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1. Illustrator Saturday – Casey Girard

I would like to introduce you to Casey Girard. She studied Illustration and Graphic Design at RIT in upstate NY and currently works out of the Boston, MA area. When she moved to Boston in 2006, she joined the Publishing world at Houghton Mifflin; first as a temp in the marketing department of the School Division and by the end of summer a full time marketing designer in the Trade Division.

She says, “It was a blast getting to be a part of all their amazing books and helping them be received into the world.”

In 2009 she stepped out of her full time position with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to become a full time freelancer. She continues to create marketing materials for a few companies including Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, The Boston Conservatory, and Shambhala.

Casey says, “My illustration has been ongoing throughout the years in my own projects, pieces that fit with my marketing jobs, and attendance at SCBWI conferences. Now as a freelancer I am putting more emphasis on my illustrating through time and marketing.”

She works in colored pencil, using the process of burnishing to create soft surfaces, and watercolor, to keep my pieces loose.

Here is Casey’s Process:

With all these animals I use lots of reference. I do my best to collect my own. In the case of this story I was able to use my photos from our zoo trips.

When I start my illustration I begin with sketching. Getting to the illustration is usually after I have done numerous studies to fully know my characters. Once I get to drawing an image I will usually sketch out a piece over and over to get it right. Although, even then I may have to go back and rework am image once I see how the color changes things. Especially in this example. I challenged myself, which I love to do, by having a scene with over 20 animals. It caused need for a lot of back and forth.

Generally once I have my sketch fully worked out and tight, I will scan it into my computer to do a color comp. Since I paint on wood it’s not desireable to start over. Photoshop is a quick way to flesh out a color idea and know if something is working.

With this image I originally tried to use a blue tone for the background. In photoshop I felt this worked, on the board it did not. Things got muddy fast. So, for this image I repainted the final. I did not complete a second color comp. I went right into using yellow as the background tone.

Before I began my final painting I addressed other compositional problems. I changed my sketch by moving some of the animals around and removing a few of them. They were making the image look cluttered and distracting from the main action.

1 Comments on Illustrator Saturday – Casey Girard, last added: 2/4/2012

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