do some graphic things will colour in the background too (like I did with the cover of Swap!), to divide up the space. Not sure yet.
Right: back to it...
By: Lynne Chapman
Blog: An Illustrator's Life For Me!
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When it comes to the digital 'finishing' work on my books, it's the cutting out that's the real chore but, once that's done, I feel as though I have finished. Not so! There's the final, fussy job of doing the text overlays. Sigh...
All text has to be created separately from the main artwork, because of translations: you can't have English words embedded in the illustration and then hope to sell the book for foreign editions. This goes for all wording, but I am not talking about the regular text you can see above, but the little, incidental details: can you see the word 'DOG' on the bowl?
There are quite a few more on the spread below:
Most illustrators don't have to worry about the text overlays - the design team at the publishers sort out all that, when they place the other text. However, because I am daft enough to create my artwork in pastels, the bits of text which are intrinsic to the images don't work very well if they too are not in pastels: the wording sort of floats above the illustration.
It's not practical to do the text overlays in actual pastels, so I do it digitally, in 'pretend' pastels, using an old version on Corel Painter, which does a pretty good job of emulating the marks of my pastels, particularly after I have scanned in a sample of the actual paper I draw onto, so the texture matches. This is the text from the classroom door.
It's a boring and fiddly job, but looks much better. Of course, when it comes to the foreign translations, I have no control, so they just bung on ordinary text. Hey-ho - there are times when you just have to let go...
For the children's dance studio below, I've done the whole sign as an overlay, including the little drawings of the kids, because foreign translations can take up more space than English text. This way, it allows for the little figures to be removed if necessary, to fit in a more wordy name - clever eh?!
Anyway, I am now done, done, done (hurrah!) and a DVD of all the finished artwork has been sent back to my Art Director, who will be busy this week, dropping all the text into its final position and sorting out the final bits of design work (spine, title page, dedications, blurb, bar codes...).
The next stage should be the colour proof. That's the truly exciting bit, when it all looks real!
I finished off all the digital finishing-work, on the inside illustrations and on the cover for Swap! before the Easter holidays. It felt like I was nearly done. I thought I would be able to rattle off the endpapers and be ready to send it all off to the publisher pretty soon after getting back to work this week.
I don't know why I thought that: it was very silly.
|front endpaper illustrations|
I wasn't really taking into account the fact that, not only are the illustrations different on the front and back endpapers, but there are six independent illustrations on each, every one of which is fiddly. Also every illustration features Lucy, whose head is a very similar pink to the pink of the paper I use, making it a bit of a technical nightmare to cut free.
|back endpaper illustrations|
The illustrations will be put into a spot repeat pattern across the double spread of each endpaper:
I thought that, because the illustrations needed to be different - a sort of 'before and after' - I would use the same lilac coloured background for them both, to give some unity.
You can follow the progress of Swap!
(as well as Baby Goes Baaaaa!
and Bears on the Stairs
) from my first sketches and plotting sheets, through pitching the idea to publishers, creating artwork, as well as all the miriad issues that have arisen during the book's life so far, by clicking the Swap! label
, or other relevant label, on the right of the posts.
You can watch me create a piece of the original pastel artwork from Swap!
in a short film here
The diagonal line through the illustration is there because I wanted to use two different colours, partly to assist the design, but also to underline the idea of there being two sides, like the two sides in the story, which are going to swap over.
To help to make the cover as punchy as possible, I didn't want the two background colours to be drawn in pastels but to be dropped in digitally
. However, even at the point when I was colouring the final pastel artwork
, I didn't have much idea of which colour combination I wanted to use for the background.
But this week, once I had cut away the pastel paper in Photoshop, I suddenly had to decide. I wanted to stick to the colour palette from the inside illustrations, so I tried out some alternatives. My first thought was the pink and blue above. It's nice and rich, but felt a little heavy. The yellow and turquoise below seemed more lively and threw the characters and text forwards more:
I ran both alternatives by my Designer at the publisher. Luckily she agreed with me, so yellow and turquoise it is (at least for now...
Part of the Photoshop work I have been doing recently on Swap!, has involved designing the colours for the book. Some pages have fully illustrated backgrounds, but the ones that don't - the ones I have been cutting out - need my pastel paper replacing with a bold, flat colour.
To give the book an overall feeling of unity, the designer and I have to decide upon a colour palette: a limited range of colours to which I then restrict myself:
The trick is to distribute these colour backgrounds reasonably evenly throughout the book, whilst still making sure that each illustration has the best colour behind it, a colour that shows it off to best effect, but that also compliments any illustration on the opposite side of the page.
Quite often in this book, I have used two different colours to suggest a room, without actually illustrating one, as with this spread of the ballet class:
I like the contrast the technique creates between the textured pastel work of the characters and the smooth, bold colour behind.
This week I am glued to my computer, doing the Photoshop work on the 2nd DVD of scans of my Swap! artwork, cutting away the pink paper backgrounds, as you can see on the illustration below, and also creating text overlays where needed. I know, it's AGES since I worked on it last - I bet you thought it was all done and dusted.
|Raw scan before any work|
You might recall, there was a rush to get my book mocked up for the Frankfurt Book Fair in October so, in early September, I sent about 2/3rds of my pastel artwork away to be scanned, then carried on, rushing to finish the rest in time for my publisher to take that to the fair as well.
A DVD of scans from that first batch of artwork came back to me with just a few days to do all the Photoshop work by the deadline, ready for the publisher to create the mock-up. It was all very last minute, as is often the case around the big book fairs.
|Finished illustration: pink paper replaced by yellow ground|
But - DISASTER - there was something wrong with the scans! They were very dingy and I wasn't happy, but I had no chance to even tell anyone, as it was the weekend and I had to work on them straight away or I would miss the deadline. So I did all the usual computer work then also used Photoshop to fiddle around with various settings, until I thought they looked better.
It all went to Frankfurt OK and I explained about the duff scans. My publisher said they would talk to the repro people, but were happy for batch 1 to use my tinkered-with versions. So, I was expecting to get a DVD with the 2nd batch of scans sometime in November, once the fuss of the show was over. But nothing arrived. It turned out the delay was to do with worries about the dingy problem. Christmas came and went. Then my publisher had a bit of trouble and went down to a skeleton staff, which delayed things further.
So, here we are in March. Actually, the new DVD arrived a few weeks ago, but I had to get all my school visits out of the way before I could do anything about it. Apart from whitening-up the children's shirts a bit, I haven't tinkered with the values in the image above and I think it looks OK, so they seem to have got the problem sorted.
If you want to read more detail about how I cut away the pink paper background, check out this post from when I was doing Baby Goes Baaaaa!
Gah! It STILL feels like Winter out there. Last year it was about 25 at this time.
I had intended on selling some prints today but I'm having Paypal issues so you get a bat drawing instead.
By: Paula Pertile
Blog: Drawing a Fine Line
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I had this drawing on the board back when the conclave first started, but then the cats all got sick (they're fine now - BAD head cold, BAD BAD BAD) and that went on for an endless couple of weeks, and I got a little behind, playing nurse and all.
(please click on this to see it bigger)
These are some of the CATholic cardinals who didn't get elected Pope, out for a stroll through Rome, seeing the sites, and scouting for a place to have a nice plate of fishy pasta.
I had a lot of fun doing this one! Its a combination of colored pencil and Photoshop. A while back I figured out how to do a 'digital colored pencil' technique, but then got sidetracked with something else and never really developed that idea. I think now that I will go back to it, and see if I can put together a portfolio of children's book pieces that are all done that way. TALL ORDER. But hey, one piece at a time. I'll blog as I go, so you can stumble along with me.
I also finished this red rose leaves piece. This is ALL colored pencil, the old fashioned kind. I have some photos of other leaves and buds that I would like to do, and make this a series. This one was done with Polychromos and Pablos (both oil based), on Stonehenge paper, and is just under 8"x 8" (20.32 x 20.32 cm). I will do prints in the shop
as soon as I am able. Today maybe.
Speaking of the shop - I'm changing the paper I use for prints from the semi-gloss I've been using, to Epson Presentation Matte. I like it a lot better. Its a lighter weight, but I love the crisp images it produces. It also works really well for less "shiny" subject matter (like candy in foil wrappers). I still have some of the semi-gloss though, so if you would prefer that for something, please let me know.
I have to tweak my whole shop (today's chore) to include the new paper, as well as adjust some prices for shipping. I'll think I have it all sorted out, then I'll get a sale to a new (to me) country that has crazy expensive shipping, and I'll have to include that in all the listings. Like Australia, for example. What I could send here in the US for $3.50 will cost $9 to Australia sometimes. I hate having to charge so much to ship things, but I also hate to get a rude surprise at the post office, and find out I've just lost all my profit on the sale to under-charged shipping. Those of you with shops know what I'm talking about. Its the least fun part of having a shop. I just want to make the art!
Warm up pencil and Photoshop sketch of a fox from earlier today.
For Illustration Friday I felt like playing around with type this week. The background was created for another piece I did for IF which still seems to be one of my most popular posts according to my stats. Here's the link if you'd like to check it out. (IF~Proverb)http://marylourosatocaineillustrator.blogspot.com/2010/09/blog-post.html
Art: watercolor pencils
type and layout in photoshop
Thanks for stopping by :)
So it's been a HELL of a long time since I last posted anything and there have been quite a few changes in my life. Most notably I am back in school taking a three year Graphic Design program. I'll post more later but here are my two latest works - DVD redesigns for Blade Runner and Casablanca. The assignment was to create an entirely new cover for a randomly assigned film in a style of our choosing. I got ambitious and decided to make two! For Blade Runner I went with a 1950's pulp novel look, and for Casablanca I went with an early 1960's pop art look. Hope ya digs! Comments and constructive criticisms welcome.
I just found myself with a bit more work on a contract, so I'm putting my head down and working through to the weekend to get stuff done. I'm thinking I'll be mostly offline until I catch up so I probably won't be posting again until Saturday or Sunday.
In the meantime here's a little experiment in colour I did this morning. Still working on how to approach colouring Maddy, though I think I'm nearly there. Only about eight pages left to ink now.
Here's my contribution to our Valentine's Day promotion.
If anyone is interested in Photoshop techniques, I created a post on my blog
discussing how I created this image.
By: Lynne Chapman
Blog: An Illustrator's Life For Me!
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I try not to work weekends. Self employment is inclined to gobble up your private life if you're not careful. But things are really full-on at the moment. My latest deadline in Thursday first thing, so my Sunday had to be sacrificed to Swap!. At least I got Saturday. It was a gloriously sunny day again and, since each one could be our last, we drove out to Chatsworth, to spend the day in the gardens, looking at the Barry Flanagan sculpture exhibition. I did some sketching towards the end of the afternoon. Thought I'd experiment with a crazy colour hare, after my Colour Games workshop.
I was about to attempt the drawing below, the same hare from the back, when a couple of children came over to ask what I was doing. I explained, showing them what I'd done so far. Their two friends came over and joined in. They were curious about my pencils, so I gave them a quick demo-scribble in the back of my sketchbook.
I asked if they wanted to try. Well, that was it. They got so excited, especially about the water brush, that they all set-to in a huddle while I chatted to their parents (who kindly offered to leave them with me for an hour or so...). They created this spread together:
We rounded off the day watching some cricket, which I know nothing about, but it was a good excuse for sitting on the grass just a bit longer.
But Sunday it was down to work: the scans have come back from that first batch of artwork I sent off a couple of weeks ago. Now the rush is to get them all cut-out in Photoshop by Wednesday night. I need to get rid of the pink paper backgrounds and replace them with flat digital colour, like the illustration at the top and below.
You can see the rough of this illustration and my pastel artwork before the cut-out job here.
My previous books with Gullane have had colour backgrounds on the covers, but been cut away to white on the inside, but I feel this one is calling out to be more funky. I'm having fun seeing how they look on the colours - it makes them really come together.
It's been going well and slightly faster than I expected, which is of course FANTASTIC news. Especially given the major set-back I had on Monday. As I was beavering away, about 10.30am, my computer suddenly snapped itself off, mid illustration. NNNNNOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!
It turned out, by my extraordinary bad luck, that there was a fire in our electrical sub-station, so the power in the whole of my area of Sheffield was cut off for several hours. I had to sit and read a book as the time ticked by. Thank goodness they sorted it out eventually.
This is a little drawing from this morning of a character that I've known about for years who might finally have stumbled into the right story.
It's been kind of a crazy week; sick dog, dentist appointments, general running around, art not going how it's supposed to. But things are starting to feel a bit more steady. I think I'll go take a moment to sit in the garden with a coffee before the day starts in earnest.
Playing around in Photoshop for Illustration Friday's word of the week.
It's the first snow of the Season in Northeast Ohio, and I am feeling a Christmas glow!
Julia Bluhm, Anti-Photoshop Campaign
Since we so love reality on our TVs, why not in our magazines?
Well, because of the efforts of one 14-year-old girl, we may soon be getting just that.
Maine teen Julia Bluhm grew so tired of models photoshopped to the point of unrecognizability that she began a petition on Change.org. And once she accumulated over 85,000 confirming signatures, she and some friends brought the petition to protest outside the NYC office of Seventeen Magazine.
Although Julia didn’t have high expectations, Seventeen actually responded with a published “peace treaty,” agreeing to “never change girls’ body or face shapes” and to “celebrate every kind of beauty in [their] pages.”
That first success then fueled Julia to join other girls in similarly petitioning Teen Vogue. To help her win them over, sign on at:
Do you know a toast-worthy teen you’d like to see featured here at BWATE?
Comment below with your email address so we can get a post together!
Blog: Bob Ostrom Studio
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This is a little cartooning tutorial I wrote a few years back about creating an illustration using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. You’ll notice I begin my drawing in pencil, then move to illustrator for line work and finally Photoshop for color. Although the tutorial is a little old and the programs have advanced since then it’s still pretty useful and works just as well now as when I wrote it (assuming the you’re familiar with the basic functions of both programs). For more advanced students you may want to try adding actions to speed things up a bit.
If this tutorial is beyond your skill level take heart I’m working on a new series that will delve a little deeper focusing on individual tools, how they work and more importantly how to get them to work for you. Many of my first time students are tentative about using these programs to their full potential because they sometimes feel overwhelmed. My advice is always the same. Don’t let your inexperience dictate the scope of your project. Try things that are slightly out of reach and a little ABOVE your skill level. Step outside of your comfort zone and allow yourself to learn some of the tools you’ve been avoiding. If you get stuck don’t panic there are tons of resources available everywhere. The best places I’ve found for quick easy answers (in no particular order) are:
Using the help button built into the program
Posting a question on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn
Lynda.com (if you have an account)
On the other hand if you’re just not the adventurous type and you really want to learn the program once and for all consider taking a course. It will cut your learning time in half. There are few substitutes for having a knowledgable instructor to help you gain a clear understanding and get you through those areas you don’t understand.
Bob Ostrom is a children’s book illustrator and instructor of Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop at Wake Tech Community College and the State Personnel Development Center in Raleigh NC.
The post Cartooning Tutorial – Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. appeared first on Illustration.