Goodbye, Baby Max | First Watercolour Wash

By heather at 11:21 am on Tuesday, December 5, 2006

I am working on Diane Cantrell’s children’s book “Good-bye, Baby Max”, and she has kindly let me post the progress of her story as I’m illustrating it! This is a warm story about a kindergarten class who learn to deal with grief in different ways, when one of their baby chicks doesn’t hatch. Written in prose, this story was a challenge to illustrate just because it is dealing with an entire class with several characters. Materials to be used : watercolour & coloured pencil on cold-press illustration board.

Technique : Because I couldn’t use a light table to transfer the sketch to the final paper from behind (the illustration board is too thick), I purchased an artograph Tracer and found that very helpful to transfer & scale up to the correct size from my small sketches. I’m laying down the warmest colours first, as working with skin tones can be tricky to keep warm & clean and I find this has been the easiest way to do both. The colours will be much warmer & friendly on the pages where the kids are happy, and cool colours to give things a more serious tone on the pages where the kids are dealing with grief. Lighting will be in most cases from behind or from a bright side source to give some interesting shadows. The next step will be to go over with one more wash before using pencil, as these will be very tonal illustrations and I want to make sure all the bodies & structure are just right by shading with pencil first and layering the watercolour on after.

Filed under: work in progress, childrens books, tutorials, Good-bye Baby Max


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Comment by Robin Krause

December 7, 2006 @ 10:43 am

WOW!! Beautiful pictures and such a touching story. I look forward to seeing the book in print!

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September 3, 2008 @ 3:38 pm

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