Saturday, 7 February 2009

Nearly Done!

I finished my Hadrosaur yesterday morning. I had to use fixative on him half way through, to make the pastel surface solid enough to take the belly stripes, which dimmed down everything, as usual, so I then had to fiddle around brightening up that bit of water, and re-yellowing the sand. I'll probably have to come back and touch up the orange rock behind him too, but I'll leave that until later, to do with the rest of the rocks, as there will be more fixing to come.

Next up was our crocodile-like friend, called Deinosuchus. This is my rather crowded desk, all set up ready to go, with both previous bits of artwork for reference (one piece is his main spread image, the other for under the open flap):

With this illustration, so many of the dinosaurs are so fiddly and tiny (totally unsuitable subject matter for pastels, to be honest) that I am having to use pastel pencils much more than I'd like. For the Deinonychus, I first coloured him gently in the pencils, to get crisp edges (essential for the spiky scales and his toes). This gives a very wishy-washy finish though, so I went back, colouring over the top with proper pastels. But because the pencil work is beneath, I could stay slightly within the edges and keep the precision.

Sometimes when you use pencils for details, like those Hadrosaur stripes and the croc scale lines, it looks far too crisp. The best way to correct this, is to gently 'finger' the area, not quite smudging, but just nudging it with your finger tips, or even your palm, to 'fur' it just enough to make the tight detail settle into the illustration.

I sprayed fixative on croc, then added a few last minute touches: highlights from the water, speckles on the jaw, little teeth and some reeds in the shallows:

Then finally it was time for the Anklosaurus and the little Composognathuses. I got both bits of artwork out together as, being intertwined, I thought I'd work on them together. The piece bottom left is the artwork the publisher has used for the new cover (see A New Cover For Rumble Roar).

Both pretty fiddly again, so more pencil work first, particularly on the Composognathuses, followed again by more dense pastel.

I had to fix the section, in order to get highlights on the horns and the stripy pattern on the Composognathuses, which again had to be done in pencil to match my original design:

By the time I'd done that, the light was fading again. I did a bit of post-fixative touching up, but decided to leave it until Monday and give it a general brightening before mounting it up.

See you then I hope!


Alicia PadrĂ³n said...

It's coming along great Lynne! I can see how it can be hard and tricky to render the little guys. I am amazed at your perfection handling pastels. I find them difficult to handle on little things and you do such an amazing job at that. BYW, how large are your spreads?

Oh and the Composognathuses are so adorable. I just love the patterns they have and their color.

Thanks for sharing all your process and I'm here crossing my fingers for a lovely and super sunny Monday :o)

Lynne Chapman said...

Thanks Alicia!

So far it's looking a bit gloomy out unfortunately...

The spread I'm working on here is being done at actual size and is 300 x 500mm.

April Jarocka said...

A great insight to see the size of your illustrations on your drawing board Lynne. They are looking fabulous. My kids are past the picture book phase and onto more wordy creations but they remembered your work from long ago when they saw your website.All the best with this one!