Riley’s Lost Tooth | Off to the printer!

By heather at 2:46 pm on Friday, November 13, 2009

riley's lost tooth children's book cover fairy dogs puppies illustration watercolour

All of the hard work is done… the InDesign files are packaged, zipped, and FTP’d, and now Riley’s Lost Tooth is now in the hands of our printer! It’s been exactly twelve months to the day, from my initial quote for the illustrations, to reading the manuscript, to sketches, to watercolor painting, to layout and finally to preparing the files for the printer. Even now the journey isn’t complete as copyright has to be arranged, ISBN registered, and a myriad of checks to go through on the printer’s end before it is finally in our hands. But on my end of things the process is finished and I just have to wait patiently to see how it all turns out! While it feels like the end of the process, it’s actually just the start for this book, whose life will start once it actually hits the shelves in a few months.

Filed under: illustrations, childrens books, Riley's Lost Tooth2 Comments »

Spotty & Eddie Visit Percé | Finals underway!

By heather at 8:30 pm on Thursday, October 29, 2009

spotty eddie visit percé rock quebec baby turtle turtles sketch illustration children's book

Thought it would be fun to share a few of the finished pencil illustrations for Spotty & Eddie’s latest adventure. I’ve really enjoyed taking my time with these illustrations… the remaining illustrations will be completed by December 2009. Once I’m finished drawing all the illustrations I will go in and tint them with colour digitally in Photoshop. I’ll show a step-by-step example of Spotty & Eddie when I’m at that stage… but if you’re curious as to how to colour pencil illustrations in Photoshop, you can check out my tutorial.
spotty eddie visit percé rock quebec baby turtle turtles sketch illustration children's book

spotty eddie visit percé rock quebec baby turtle turtles sketch illustration children's book

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Spotty & Eddie Visit Percé | Rough Sketches

By heather at 9:56 pm on Tuesday, September 8, 2009

spotty eddie visit percé rock quebec sketches children's bookI’m delighted to be working with Lisa Chalifoux on the sequel to Spotty & Eddie Learn to Compromise… in this adventure, Spotty & Eddie travel with their owner to visit Percé Rock in Quebec. Having never visited Percé myself and now living in Australia, I am relying heavily on photographic reference for the surrounding areas. While inspired by Bill Guffy’s use of Googlemap’s Streetview, unfortunately I can’t use it to get a feel for the town as Google has yet to “do” Canada yet. Sigh. Anyway, here are a few snapshots of the rough sketches generated from these thumbnails and ideas. By the end of this week I will have finished the revisions Lisa has requested on the rough sketches. The final illustrations are to be done in plain old graphite pencil with digital colour applied afterwards in Photoshop… stay tuned!

spotty eddie visit percé rock quebec sketches children's book

spotty eddie visit percé rock quebec sketches children's book

spotty eddie visit percé rock quebec sketches children's book

Filed under: work in progress, sketches, childrens books, Spotty and Eddie2 Comments »

Riley’s Tooth | Sneak peek at final illustrations…

By heather at 8:00 am on Saturday, August 22, 2009

riley's tooth dogs toothfairy watercolour children's book illustrations

I’m a little over halfway through stitching together the scans of my watercolour illustrations for Riley’s Tooth, written by Diane Cantrell (Author of Good-bye, Baby Max). I’m really pleased with how the illustrations have turned out, especially since they are entirely in watercolour (a first for me as normally I switch to pencil crayon for the finer details.) Here’s a preview of three of the sixteen illustrations for Riley’s Tooth.
riley's tooth dogs toothfairy watercolour children's book illustrations

riley's tooth dogs toothfairy watercolour children's book illustrations

Filed under: work in progress, illustrations, childrens books, Riley's Lost Tooth2 Comments »

Spotty & Eddie Visit Percé | Children’s book sketch thumbnails

By heather at 8:09 am on Wednesday, August 19, 2009

spotty and eddie visit perce thumbnail sketches notes

For those who are curious about the process of starting illustrations for a children’s book, thought I’d post a scan of the first pencil-to-paper (click image to see full size) on my latest project (Spotty & Eddie Visit Percé.) The first thing I do is print off the manuscript and mark with a pencil where I think the pages should be split up. Then I sketch thumbnails of the entire layout (cover to cover,) and start making simple notes on what should go on each page… this allows me to see if the story will fit the page count, and what ideas I need to combine into the same spread.

spotty and eddie visit perce thumbnail sketches notes

After thumbnailing, I go back to my InDesign layout, drop the manuscript in there with gray FPO (for placement only) image boxes where the illustrations will go, and write in little notes of what is to go on each page… I save this out as a PDF and send it to my authors/publishers for their feedback before I delve into proper sketches.

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Riley’s Tooth | Second Watercolour Wash

By heather at 8:48 pm on Tuesday, May 19, 2009

diane cantrell riley's tooth children's book illustrations watercolour dogs puppies

Here’s a second peek at the illustrations I’m working on for Diane Cantrell’s children’s book, tentatively titled Riley’s Tooth. This is a really enjoyable stage as it’s where I make a lot of the decisions about what colours everything will be. I generally have a good idea when I start out, but finding just that right shade of colour happens when I mix the paint in the palette… for instance, I knew I wanted the fairy to have blue hair, but it wasn’t until I started mixing colours that I came up with the idea to paint her hair with aqua streaks to mimmick a swirl of toothpaste.

I like to try new things with each new children’s book, and with these illustrations I am emphasizing textures with watercolour techniques such as salting (to give clothing/fabrics interesting textures) and dropping clear water to create flowers in the colour (for magical sparkles around the tooth fairy.) These photos I took over a week ago, and since then the paintings are much more detailed. Will try to post another peek soon!

p.s. You may have noticed the big pink dog… I like to bring sub-stories (secondary visual stories within the illustrations that aren’t in the original manuscript) into illustrations as they are fun for kids to spot, things such as having bugs doing silly things in the background. This sub-story is that one of the dogs really doesn’t like the tooth fairy, and tries to swat it with a fly swatter… only to get magically turned into a fluffy, pink puff-dog for the rest of the book!
diane cantrell riley's tooth children's book illustrations watercolour dogs puppies

diane cantrell riley's tooth children's book illustrations watercolour dogs puppies

diane cantrell riley's tooth children's book illustrations watercolour dogs puppies

You can see some of the finished sketches for Riley’s Tooth in this previous post.

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Riley’s Tooth | First Watercolour Wash

By heather at 9:03 pm on Tuesday, April 28, 2009

diane cantrell riley's tooth children's book illustrations watercolour dogs puppies

Here’s another sneak peak at the illustrations I’m working on for Diane Cantrell’s new story, Riley’s Tooth. I’m working with watercolours on Arches medium watercolour paper which I’ve taped down onto masonite board. I’ve just finished painting the first layer, and am moving onto building up the layers of colour and detail. I always enjoy the loose first wash of colour… the crazier it looks initially the better once you go over and tighten up the details.

diane cantrell riley's tooth children's book illustrations watercolour dogs puppies

diane cantrell riley's tooth children's book illustrations watercolour dogs puppies

diane cantrell riley's tooth children's book illustrations watercolour dogs puppies

You can see some of the finished sketches for Riley’s Tooth in this previous post.

Filed under: work in progress, illustrations, childrens books, Riley's Lost Tooth1 Comment »

Tartan Meets the Queen | Letter from the Queen!

By heather at 8:52 pm on Wednesday, April 15, 2009

tartan_letter_queen.jpg

I got a kick out of this… Charline & Lauren mailed a copy of our children’s book, Tartan Meets the Queen, to “THE” Queen of England. And what’s better, they received a letter back from The Queen’s Lady-In-Waiting!

Tartan Meets the Queen is available online at Trafford.com

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Sneak Peek at Riley’s Tooth

By heather at 9:26 pm on Wednesday, April 1, 2009

diane cantrell riley's tooth dogs toothfairy lost teeth children's book

I have the pleasure of working for a second time with Diane Cantrell, author of Mom’s Choice Award winning picture book, Good-bye Baby Max. The title of our latest picture book is yet to be set, but I can tell you the story is about three pups who don’t quite grasp the concept of the Tooth Fairy and try in earnest to find their owner’s first lost tooth. I’ve just finished up the sketches… here are a handful to have a sneak peek at! The finals will be in watercolour & pencil on Arches paper. I transferred the sketches with an Artograph a couple nights ago, so once I’ve taped the paper down to masonite boards I will start painting, yippee!
diane cantrell riley's tooth dogs toothfairy lost teeth children's book

diane cantrell riley's tooth dogs toothfairy lost teeth children's book

diane cantrell riley's tooth dogs toothfairy lost teeth children's book

diane cantrell riley's tooth dogs toothfairy lost teeth children's book

diane cantrell riley's tooth dogs toothfairy lost teeth children's book

diane cantrell riley's tooth dogs toothfairy lost teeth children's book

diane cantrell riley's tooth dogs toothfairy lost teeth children's book

Filed under: work in progress, sketches, childrens books, Good-bye Baby Max, Riley's Lost Tooth5 Comments »

Tartan Meets the Queen | Golden Scribe Award Winner

By heather at 8:13 pm on Friday, March 20, 2009

Charline Crous excitedly dropped me a note this week to say our children’s book, Tartan Meets the Queen, won first place in Trafford Publishing’s First Annual Golden Scribe Award competition! Tartan Meets the Queen is available online at Trafford.com

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