Thursday, May 31, 2012

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Short-y About Facebook Pages

Last week my wonderful artist friend Shawna directed me to this post about Facebook Pages.

I've been on the fence about creating a page for a while but it helped me make up my mind.

Here is my new page


I have some pretty fun things planned for it and my website. I'm planning some fun thing especially for kids so if you know one keep them in mind and stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wednesday Hiatus

My Wednesday blog posts will be taking a two week break starting today. (this doesn't count as a real post).

On June 6th they will resume with a lot of new fun stuff. (I'm pretty excited about my plans)

Ruby and the Skateboard will continue to update as usual.

Thanks all

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Building a Character: The Wicked Queen

I'm not anything like a professional character designer but when creating picture books you do your fair share. Today I'll talk you through the process I used to create the wicked queen for my upcoming Snow-White and the Seven Dwarfs ebook.

First there is always a process that goes on in my head. I think about what that character is like and how to express those traits physically. This often takes time but there isn't anything to show. It's all in my head at that point.

After I have an idea I start drawing. These are some of the first drawings I did of the queen. 

They aren't great. The characters are stiff. I was only barely thinking about the overall shape and gesture which are pretty darn important for a great character.  Things I like in these first sketches are the angular face, the flowy sleeve, and some of the other costume elements.

I kept going and here are some of the next sketches.

They are more fun. You can see I did a lot better with shape and gesture. I  also started thinking about how the queen will look when she goes to Snow-white in disguise. In the original story she goes three times in three different disguises. I started looking for a way to say "this is the queen even though it doesn't look like it".

Here is a sketch from the book of the finished character.

I decided to keep it simple and make the necklace the giveaway that we are seeing the queen.

Here she is in two of her disguises.

For more about character design I recommend the Character Design blog.  It's chalk full of artist interviews about designing characters. I've learned a lot from it, and refer back to it often.

Love this art? Buy Prints or Cards and Gifts illustrated by Manelle.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

From Thumbnail to Sketch

Weeks ago I did a couple posts about the thumbnail process. (Post 1, Post 2)

Now I'll show you how I translate the thumbnail drawing into a sketch that will later be the drawing for the final paining.

There is always a lot of stuff to figure out in the thumbnail process. I decided for this project to go with a portrait orientation because it works better for to format the eBook for all devices. After making that decision it was much easier to work out the composition for each page. (composition= how you arrange the elements on the page)

For example if we take the first part of the Snow-white story the good queen pricks her finger, there are a lot of different ways to show this. Here are some of my ideas. (also seen in previous thumbnail post #2)

I decided to go with the circled one because I liked the gesture and the framing of the queen. I also felt it was a good way to open almost like you are coming into the story through the window. The story doesn't specifically say if the queen is already pregnant but it implies she is and I went with it.

After I get the thumbnail drawing I like I draw it larger. In art school they taught us to create a rough drawing next. Basically a larger version of the thumbnail but still really rough. This process hasn't really worked for me, I needed to be more attached to what I was drawing to get something I liked in the end.

So, I usually jump into what often becomes the finished drawing. But I always have in the back of my mind that I might have to redraw the whole thing. So there is an attachment balance somewhere. I have to love it enough to put my all into the drawing, and be ready to scrap the whole thing if need be.

Here is the finished drawing that goes with this thumbnail.

There is a possibility I will make some slight changes before I go to painting but for the most part this drawing will be what becomes the final art.

Love this art? Buy Prints or Cards and Gifts illustrated by Manelle.


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