Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Achy Breaky Feet


My feet are killing me this week. I am at the tracing-up stage with my Bears on the Stairs project, which means I'm standing up at the light box all day.

You don't realise how much standing wears you out, until the end of the day, when I realise I'm exhausted. Can't imagine having a job where you are on your feet all day every day!


This bit is very tedious: I first have to precisely measure and cut the paper for each individual illustration, marking a 5mm bleed all round, and a 10mm edging to trim off at the end. That stage alone takes a few hours (especially given all the cups of tea needed to keep sane).


Then I enlarge all the drawings on the computer (I'm working at 123%), print them out and stick them back together (I only have an A4 printer, so it takes four-and-a-bit A4 sheets per spread, as you can see above).

One by one, I then trace them onto my pink pastel paper at the light box. This also means that, if it's a bright day, I have to pull all the blinds and spend my day in the dark!

15 comments:

Carla said...

Wow.

I honestly didn't know that's what an illustrator goes through. Is this technique the standard or does every illustrator use a different one?

Jill said...

It is fascinating to follow you through this process. No need for blinds to block out the sun today!

Lynne Chapman said...

It's probably different for everyone, because it depends a lot on the medium you're using. You are always going to have to trace from the roughs though, as it's important everything is accurately positioned, because of the position of the book's central 'gutter' and the text that must be dropped into the page when it's printed.

Veronica said...

It's fascinating to see you work! When I first started illustating, I always used to try and recreate my roughs (athough obviously measuring up accurately for text etc) - I used to think of tracing as cheating, even when I was tracing my own work!!! When I finally started blowing up the roughs on my printer and tracing them, I realised just how much of an idiot I had been!

Lynne Chapman said...

Ha ha! I'm glad it's not just me that does daft things sometimes!

Abz said...

I like your work..very fun! :)

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quiltcat said...

They make heavy rubber mats that are used by people who have to stand all day on hard floors...mechanics, some retail clerks, etc. The ones i've seen are sold in interlocking squares, so you only need to get as many as you need for standing on in front of your drawing table...it might make your feet and your back a lot happier.

Lynne Chapman said...

Thanks Quiltcat, that sounds a great idea - I'll investigate...

June said...

Lynne, your artwork looks to be quite large, but maybe a large format printer would help? A3 size is easy to manage, or it can be much longer.

I create a photoshop file of my art bleed, trim lines etc. and feed watercolour paper through the back of my epson printer (archival/waterproof ink). It then prints all the measured lines precisely for me, so I don't spend time ruling lines any more. Having a ready measured piece of paper for the next illustration is great. I sometimes print the scanned, cleaned up and adjusted sketch out very lightly on the paper too, and then work directly on that, so I don't need to use the lightbox so much... :o)

Lynne Chapman said...

Interesting idea... Most my work is indeed a bit big, even for an A3 printer, nearer A2 really, but my A4 printer is playing up, so I might be getting an A3, and occasionally that might work. Thanks for the tip!

Ritwika said...

Hi Lynne, I just love your work,they just cheer me up all the time! :)I also have a keen interest in drawing, most of the time I use ink pen and pencil but I really want to try pastels now. Can you please tell me what kind of pastel paper & pastels do you use for your work?

Lynne the Pencil said...

Hi Ritwika - great to hear that you enjoy the blog!

All different makes of pastels, though not Sennelier (too soft for me). Unison are a favourite - fabulous colours and perfect texture.

Re paper - made by Canson, their 'Teintes' range, with a heavy texture. I like a medium pink called Rose Fonce

My tip is to work as big as you can and from back to front (distant background first, foreground detail last), overlaying colours, rather than trying to butt up.

Good luck!

Ritwika said...

WOW! Thank you for such a quick reply! I will start doing pastels as soon as I get the materials and thanks once again for the detailed information and the tips :D

Lynne the Pencil said...

You're welcome They are a bit of a nack, so stick with it.

There's a film on my YouTube channel that should help too, if you haven't seen it already.

Ritwika said...

Yes, I have seen the video already, it's really helpful and it will be great if you can upload some more tutorial videos so that I can follow the techniques :) Thnks once again!