The Little Boy’s Smile | Step-by-Step Painting

By heather at 7:07 pm on Thursday, December 6, 2007

little boy smile children's book illustrations acrylic

I just finished the first illustration for Tom Krause’s story, “The Little Boy’s Smile.” I thought I’d share my work-in-progress for the acrylic painting and took scans every hour or two as I was painting… check them out below going backwards to the original sketch!

One super time-saving method I’ve developed is painting right on top of my sketches. I don’t paint over my original pencil sketches, as I like to keep those, and also the graphite would likely lift off and taint the paint. So what I do is :

  • • Scan the original sketches
  • • Tint the sketches to sepia in Photoshop using actions (so they show through as a warm tone under the paint)
  • • Place them into the book’s InDesign layout with the text so that I can make sure the illustrations don’t interfere with the text, gutter, and that nothing is getting clipped off in the bleed
  • • Print out the InDesign layout at full size (text & all, with cropmarks too!) on printer paper (80% Recycled was all I could find here in OZ!)
  • • Trim the pages down
  • • Glue them to the cold-press illustration board (I used an entire large Bostik Blustick ACMI AP Approved gluestick… and was sure to recycle the empty casing!), then use a wood-cut ink roller to smooth the pages down so there are no wrinkles
  • • Once it has dried, I paint right on top of this paper! The lovely thing about acrylic is that it doesn’t eat away or dammage the surface of the paper, so you don’t need to coat the paper with a sealant first (as you would with oils.)

So, I save a day or two of transfering the sketches by hand to the illustration board, and also maintian the integrity of my original sketches. It also makes painting text a dream (such as on the sign), as you just paint over top of the text placed on your illustration. It gives the text a warmer feel than just placing it on top in the InDesign file later.
little boy smile children's book illustrations acrylic

little boy smile children's book illustrations acrylic

little boy smile children's book illustrations acrylic

little boy smile children's book illustrations acrylic

little boy smile children's book illustrations acrylic

Filed under: work in progress, childrens books, The Little Boy's Smile

9 Comments »

1
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Comment by Joefrey Mahusay

December 6, 2007 @ 11:12 pm

Great Job!

2
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Comment by Damien

December 7, 2007 @ 9:11 pm

That looks fabulous Heather, the best illustration of yours i’ve seen so far. The colours are spectacular. Congrats :)

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Comment by Jan Hackett

January 30, 2008 @ 12:32 pm

You do beautiful work. How did you get started in children’s book illustration?

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Comment by fafa

July 18, 2008 @ 9:22 pm

good,,, very nice effort,,,

5
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Pingback by blog.illustrationcastle.com » The Little Boy’s Smile | Sketches

August 7, 2008 @ 3:02 pm

[…] Well, I’ve been a bit negligent blogging the last few weeks as I’ve been working hard on the sketches for Tom Krause’s children’s book, “The Little Boy’s Smile.” It’s a fantastic story, about a little boy who moves to Frown Town where all everyone does is frown… and you guessed it, he just doesn’t fit in because he smiles all the time! Now that the sketches are approved, I’m setting up the final illustrations and working on the first colour proof. The finals will be in acrylic on illustration board, so bright, vibrant colours. So check back, I’ll be posting my work-in-progress as I’m building up the layers of my acrylic paintings. […]

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Pingback by blog.illustrationcastle.com » The Little Boy’s Smile | Another Sneak Peak

August 7, 2008 @ 3:42 pm

[…] The Little Boy’s Smile | Step-by-step painting […]

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Pingback by blog.illustrationcastle.com » The Little Boy’s Smile | One last sneak peak

August 7, 2008 @ 3:47 pm

[…] The Little Boy’s Smile | Step-by-step painting […]

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Comment by WetPhesee

April 28, 2010 @ 4:54 pm

It’s really well done! Respect to author.

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Comment by Preston Racette

December 25, 2010 @ 8:57 pm

Great post! Keep them comming!

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