Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Illustrating a Picture Book: Pushing On Upstairs

Hurrah! I actually did meet my target yesterday. Here's my desk shot last night:

I got all three living-room spreads finished, and before 6pm - just in time to qualify for watering the garden duties (actually a relief to be outside for a bit). All the spreads are sporting a full set of eyeballs:

I could almost hear the mieow of relief!

I felt the need to really push on today, so finishing the left-overs of the 'chasing' artwork can wait a while longer: I'm tackling another new room, the little boy's bedroom. I'm not sure I ever showed you this rough. It's the extra spread we invented for the end of the book, to bring things to a happier conclusion than Julia wrote originally for the text.

Spot the 3 stair-bears...

It's probably the most complex spread of the book, with all those toys, posters and patterns. When I drew it, I knew it would be a nightmare to colour in pastels, which are, to be honest, a totally unsuitable medium for such levels of detail.

But it felt important that the bedroom be especially cosy and comforting, given the previous scary spread, so what's a girl to do?

I've allowed myself 2 days in my schedule. This is how things are looking come lunchtime. Wish me luck: I may well need it!


traylorillo said...

Thanks so much for sharing your process. I love your work. It's color, concept and composition. How on earth do you get such a level of detail with pastels?
I enjoy seeing the pictures of your workspace. I like how you work with several spreads up. Is the primary reason for that to maintain color accuracy and flow throughout the book?
I love the image of the family cat, especially the one in the spread where he's casually bathing. Having two fat, fluffy felines myself, it's a familiar scene.

Lynne Chapman said...

Thank you.

Yes, working on them together does aid colour continuity, but also makes things a little quicker when I have such a tight deadline.

The detail is dreadfully fiddly - lots of rubbing back and pastel pencils!

traylorillo said...

It makes perfect sense to "gang" your work on the board for speed and consistency. How smart!

I love the richness and smooth color transitions pastels afford, but leaning more toward line in my work vs. form, I've never excelled at them. They just make me crazy (and an absolute mess!).

Tomás Serrano said...

Yes, this image must be very difficult to draw, more with pastels. I´m sure it will be the top one.

Joanna Dover said...

Well - It's all looking fantastic and amazing! Thanks so much for sharing the process - it's so interesting. I love the character of the cat!

Karen said...

These all look spendiferous! Really good! Wow! I wish you luck if it helps.

Julie Broom said...

I absolutely adore the what you have planned for the bedroom spread. A lot of work but from what I see so far, totally worth the effort. Kids and parents alike are just going to love picking out all the little details in this one.

Thomas Taylor said...

It's great to see your work in progress. And I really admire your control over pastel -- you must have the fingers of a brain surgeon!

Lynne Chapman said...

Ha ha - I like that! Fingers of a brain surgeon... excellent!

Vanessa Brantley Newton said...

Lynne, boy oh boy was this wonderful. I love seeing how you layout everything I am working on two books right now. One that will be all digital and the other a traditional paint and collage. This helped me so much. i don't think myself as one who has arrived in doing children's books. I am still learning and growing. I watched your fabulous videos over and over and over again. They have brought such wisdom and comfort to me. Thanks so much for sharing your amazing process. I so appreciate you sharing your wonderful world and work. I will be back again.

Lynne Chapman said...

Thank you Vanessa - so glad you enjoyed them, and good luck with your books!