Friday, 1 April 2011

Roar! - How a Drawing Evolves


I have finished my swinging duckling illustration:


This page sits opposite the illustration for 'R' - a baby tiger, trying out his roaring on a butterfly - the next piece I have decided to colour up. Below is the original rough I submitted to Egmont. Though there were minor changes to other illustrations at that stage, the tiger came back as an immediate green light, with no changes needed.


But later, taking a fresh look at the various roughs, I realised that the tiger would be more fun in a dressing-up outfit, like the squirrel, so I gave him a little superhero cape, and re-submitted the drawing to my editor.


They pointed out that the cape was a bit minimal and so got a little lost. They suggested I give him a T-shirt as well, perhaps with some kind of superhero picture on the front. This seemed a good idea. I thought for a moment, then realised the simplest idea would be the Superman logo:



Even as I was drawing it, I worried about copyright - you have to be very careful how you use existing logos. But the design worked really well, so I decided to see if Egmont picked it up as an issue. They did. Ah well.

Sarah, my designer on Baby Goes Baaaa! sent me this lovely tiger-superhero logo she designed herself, and asked me to give that a try. I took into Photoshop, shrunk it down and manipulated it so that it 'sat' on the rounded front of the shirt properly.

The logo was fabulous but, because of the limited space on the front of the T-shirt, and the fact that some was hidden under the tiger's chin, it didn't really work that well. It was also slightly fiddly once reduced to fit:

Back to the drawing board (literally). If we couldn't use an existing superhero logo on the T-shirt, and we couldn't use something as complex as Sarah's illustration, I thought perhaps we needed to rethink. Did it have to be a superhero T-shirt? Children put together their own dressing-up costumes far more often that they buy ready-made ones. I tried a simple, but very recognisable symbol: a star.

Which seemed to do the trick nicely and, luckily, the folks at Egmont agreed. This is how it looks so far in colour, still missing his little stripes and his butterfly friend:


I didn't get much done yesterday, because of my regular teaching slot at the university, but I aim to get it finished this morning if possible.

10 comments:

Capt Elaine Magliacane said...

Thanks so much for posting this.. I find this sort of post so fascinating...

Gulzar said...

WOW! I love this...
How are you Lynne :)

Lynne Chapman said...

Glad you like it guys.

I am feeling pretty good thanks Gulzar, having just got back from a lovely long walk in the countryside, which is bursting with Spring!

Caroline said...

Fascinating process! Action packed Tiger!

Bethany Hissong said...

I think your solution to the logo is perfect! I used to babysit my cousin when I was a teenager and he was only little... he dressed up all the time and this reminds me of exactly what he would wear! Whenever you go to color, I'm just so amazed at how wonderful it looks!

Suzanne Del Rizzo said...

Lynne, Thanks so much for the indepth process post. It is so very inspiring and interesting to see how you work out your illustrations with you editor. You capture such palyfulness, fun energy, and personality in you illustrations- love them.
As an illustrator myself, just starting out(second career after being a stay-at-home-mom) I am thankful for wonderful illustrators like you who really share their process and provide such inspiration-THANKS!!

Sam McCullen said...

I really enjoyed this post! It's interesting to see the little hurdles other illustrators encounter.

When is the book due to be published Lynne? x

Lynne Chapman said...

You're welcome Suzanne - and good luck!

Baby Goes Baaaa! is scheduled for April 2012 Sam. When are your bears hitting the world?

Sam McCullen said...

Y'know Lynne, I haven't got a clue. I STILL don't know if they like the artwork yet! Getting twitchy now!

Jon Davis said...

Thanks for posting. really interesting and useful, as ever :)