Sunday, 29 September 2013

Picture Book Illustration: Drawing a Lion

Once I had finished the really complicated Jungle Grumble spread, I felt I had warmed up sufficiently to tackle the home stretch of my lion-in-the-tree. It was a wise move to set him aside: taking a fresh look, I changed the colour of his coat. I realised lions are actually very pale. 

Above is how he looked when I left him to start the other spread - quite orangy - and below is his new, softer coat. This works better against the background anyway and provides greater contrast with his darker mane. I lightened up the tree branch too - I was originally going for dappled sunlight, but realised I didn't want to draw dappled shadows on the lion, or have him all in shadow either:

The final step was the background foliage. I wanted to keep it quite abstract and painterly like the under-drawing, to give an impression of the leaves instead of drawing them. This proved trickier than I had hoped and took a surprisingly long time. It was while I was grappling with this, that John snuck up behind me with a camera!

This was how my dangly lion looks now he is finally finished: 

Those with eagle-eyes might have spotted that the artwork is far more square that the rough: this is because the publisher asked me to add a large area of bleed above the lion, so that they can use this piece of artwork to mock up a quick cover, ready for presentation at Frankfurt. I'll be interested to see what they do with it.

Both pieces of artwork have gone off to my publisher now, ready for Frankfurt. The final thing I had to do before my deadline this weekend was to go back and draw four re-roughs, implementing various changes the publisher requested. I got it all done in time and am right now rewarding myself with a trip to visit author of The Jungle Grumble, Julia Jarman. It's nothing to do with this latest project as it happens. It's something I'm rather excited about. I'll tell all when I get back.


Louise Forshaw said...

Looks amazing! Fingers crossed it goes down really well at Frankfurt :)

Emily Garces said...

Lovely to hear about your process:)

Jerry Gonzalez said...

Great expression!

theartofpuro said...

Wonderful:)Love te lion expression and his paler fur:)

aylin kaplan said...

very good

jabbott said...

Wonderful art work x

Anonymous said...

This is so adorable! I scanned down through some of your other pages too. You have quite a talent for layout and design. Thank you for sharing!

Check this out too: