Category Archives: Illustrators

The blog for illustrators to share information and tips.

WIP Drawings: FINISHED

Until I look at them all and decide something must be changed, again. At this exact moment there is only one page I am not fond of and it may indeed get some major adjusting. But for me, the most important part is: I COMPLETED IT!! Every single page for a 32 page children’s picture book. It does not include glue down pages 1 & 32, but it does include end papers, detail page, front and back cover and title page.

It was my first foray into digital art and like everything else in my life I had to learn by trial and error. I learned a ton. It is harder than I expected in some ways, easier in others. I have gotten comfortable with drawing from scratch on my Wacom tablet. I miss the feel of the paper, but don’t miss the pile of eraser crumbs. I also know my next book which has been impatiently waiting to be brought to life, will absolutely not be so detailed, will not contain multiple pages with several vignettes on each. It will love lots of white space, will be in a “sketch” style and will have shadows.

The first book was done by sketches, copied on a light box with pen, scanned, cleaned up and eventually every line erased and changed. That is part of why it took me so long, but mistakes and patience are your teachers, you just can’t give up but it will take a very long time.

Here is vignette #1 of three on this final page to complete, which is not the last page, but I did not always do them in order. If I had just completed a very complex page I would do something simple. I saved this to finish last because the previous page was very tedious for me. I had trouble remembering to pick the correct layer and some parts of some of the vignettes were on several layers. Not a good thing to deal with, but it was a great teacher. I shall never again forget to check which layer I am on…

Graphic of little girl dancing with a toddler.

Lexi dances with the “Binky Baby” as she refers to him.

So all that is left is to set the type on each page for the “dummy” copies and to make a few “books” just to be able to see, feel and believe that it will sell.

Thanks for stopping in.

Shari

PS Anyone know a good editor or agent you could recommend?

 

 

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WoooHooo. Only One to Go.

I am excited after hitting the wall on page 26 which contains 4 detailed vignettes, I back off for a couple of weeks, gave myself the pep talk and busted through the wall and finished that page. Whew. The pages were not necessarily completed in order, in fact my Gravatar is from the last page. There is only one page to complete.

Here is vignette two of the four.

A long day for the flower girl.

“Will the man ever stop talking? It’s so boring.”

The above are not the words from the story, but without the rest of the pieces, I didn’t want you to wonder what is going on. This is exactly what the flower girl did at one of my daughter’s weddings. After all, when you are four years old twenty minutes is like forever.

You can probably guess what is on my agenda for today besides laundry,  mopping floors and cropping photos, I will be starting the only uncompleted page. YEA!!!

Have a great weekend, all. Happy father’s day to all guys out there. Even if you are not a father, you had one.

I’ll be back in a week or two.

Thanks for stopping by,

Shari (and my little “friend” Lexi)

Anyone who has written a story knows how we can become attached to our creations. ūüėÄ

 

WIP Page 22

Once again the work is going slower than I would like. But finally after three and a half weeks another page is completed. This is just a portion of the page. I’ll leave you to wonder what is going on.

A selection from page 22

I definitely will not be doing the next book with so much detail. I will be going for simple, less structured design. You may recall from a previous post that the drawings and paintings in my early books were the part I loved. I spent hours going over every detail.

My granddaughter is here tonight and she loves to sit beside me and give me lots of constructive help. She was my little girl model when I started this project and I am glad I had all the sketches done in a few weeks. She looks and acts so much older now. It is amazing how fast they change between four and almost six. She also is becoming an artist and has no limit to her questions and suggestions of what she would like better if only I would go back through and change all the pages that the better color would be on.

She also has her favorite drawings. And I printed a copy of the book with only a small portion of the drawings colorized. She loves it and has spent many hours this past year going over every single detail.

I welcome your comments.

Cheers,

Shez

Another Page Illustrated

Good morning readers. Just because I have been busy with family and photos and work, I don’t want to let you think I have ignored my WIP. This is a portion of page 11 of the book. Since I am working on them in Dummy format this is the right hand side of the page and on the left side is page 22. I will split them apart later to re-set them up as double page spreads for any submissions. But since I am still vacillating between POD and traditional I chose to do the hard part first.

Amanda Twirls

It has been a learning experience. At times tedious and discouraging as I figured out how to create on my computer screen. But as I get better, the drawings improve and become faster to create.

I can visualize exactly how I want each page to be, but my skills have always lagged behind my vision. I wore out big erasers long before the pencils and often just had to start over and over again when I wore through the paper. At least on the computer I can work until I get it right, but boy am I SLOW.

I have discovered I am at times too detailed, but then some of the best children’s books are extremely detailed. My admiration for their work knows no bounds.

My favorite book for illustration is Children’s Book Illustration and Design¬†edited by Julie Cummins and published by PBC International Library of Applied Design. It is a treasure trove of some of the best work by 80 renown kid-lit illustrators. I can get lost in that book for hours at a time. When the grandchildren were very little we would “read” the book by pointing out items they knew and telling them the word, that progressed to asking them to “find the kitty” and then having them repeat the word kitty. Not hard things or obscure items but ordinary things like; dog, cup, door, flower, car, etc. As they got older we moved into finding colors or shapes and the natural progression was to figure out what was going on in the picture. That was always fun as we would imagine or make up a story about what was happening.

For me the pictures have always been the most important thing. Even when I was very young I found the beauty there before I could read the words.  I would study the drawings for hours.

Bye for today. Wishing you all safe and happy days until I check in next.

Hugs,

S

WIP Part of Another Page

Things continue to be hectic, but I have managed to get in some art time nearly every day. This weekend I was the last in the family to succumb to the nasty virus that came home from school with our kindergartener and passed to brother, daddy, grandpa and just when I thought I had escaped…

I spent the weekend down as much as possible and mostly lounging in the living room in front of the fire with my laptop handy and my Bamboo tablet in my lap. Another full-page was completed, so being down for the count is not all bad. I cropped out a chunk of the page and am sharing it here with you.

Here Comes the Bride

This is Amanda. As you can tell, she is a very sweet girl. The book is in 32 page format and the first and end page are glued to the cover leaving 30 pages for: decorations aka the “end papers” which are complete; the title page is complete; the info page, mostly only needs the official ISBN; ¬†of the remaining 25, 18 are completed, and the most difficult ones I tackled first.

If I could be sick again over the weekend I could make really good progress, but then we are left with a house that needs cleaning and laundry a la mode, AGAIN. Tonight I have split my time between dinner, blogs, illustration, sweeping, and have half the laundry done…and..tomorrow is another day.

Looking at this portion today, it looks like the shadow is too aggressive, so it may not be done yet. My next book will not have such complex and detailed pictures. This book started out in watercolors. I had an editor tell me it was “old fashion” and all they were looking for was “purple dinosaurs.” Not sure why I listened to her because the next editor said she “love the pictures, but it would conflict with a book they already had in the works.” Why didn’t I listen to editor number two? Not sure.

Maybe because I wanted to learn to illustrate on my computer. I never expected it to take me 40 hours (or more) per page. A water-color takes a day. But I love the consistency of the colors, if I could get past being too detailed it would have been done, but when “detailitise” strikes it becomes impossible to know when it IS DONE. Digital art means you can make changes until the cows come home, but it will always need just one more tiny detail fixed.

It was handy to have my laptop and my tablet with me on the long days in the hospital and the never-ending ones while mom was in hospice, both times. She was sleeping so much of the time but was so comforted when she was awake that I was there. Mom was also pleased to know I was working, it was important to her that I finish.

A Page From My WIP

Wow, I just looked at this blog and was so surprised to note I have not posted here for almost two weeks. I decided to post one of the pages I have been working on, just so you don’t think I just goof off all the time. I really do work on this.

Digital art takes so much more time than painting or colored pencil. I do love the result and the ability to “rework” something as many times as it takes before I like it. Unfortunately, there is always something to tweak and it is hard to know when it IS done.

Lexi Tries On Stuff

This is a small portion of one very busy page. This page is not quite completed. Among other things the shadows are missing. It is coming along.

Please, fellow bloggers, nag me to keep me plugging along. With so many things I love to do, it is easy to set something aside and forget about it. So crack that whip, slather on the guilt, nag, nag, nag. If you are a mother or you had one, nagging and scolding should be easy for you.

Is it done yet? Is it done yet? Is it done yet?

Cheers,

Shez

Oops, I forgot.

Hi, all. I am sorry I completely missed the fact that none of you saw my original and not quite functional blog posts.  So why is this blog here?

This blog is for and about writing, illustration and photography all of which are passions of mine. This is an interactive blog so I want to hear from others who are passionate about creating.

You missed my introduction to me but you’ll figure that out soon enough that the blog is for and about all of us. I am just a small part of this community.

Lexi is elated, she conquered her fear and succeeded. You then met Lexi who is pictured above, the hero of my new picture book. If you think you will like this little girl, please spread the word that she and I are looking for a publisher.

Along the way, I will post items that I hope are of interest to a large group of people about some of the lessons life has taught me along the way.

I am excited about this new journey and invite you to come along.

Shez