Here it is.....the final sixth set of artworks for assessment to the London Art College's correspondence course D6 Illustrating Children's Books. Hooray!
Of the set, the second part is a bigger project, which this time had to be done as a double page spread on an A3 page with both a bleed 5mm and a slug area 50mm, which ends up with a single page measuring 180mm tall and 150mm wide.
The brief went something like this:
Illustrate a double page spread from a story book aimed at 3 to 5 year olds called 'Moving House'. This will be the last page where your chosen character (human or animal) at last finds just the right home. The story is about this character's difficulties in finding a good place to move into. The text, 'At last, just the right home, now he no longer has to roam' will run along the bottom of the page.
Unsurprisingly, due to a furry creature who recently decided that our home was just the right place, and our efforts to dissuade said creature, the character was a possum.
Here are my initial ideas, which had to be scrapped once I re-read the brief and couldn't use a diagonal for the text.
I got as far as inking the next idea, before eventually agreeing that it wasn't really working. (The next few images are from photographs.)
Yet another idea got scapped. Sorry, this one only got as far as pencil stage, so it is more difficult to see. There are blueprints and a backpack on the left of the tree, and on the other side of that tree is the possum with a pencil behind his ear sizing up the dimensions of the tree and giving it a mental tick. Then we have a contented sleeping possum in that tree hollow. Why did it get scapped? It was working better, but still hadn't nailed it - and it was pointed out that when a double page spead is requested, a diptych is unlikely to satisfy the brief especially when it is for the final double page spread. Back to the drawing board....
Was all this anguish worth it? I think so. Now we have the possum showing the joy and excitement that was missing from previous drafts, and the new home has passed several more tests.
Now to start adding the colour, and begin bringing it to life...
Finishing the watercolour on the possums came next.
And then the tree, the fruit, the backpack and the all important red ticks.
When the watercolour work was finished, an A3 scan was required and that wasn't easy during the Christmas/NewYear period where commercial scanners were offline. For such delicate colours, a commercial quality scan was essential. Then some Photoshop clean up was required, a little colour management, and hightlighting the bleed and crop marks, because when you have to further adjust to 1500 pixels wide to submit the project they tend to become close to invisible.
Now to add in the given text, and remove the slug, to show what the final art would look like.
With this artwork, the course work for the Diploma in Illustrating Children's Books with the London Art College is complete. The coursework was mailed from London on 12 Jan 2016 and arrived a week or so later, so I am very pleased to have completed it within the 12 month window.
What now? That's a very good question. I'm sending out resumes, and illustration portfolios, hoping for paid employment or an illustration agent - or both. I will also be looking into further studies (perhaps something different like barrista training maybe) and want to give the 52 Week Illustration Challenge a go this year. The best way to find out what happens next is to sign up for my email newsletter, it has been going for 4 years and the 33rd issue is due mid January 2017.
Row your boat
Since January I have been working through the London Art College's correspondence course D6 Illustrating Children's Books, and I am just about ready to submit my first artworks for assessment.
For each assessment, 2 artworks are submitted. This second one was the bigger project.
The brief was to prepare a double page spread (equivalent of 2 landscape sheets of A4 with a 5mm bleed allowance) containing the text to the nursery rhyme 'Row Your Boat'. The text had to go along the bottom of the two pages, and to have a pale background. The artwork had to be simple and bold, and suitable for a 2-4 year old child and for the adult reading the story. It had to be dreamlike, but without being scary or nightmarish. Any characters, human or animal, have to be engaging to a small child.
Firstly I sketched an idea or two into my visual diary, to see if it would work. Then I re-drew it in pencil, with modifications, onto 1/4 size to get the layout and spacing going in the right direction:
Then I inked that sketch, and added a few notes to myself as reminders for when I drew the full size picture.
The next step was to photocopy the drawings and to test some colour ideas with coloured pencils, and also whether I should use ink or not on the final artwork.
I decided against the ink, thinking it would detract from the dreamlike quality desired.
Here's the full size artwork, after the masking fluid had been applied. The little duck is new, and the gutter area is now free of important elements.
Now for some initial colour washes.
Some work on the background, the pole that doubles as both bed-post and lighthouse, and a bit more work on the rower.
Time for some work on the middle-ground:
Now for skin tone on the rower, the blue houses and more work on the bed-post/lighthouse:
Here the little duck now has some colour, and it is almost time to remove the masking fluid, and start the flattening process:
Here's the raw scan of the left hand page
And the raw scan of the right hand page
From here a lot of work went into fixing up minor blemishes in Photoshop and merging the join together. Then the artwork went into InDesign to add the text, the font Angillian regular seemed to be just right.
Here's the final artwork with the bleed still showing:
And as it might look in a finished book without the bleed.
I'm more comfortable working at A4 size, so this project was a bit outside my comfort zone. Thinking about a pre-school audience was outside my comfort zone too. Now that this project is finished I'm looking forward to the next segment of the course.
NEWS AND OTHER STUFF
About recent artwork, inspirations and other things I find interesting.