When the scans of my illustrations come back from the repro-house, the characters are of course still on my pink pastel paper:
The idea is to drop them on the same range of colours as Baby Goes Baaaaa!. Sarah, my designer at Egmont, tried out various possibilities, most of which I think worked really well. I made suggestions for a couple of changes, which she agreed: it's very much a team effort at this stage.
Once the colours had been decided, I then had the job of 'cutting out' the characters in Photoshop, to get rid of the pink paper. This little character is illustrating Baby can shake:
And that's not quite all: because the illustrations were drawn on pink, they don't necessarily 'sit' properly on the new colour straight away. So another job is to make any tonal or colour adjustments needed, so it looks as though I always intended it to be on that colour. This is always most obvious with the shadows at their feet.
It's a pretty tedious job all round, and this time it seems to have gone on forever. It's good that I have enough knowledge of Photoshop to be able to do it myself though, as the pastel edges make things far trickier than it would be with most other media. This page is Baby can share:
Though I've been working with professional scans, done through Egmont, I was worried that the colours seemed a little milky. Neither I nor the publisher had the actual artwork to compare; it was still with the repro-house. I could see from my colour palette on the previous Baby Goes Baaaaa! scans that things were not quite right, but my deadline was tight and I didn't have the time to hang about. So I pumped up the contrast a bit, just gently, and did a tiny bit of 'dodge' and 'burn' work.
Yesterday, the artwork arrived back at Egmont and they were finally able to compare. It was immediately obvious that I was right. Take a look at Baby can dig below. Left is an in-house scan, adjusted to mirror the actual artwork, right is the version from the repro-house:
We have decided we don't need to re-scan them all (thank goodness: I don't think I could face repeating last week). Luckily, my re-balancing in Photoshop has brought most pics back to life, so they are good as new. However, the croc above and one or two others are particularly bad, so they do have to be done again. A bit unfortunate: cutting out that sand was a nightmare!
If you want to know more about the specifics of how I do the digital 'cutting out', have a read of this post, from when I was working on the scans of Baby Goes Baaaaa!