Monthly Archives: November 2010

Illustration Process


As you can see, this is not a continuation of the previous post on my illustration process.

This one is titled “The Gate” (you can see the inks for this in the main post at the top of the page). I’ve scanned the final drawing in and have started the painting process. I would love to color these by hand with just ink washes, but I don’t have the setup to scan in final product. So I’m recreating the same technique in Photoshop.

At this stage, I’m laying in my greys and only focusing on getting the tones right. Then I’ll build up the shadows and lights with light washes until I’m reasonably satisfied.

The edges are sloppy for now, as I’m creating a custom border for all the illustrations. Needless to say that’ll go on last.

Building an Illustration, Part II

Continuing off the sketches I posted last time, here are the pencils for the actual drawing:


And a little closer up:


As you can see I’m keeping the pencils almost as loose as a seagull. An that’s hard for me. For years, I worked for hours creating spandex tight pencils before whipping out the ink.  My main focus is on the composition and the lighting. And those are two things I’ve always slacked on in the past.

And if I’m being perfectly honest, if the novel sells, I’ll probably re-do the sample illustrations. Just like in writing, re-drawing what you think is a ready to go layout usually brings about better results.

One last pic. Here’s the beginning of the inking process. I’ll have more details and pics on that in the next post:


Also, in the coming posts, I’ll write a bit more about the tools I’m using on this project.

Building an Illustration

I’m creating three or four sample illustrations to go along with the sample chapters from the novel. Thought I’d share the process from doodles to completed drawing.

This first one is popped out of chapter two: the arrival of eleven strangers to the mansion, focusing on man in particular. Choosing what to illustrate is the same as rewriting a chapter. You have to whittle it down to what’s important, or more importantly, what moves the story forward.

If you look in the top right corner of the page below you can see a thumbnail idea for the final drawing layout. The rest is just playing around with details until something sticks.


Here’s another page showing more of the main focus of the illustration. I’ve decided to go with more of a worms perspective, so the straight on guy in front of car is out. Although I think the sketch of the character is on track.


Also wanted to mention a charity cookbook project. I contributed a cartoon featuring Doug and Sophie. You can click on the link below to learn more and hopefully donate:

A long and winding road.

Hark! A new post! Indeed it is. Rather staggering when I look back at when I first started “The Conjurers”. It has been a wild road. Between then and now, I’ve published two books and have another picture book wrapped and ready for release next fall. Wedged in their also is book one for “Fussbucket” and of course the daily chronicles of Doug and Sophie.

So where am I now? In short I’m finishing up another from scratch pitch for “The Conjurers”. It consists of three chapters of text and a few sample illustrations. And that is what I’ll be documenting here, starting now. There’ll be posts on the re-writing process and, once my agent has something to show, bits and pieces about the hopeful sale of the novel.

mansion1_detail Let’s kick it off with the most recent piece of art. These are the preliminary inks for an illustration of the mansion at the beginning of the book. I’ve gone around the block multiple times on what style i want to use, and I think I’m close. The initial drawings are loose, sketchy but detailed inks. From there I’ll scan it in, add some grey washes in photoshop and a stylized border to fit the tone of the book. Seems like a lot of work to make a drawing look relatively haphazard and a touch sloppy.

Stay tuned. Lots more to come.