Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Head First into a Muck Heap!

I have been working on a couple of illustrations from the middle of the Class One Farmyard Fun. This is the bit where the bull is free and biffing people into the air, left right and centre. He tosses a whole bunch of children into a smelly muck heap and is then creeping up on the teacher...

As usual, I stuck other previously finished pieces onto the drawing board, to use as colour reference for the characters:

Perversely, I tackled the muck heap illustrations in reverse order. This is the one I did least week, where the children are already in the muck. Teacher is too busy wiping muck from her wellies to notice the bull behind her...

The background on this one has been left blank (the pink is just my pink paper), because I intend it to be cut away to a block colour, which we will drop in digitally. Or rather, 2 colours (which is what the diagonal line on the rough is about).

This digital background technique is firstly to create additional visual variety as the reader works through the book. I hit on the idea of the two-coloured background because, when doing the original rough, I had trouble with the scale of the children against the teacher / bull scenario. The kids should really be much bigger, if they are in front, but this didn't work, because they eclipsed too much of the page and didn't allow teacher and the bull enough impact. But I wanted a spread, for added drama. Hmmmm.... problem! By slicing the background into two colours, I am hoping to create a half-way house between two separate illustrations side-by-side, and a single spread.

I have just this morning finished the artwork for the spread before the one above: one of my favourites:

The children are flying through the air and landing in the muck heap. I created a stowaway piglet in the muck heap earlier on in the story, so it was fun to have him here, worrying about children landing on his head!

Next, I'm going to tackle a spread with the bull up close, a nice simple illustration for once, with the poor farmer flying through the air, about to land in a prickly haystack. Hee hee. Thanks for the great subject matter Julia.


three shooting stars said...

This book would be too much for my nerves! ;))) I am rather faint hearted, I admit.

Ginny Stiles said...

"muck heap"? This must be an "english term" of course.
American children could probably translate that especially from the drawings.
prickly haystack? We get that.

So interesting about the pink background that isn't really pink.
You may have to run that by me one more time.

Lynne the Pencil said...

Ah, didn't know that you don't use that word.The publisher always translates the 'English' terms on the US edition, so not to worry. Would you just say 'manure'?