Almost every night for the last couple weeks I’ve been working on the new illustrations for my book. This time around (almost exactly a year later) I’m doing it completely differently.
Last year, I sat down in my studio, with pencils and paint, and sketched and painted immediately. I didn’t really plan out what I wanted it all to look like and how coherent it was going to be. Which resulted in different sized pictures (I started out using only a little bit of the page and eventually used the whole thing) but they were generally coherent in style, though, possibly ill-conceived (gotta love retrospect). The varying sizes made it really hard to format, on top of the fact that I didn’t even know what size book I was creating. If I’d thought about it a little bit more, I think it would have resulted in less headaches.
So this time, I know what size the finished version will be, I have a proof copy and I’m using that as my guide. I’m planning out where the text is going to be in the image (if it’s going to be in there) and I haven’t touched paint. yet. I’m going through every single illustration in the book that I did originally and asking myself “how can I do this better?” , “how could I make this look more interesting?” , and “how could I reinvent this scene?”
So far, there are a lot more balloons, less straight up people shots, and with the scenes that have people in them, I use the other pictures with the characters as a guide to make sure that they are as coherent as possible. I’m also taking shades and varying degrees of value into account in my sketches and going over anything I want to remember the value of in levels of shading.
We’ll see what I think a year from now, but at the moment I’m very happy with the progress and how much I’ve learned since last October. Interestingly, I’ve been implementing a lot of what I learned in Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain and that alone has been a huge difference.
So today, I got in my gaming keypad and spent the morning getting used to it while listening to some podcast about Sherlock Holmes (the movie, with RDJr.). I found a sweet spot in Nagrand above the throne of elementals where, well, all the elementals live and you can farm for motes to your hearts content. I caved and bought motes of fire from the Auction House but there were no Motes of Air or Primal Air to be found (same thing with the Overcharged Capacitor. I finally gave up and abandoned the quest. If it ever comes back, I’ll pick it up again) until I found the spot where the Storming Wind-Rippers lived. I’ll be getting used to my new keypad over the next few days questing, and then when I’m used to it, maybe I’ll try it out in a dungeon or two.
So then, after the Holme’s podcast, I put in some more Harry Potter and got out my watercolors. It always helps me to do something when I’m listening to things, I don’t really know why. Habit, I guess. So while Jim Dale was talking about the Marauder’s Map and Quidditch and Dementors, I was painting a fairy floating amidst bubbles.
I added a wizard hat because it seemed fun. I’ve had sort of an obsession with bubbles or polka dotted backgrounds lately. I don’t know why, it just adds a bit of interesting-ness. So I made another drawing.