A new WIP and I’ve gone a bit crazy

It has been….a really long time since I sat down at the computer to do some art. Some of that because my computer has been brain-less for months. And lots of stuff going on in the real world that has been zapping my energy.  So I’ve been in a little bit of a dry spell creatively.

But, now, I’m back! The main thing fueling my creative juices at the moment, is that I’ve decided to stop making excuses, and participate in Camp NaNoWriMo this year. I hate that NaNoWriMo is in November. I have to many things going on at the holidays to even consider taking a month off to write a novel.   But then my friend Joi pointed out that they have started Camp NaNoWriMo, which takes place in June and August. Alas, there go my excuse.

So, I am in the midst of finished up an outline for a book I plan to write in June. I really really just want to complete at least one book before I die. Many if I have a chance, but I’ve got to get over my block and finish the first.

My notes have been filled with sketches of the characters and pieces. I’ve worked out a thumbnail for what I would like to do for the cover, when the book is done. (Note, I have no idea what I’m calling this book yet.)

I will probably work on the cover after finishing the outline, to give myself a break. I would like to have it done before I start writing, so I have some visual motivation/inspiration for the story.  In addition to the cover sketch, I started painting a picture of the main character. I won’t give away any details, but I will say she is pissed off in this picture, I don’t want to be in the shoes of the person she is glaring at.  I may get it done tomorrow.

A quick walk through (Storyteller)

I thought I just share the process I go through when putting together a storybook illustration for in my sketchbook.  The subject of this particular painting is Norton, the mouse. And a few of his friends.  The drawing size is aprox 3.5 x 5 inches.

1. I start with a pencil drawing to work out the perspective, layout and details of the picture. Once I’m happy, I go over it with ink, to refine the lines. I might add some hatching for the shadows.

2. To get started on the painting, I usually lay down a wash of a solid color over the whole drawing. In this case, a brown wash.  When it is almost dry, but not quite, I work in some of the major color blocks, and some of the shadows. The paint bleeds slightly into the background in a nice way because its not completely dry.  Things are still very lose at this point, allowing for “happy” accidents that make for interesting paintings.

3. I continue to add more colors, and start working in the shadows to add more depth to the picture. My brush is getting smaller and smaller as I work from big shapes to more details.  The painting looks very flat to me at this point.  I need to add some deeper shadows to make certain areas pop more.

4. I decided darkened the top of the painting to give it more depth, and darkened the shadows using a bluish green wash.  Everything was looking just a little TOO brown. The darker background helps the book stand out. When after all the painting was done, I went back over some of the lines that disappeared under the paint with my pen.