Black and White

I have been busy developing writing for a children's chapter book (deep in my world of imagination) which is why I haven't posted any illustrations for a while. So it was good to get back in my studio and do some drawing this week. I've been working on my black and white skills using dip pen with Indian Ink.


Working Methods

Recently a publisher asked me about how I create my illustrations, so here is a blog post to show the process.

First I plan out the characters and layout, making careful notes about colour mixing for consistency. When drawing the same character or setting many times you need a record of how you created it the first time.

Next I draw out the illustrations onto watercolour paper using a nib and waterproof ink.

Then I stretch the paper to stop it buckling when I paint on it. This involves totally wetting the paper with a dunk in a cold shallow bath and then taping it to my drawing board with special artists gummed tape. Once the paper is dry I start to paint on it. In this example I have done three illustrations at the same time. Painting with watercolour is all about building layers so it’s handy if you can switch between illustrations while waiting for layers to dry (requires multi tasking skills!)

The finished illustrations are then scanned into Photoshop and tided up. 

The End of Mr Wolf

"And that's the end of you Mr Wolf!" cried Granny.

Who needs a woodcutter when Granny can save the day?! I have made the little sub characters, the mice, do a jubilant victory dance to make it a 'ding-dong-the-wicked-witch-is-dead' type moment. I have designed the full flat plan for the story, a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, and will make up a few more spreads in full colour before sending it out to agents/publishers.

The process. I start by drawing the outline in ink. Next I build up colour layers with watercolour paint. When the painting is finished I scan it into Photoshop to tidy it up. You will notice I changed the position of the mice to fit with the low view point. You can see my notes on colour mixing, and a comparison of the characters from another a drawing. This helps with consistency. 


I'm working on a new portfolio piece of faces. Perhaps looking after my nephews inspired this one. Rowan ramping it up to 100! Though it can all be back to smiles and giggles in a moment. I have been reading some good on line tutorials about mixing flesh tones. What did we do before Google?