Thursday, 5 February 2009

Struggling With Light

I am finding things a bit tricky this week. I'm trying to do a piece of pastel artwork, but the snow keeps covering my veluxes and blocking out all my natural light, so I can't judge colours. I've tried standing on a step-stool, hanging out into the weather, trying to brush it off with various implements, but within minutes it's back.

I'm doing the last remaining spread for Rumble, Roar, Dinosaur! (see
Dinosaurs Are Back!)

Yesterday, I traced up the rough onto my pink paper (see Tracing Up Dragon's Dinner), then tacked it onto my drawing board, below the line-drawing rough (for reference: the pencil line quickly disappears under the chalk).

I also got out the intro page from the first book, Gnash, Gnaw, Dinosaur! The idea is for the two to work as a pair, but for them to also be sufficiently different from one another.

Interestingly, if you compare the artwork I did for the first book's spread (above) with the final version (below), you will see a few missing dinos...

This was because I did the artwork before Kingfisher decided to divide the book into two volumes (see Gnash, Gnaw, Dinosaur!). We used Photoshop to remove the dinosaurs that were moving to book 2, and do a bit of touching up!

I laid in some of the background colour before the light went (it's vital to work from back to front with pastels). The trick with it is not to lose heart when it looks so awful at these early stages!

I'm trying to make the two spreads different, by changing the colour palette, featuring rich, orange rocks. I may have to tweak the background as I go along, once I can judge it against the main characters, but I can't achieve the broad, smooth sweeps of background colour, once the dinos are in.

I'll post today's progress tomorrow, if the snow ever stops enough for me to see what I'm doing!


Adam Whitmarsh said...

Thanks for the explanation on your process, its really insightful. What do you do you use for the inking in? Rgds, Adam

Alicia PadrĂ³n said...

I love when you post pics of your studio Lynne. I am in love with it! The first time I saw it on one of your posts I literally gasped for air. :o)

Even though your lovely studio is so white and bright, I can understand how frustrating it must be to not have enough sunlight coming in with the snow and all. Have you ever tried one of those lamps that are supposed to give a light very similar to daylight? I'm not sure if it will work for you though.

I have a little one of those on the right hand side of my table and another regular lamp on the left. I do feel I like that one better that the regular one, but the again my studio is almost the size of a closet and it is dark as night! It has two sad, very narrow and tiny little windows.. hahaha, so my lamps make wonders for me.

Btw, I love how your piece is turning out! Your color are always so vibrant and rich. :o)

Lynne Chapman said...

Thanks guys!

Adam - I use pastels. If you look back at the 10th Dec post: Cover Gets Colour, I go into my process step by step.

Alicia - yes, I know I'm very lucky to have my lovely studio. When I started out, I just had a little desk by the window in the living room. Not much good for 'turning off' work at the end of the day!

I have daylight bulbs in my spot lights above the board, but it's still not good enough. Everything looks bright, but somehow the colours are still difficult to see properly.

Doda said...

I never thought the snow would be such a problem to an illustrator. Hopefully it'll soon melt!

Adam Whitmarsh said...

Thanks Lynne, Pastel Pencils, got it! What would be interesting is to see the layout of your studio, when you have time can you divulge more info? And I'd like to know where you got your drawing board from?



Lynne Chapman said...

I've taken various shots around the studio, but it's hard to make it make sense as a whole. I do plan to shoot a little film sometime in Spring, which would probably work better.

I got my drawing board stand off my brother, who used to run a design office. It's very sold and heavy. The AO top is new - I got it free on Freecycle, and gave away my slightly smaller board. I LOVE Freecycle.

Euphrosene Labon said...

Many thanks, Lynn, for the lovely drawings and informative posts.


Emily said...

Studio peeks are such a delight! Was about to comment on all the juicy colours before reading that they were the topic in just the way I was wondering... thanks for sharing! (Oh, and fierce dinos!)