Wednesday, July 16, 2014

One Spread: From Storyboard to Final Art

When I started working on the final art for Sleepover with Beatrice and Bear, I had big plans to document every step so that I could share the progress afterwards.  It didn't quite work as well as I had hoped: once I started painting (and re-painting) it was hard to remember to stop and take pictures. Also when working on deadline, the need to make sure paintings got done by a certain date/time would take precedence over everything else.  Before I knew it, I had skipped taking breaks to photograph my progress.

But I did manage to document one spread in detail.  It's one of those happy cases where the very first tiny sketch, done for the storyboard, remained basically the same throughout the work.  Here it is as a 1 x 2 inch doodle: Beatrice and Bear saying goodnight and going sleep:

Next came a larger sketch, better suited for the dummy, done with a bit more detail:

I sometimes photocopy pages from the dummy to test colors -- the paper is not really suited for watercolor painting, but it helps me to see whether the colors I'm envisioning work or not and to try different color combinations:

Now for the final painting, which was done on Fabriano 140 hot press paper.  I used a light box to transfer the sketch to the watercolor paper, and did the outline first, with a brush and Winsor & Newton black India ink.  I erased all pencil marks and then started painting using Sennelier watercolors and Prismacolor pencils to add texture and/or shading.

It's kind of cool to see it like this, from little doodle to final art.  Next we will talk book covers!

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