This is my journey in creating concepts, writing, illustrating, finding a literary agent, and becoming a published children's book author and illustrator for the picture book genre.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Newest piece...

The woes of moving. Yes, we are moving. It will all be over soon. The moving truck will be here on the 29th and my family will be dining at the finest of establishments that have playgrounds. It isn't easy to move a family of 5 with 3 VERY active boys, but we make it happen. Unfortunately, the stress is paramount. I have kept a small area available for me to keep up my art and in hopes that long awaited email will arrive. So, I keep drawing and creating. As I referenced before, a cute black, stray cat came our way and found comfort on our porch for a couple days. He has since left but makes the occasional visit for cat food if his travels allow for it. He allows me to pick him up and snuggle him while I am whisked away to happiness by the lullaby of his purrs....
He inspired the drawing below and his wayward life inspired surrounding  background. Perhaps he need the kindness of others to help remind him that there is love in the world. Perhaps friendship is the key to kitty happiness. Or perhaps it is about a small, kind gesture from one who should keep his distance is the one friend who helps Sparky find his place or a family to belong to. Perhaps that sweet bird is his family??? Here is the primary sketch below:

In practicing with the method of illustrating, I decided to take above sketch and draw it out on 11x15 watercolor paper. I needed to re-draw that sweet cat in the same manner that I had done with the sketch.

After the sketch was done, I tried to critique it before I began the color process. What was occurring in the illustration? Can you identify the relationship between these two characters? Something was missing. I needed an action. The relationship was apparent, but I needed a reason for that bird to be there. I drew in a flower between the beak of the bird. Now the action is VERY apparent. Bird is gifting cat with a flower. It is a kind and peaceful interaction.

Now comes the color commitment. I want to stay true to what i have learned from the conferences and critiques. Larger paper- CHECK! Clean drawings- CHECK! Background detail not at the forefront- CHECK! I am trying to utilize my background to emphasize the characters. It is like the purse and shoes for the main-event dress. I decided to try to paint the background first and work inward. So far, the results are good. I am utilizing W&N cotman and Gouache as well as Prismacolor watercolor pencils.
I will post more pics as I start to make progress. For now, I really need to pack...and make dinner!

I really adore gouache paints. They offer a brilliance and creamy texture that is pleasing to paint with!

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