Thursday, 23 October 2008

A Mock-Up Of Gnash, Gnaw, Dinosaur!

Yet another proof copy arrived this week. This time the publisher, Kingfisher, have sent me a beautiful, hard-bound mock-up of Gnash, Gnaw, Dinosaur! which looks exactly like the real thing. It's looking brilliant and Tony Mitton's poems are such fun.

I think publishers often make these, to present at the Frankfurt or Bologna Book Fair (see Dragon-Proof!) but I don't generally get to see them: they just send me the proof as individual printed sheets.

This one is even more exciting than usual, because it is a flap book, with massive flaps on every page. This means that, when I produce the artwork, it sometimes doesn't look much like the finished book. It's only when it's all put together at this proof stage, that I get to really see how it looks.

Flap books mean quite a bit more work. I have to do one drawing for when the flap is closed, like the one of Diplodocus above, and another for when it's open (on the right). In case you're confused, the flap on this one hinges upwards, so it extends out of the top of the book.

It's impossible to make it so the two illustrations will match up exactly at the flap edges, but I do my best. Later, when the artwork has been scanned and I get it back on a DVD (see Tracing up Dragon's Dinner), I can lay the two Diplodocus illustrations on top of one another in Photoshop, and touch up any bits that don't quite match.

Computers, eh? They might be a pain some of the time, but boy do they make some jobs easier!

In case you're curious about how that Deinonychus page turned out (see Gnash, Gnaw, Dinosaur!), here it is in colour (the weird shape on the right is because it's a fold out flap again).


cassia said...

do you ever sleep???????? they all look gorgeous. Will be great to see the finished books.

I was wondering how long you normally took to do an illustration on average and how long for a regular 32 page all in all?

Lynne Chapman said...

Sleeping does feel like an optional extra sometimes lately!

I generally allow 4 weeks for roughing a book out and 7 weeks for artwork (if I'm not allowing time out for any visits). That seems to work out most times.

It's about a day to design a spread and another day and a half to colour it (2 or oaccsionally even 2.5 days if it's really complicated).

How long do you take?

Damian Harvey said...

Fantastic looking artwork Lynne... must be nice working with Tony too.

Lynne Chapman said...

Thanks - I really enjoyed doing it and I'm rather excited about reading it in schools.

Hopeful that it'll go down well with boys in particular.

I met Tony Mitton briefly at the CWIG conference, but as usual we've had no contact during the project. Great text though!

cassia said...

7 weeks!!!!!!(pause for breath)!!!!
Yikes, I'd better pull my socks up then! I can't believe the level of detail you get in that time. Do certain spreads ever 'plague' you afterward, or do you just get on with the next one?

I don't think I've really established a proper idea of how long it takes me to do things yet as my style is still evolving. I think I'm currently working to that worrying catchment zone of 'how long do I have?' Must remedy that.

Am loving all your sketchbook work. I may take a proverbial and literal leaf out of your book, as I'm having trouble finding stuff I can actually put on my blog.

Lynne Chapman said...

I'm never sure if I'm quick or slow as I have no idea how long other people take!

I tend to work through them all then go back to the early ones and check if they need adjusting at all: I think I warm up as I go along. That's why I hate if when publishers occasionally ask for the first half to be going on with.

Glad you like the sketches. It's nice to finally find a home for them - they usually just sit unloved in closed books on my shelf for year after year. All a bit sad...

sexy said...