Monday, December 17, 2012

Illustration Friday - Snow

We've been having a mild fall here in Indiana, no snow so far and there's none forecast for the near future. We do have a lot of cardinals around and when I saw this week's Illustration Friday challenge, which is the word "Snow," I thought of how pretty a red cardinal looks against a snowy backdrop. I created my image as a quick watercolor sketch in Painter 12. I started off with a digital pencil sketch (see below) and added the watercolor on a separate layer.

After coloring the bird, I used one of Painter's Bleach Splatter brushes to make some spots on the bird's feathers (see detail below). After that I used Painter's Real Watercolor Scratch brush to draw some snowflakes over some of the bleach spots (detail below). I decided to leave the background white to further enhance the feeling of a bird on a snowy day.

digital pencil sketch

detail of the bleach spots created with the Bleach Splatter Brush

Snowflakes drawn with Painter's Real Watercolor Scratch Brush

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Evolution of an Illustration

I was recently commissioned by FarFaria to illustrate Clement Moore's classic Christmas poem, "Twas the Night Before Christmas."  FarFaria is an app for the iPad and their stories are published for that device (to be honest, I'm not sure if they can be read on other tablet devices or not).  This version I created for them is due to be released on December 24th.  Here is a sneak preview of the evolution of one of the images I created for the story.

Storyboard panels for pages 9-12
Designing for the iPad can be a bit of a challenge.  Unlike a traditional picture book where you have the ability to have an illustration cross over the page gutter (the division in the middle of the book where the pages are joined) to cover two pages, an illustration for the iPad is limited to the size of one screen at a time. For FarFaria's app the main part of the illustration needs to fit within an area approximately 6 x 7 inches (the text will cover the lower portion of the illustration, so any important information needs to be in the aforementioned dimensions above the text).

For this job, the art director requested that I create the illustrations in a specific style. He cited an older illustration of mine from my website that he liked and asked me to create the story in that style. The first step in creating the illustrations was to draw storyboards, one sketch for each page of text. I created these as digital pencil sketches, four to a page. Once these had been approved, I enlarged the sketches to the appropriate size and refined them. For this blog I will be showing the evolution of page 12. All of the art was created in Painter version 12.

Above is the enlarged story board sketch that I used for my digital inking
On a new layer above the sketch, I have begun inking the final line work.

Above is the final inked line art

On separate layers, using digital watercolor brushes, I have begun to color the image

The next step is to start adding shadows

The final image with some darker shadows