Sketchbook Pro | finger painting study of feet

By heather at 1:24 am on Monday, October 4, 2010

sketchbookpro1.jpg

My second go using Sketchbook Pro (my first go being to digitally colour this scanned pen illustration) was fun, just did a study of my feet while watching the tv (yes, they are bare in the winter, yes I am pregnant!) This is the first time I’ve done something painterly with digital medium and was pleased with how it turned out… but was a bit more awkward this time around using my finger to draw with, especially for finer details, so am looking forward to picking up a stylus.

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Camping at Bookie Cliffs, SA

By heather at 1:31 am on Friday, February 5, 2010

heather castles bookie cliffs watercolour landscape

We often go camping on the Murray River in Berri, SA at Bookie Cliffs… the water’s as brown and murky as can be, but being the only fresh water to swim in around here, not to mention the beautiful red and yellow cliff face, it’s a welcome change of scenery. Last weekend when we made the trip again, I brought along my watercolours and managed to squeeze in an hour long study of the cliffs. I don’t get many chances to study landscapes on site, was fun making the most of Hera’s naptime! After that, Hera was very keen to “paint” with mommy on the beach, and that I paint “e mama bear e baby bear” holding “hands.” I even had a bit of fun sketching her while she enthusiastically flipped through my Australian bird guide…. until she noticed that what I was doing was more interesting than what she was doing and insisted that I draw her “hand,” which I was all to happy to oblige.

heather castles hera baby camping sketch

heather castles hera baby camping sketch

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Spotty & Eddie Visit Percé | Before & After Colour

By heather at 6:03 am on Friday, December 18, 2009

spotty eddie visit percé rock quebec sketches children's book

spotty eddie visit percé rock quebec sketches children's book

Am about halfway through digitally colouring my pencil illustrations for Spotty & Eddie’s latest adventure by Lisa M. Chalifoux… wanted to share a couple before and afters of my illustrations (clicking on them will bring up a larger image). The colouring has been going very quickly thanks to my new Wacom tablet… I bought my first one this summer and taught myself how to use it, so this is the first big project I’ve used it on. And I LOVE it. Also, here is a snapshot of how the layout is turning out in the InDesign file… I find it helps dropping in the colour illustrations into the layout as I go so that I can make sure the colours balance nicely.

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, illustrations, childrens books, business of illustration, Spotty and Eddie3 Comments »

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

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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 »

India sketches | hand in hand

By heather at 4:12 am on Saturday, August 9, 2008

india sketches rajasthan sari pencil illustration

I really enjoyed reminiscing while drawing this illustration… it’s from a photo Ben took of me in India being guided by an old widow through the Abhaneri wells in Rajasthan. Illustration is done with a graphite pencil, white pencil, and light blue pencil on a piece of warm coloured scrap paper, which really makes the blue of her sari pop out.

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India Inspired

By heather at 5:46 pm on Thursday, August 7, 2008

india sketches udaipur elephant rajasthan mountain city palace

I’m taking a little break from my pen & digital colour drawings of Hera’s stuff and doing some sketches from photos we took on our trip to India last year. This sketch is of a bunch of different memories of our time in Udaipur.

Filed under: sketches, illustrations1 Comment »

I Heart Michael Cera

By heather at 3:51 pm on Friday, February 8, 2008

michael cera fan art illustration sketch juno

I actually had time last night to just doodle a little fan art in front of the tv (being nine months pregnant has its perks!) Thought I’d share with the world that I just love Michael Cera… fell in love with him when he played awkward teenager George Michael Bluth in Arrested Development (best… show… ever…) and have enjoyed following his acting career since. From the web series Clark & Michael to the lovable flick Juno, the Canadian actor brings an adorable man-child sincerity to his characters.

Filed under: inspiration, sketches, illustrations4 Comments »

Tartan Meets the Queen | First few illustrations…

By heather at 7:32 pm on Friday, February 1, 2008

tartan queen elizabeth children's book illustrations

Today I finished four of the 12 illustrations for children’s book “Tartan Meets the Queen,” by Charline Crous & Lauren Everton… thought I’d share a sneak peak!

tartan queen elizabeth children's book illustrations

So these illustrations start out as just plain old graphite pencil drawings (above), and I tint them with colour digitally in Photoshop.

tartan queen elizabeth children's book illustrations

I’m LOVING the new paper I’m using for this book, it’s a very smooth, white bristol-type board… much nicer to draw with pencil on than cold-press illustration board.

tartan queen elizabeth children's book illustrations

tartan queen elizabeth children's book illustrations

I also discovered a new favourite tool… the Staedtler “Mars rasor” eraser pencil with brush. It’s one of those hard erasers, and it’s lovely because I can sharpen it to erase those tiny little details that are hard to get crisp with a kneaded or rubber eraser.

staedtler mars rasor pencil eraser

To see other posts on “Tartan Meets the Queen,” check out :

“Tartan Meets the Queen” © Charline Crous & Lauren Everton, Illustrations © Heather Castles

Filed under: work in progress, sketches, illustrations, childrens books, Tartan Meets the Queen2 Comments »

Tartan Meets the Queen | Sketches

By heather at 3:13 am on Friday, January 25, 2008

tartan queen elizabeth children's book illustration pencil sketch

My sketches have just been approved for “Tartan Meets the Queen,” by Charline Crous & Lauren Everton… can’t wait to start the finals! Here is a sneak peak at a few of the spreads from the story. I plan to illustrate these with regular old graphite pencil on paper first… then I’ll scan, and colour the illustrations digitally with Photoshop (check out my easy tutorial here.)

tartan queen elizabeth children's book illustration pencil sketch

tartan queen elizabeth children's book illustration pencil sketch

tartan queen elizabeth children's book illustration pencil sketch

To see other posts on Tartan Meets the Queen, check out :

Filed under: work in progress, sketches, childrens books, Tartan Meets the Queen1 Comment »
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