Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sowing Plans - The Illustrations

Wow!  Where did this one come from?  This story was published a couple of weeks ago, but I didn't share the making of the images. 

I started illustrating this story quite awhile ago.  I had created Mr. McBardon because he really intrigued me as a character and I wanted to see what he looked like.  I remember staying up late at night finishing him up.  I wasn't completely happy with the final, but close enough to stop for awhile and come back to it with fresh eyes.  Well, I never came back to it and didn't complete it until the night before publishing.

Here is the original Mr. McBardon. What was I thinking with THAT BACKGROUND??!!!  I really like the plaid and Mr. McBardon, but that background, Oy!

I wanted to make a cover like a seed packet.  That was the original idea.  I created a sketch of a tomato from my garden and then decided to color it on the computer, instead of using watercolor.

I'm quite happy with the drawing.  It is of a Celebrity tomato, for those veggie geeks out there.  I drew the highlights and darks on the skin to help guide the coloring.  As much as I work on the computer, I am still learning much about coloring.  I feel like this tomato has some depth and volume to it.  There are also some places where the drawn lines and shadow areas feel like computer generated "hiccups."  At first it felt impure to me, but now I am coming to like the variety to the skin.  It makes it seem a bit more alive instead of static.
I created the blue background because I saw this technique on a seed packet.  I quickly realized this was my solution to Mr. McBardon's background.

I painstakingly removed the brown, because I hadn't saved a copy with the separate layers, and then added the blue circle in the background. Much better!

For this project I am not interested in creating a distinct style to my work but to work with what comes to me in the moment. This has resulted in many different styles and techniques used to create the illustrations I do. I like this since
there are many artists involved in this project with differing styles. So my diverse approach seems to fit well.

There now, isn't Mr. McBardon better? His plaid stands out more and his feet are brighter.  Ah, that feels so much better.

Sowing Plans was published on May 31 and can be read here.

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