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.

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

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 »

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 | Inside Buckingham Palace

By heather at 4:51 pm on Thursday, June 5, 2008

buckingham palace grand hall staircase state dining room throneroom ballroom

I just finished the last illustration for Charline & Lauren’s picturebook, “Tartan Meets the Queen.” Yippee! This one was a lot of fun drawing… I liked putting the squirrel in different places… sliding down the banister, sitting on the throne, peaking out from behind the chandellier. After drawing the illustrations in pencil (below), it was satisfying colouring in all of the “bling” with a few tinting layers of colour in Photoshop (above.)

buckingham palace grand hall staircase state dining room throneroom ballroom

So now we’re just going through doing some final edits to the book layout, then it will be off to the printers! (Read on …)

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

Tartan Meets the Queen | Buckingham Palace

By heather at 2:15 am on Wednesday, May 28, 2008

buckinghama palace illustration victoria statue

One down, one to go! Here’s the latest illustration for Charline & Lauren’s storybook, “Tartan Meets the Queen.” The illustrations for this book are all done in regular old pencil (below), then I give them a tint of colour in Photoshop (above.)

This is the first children’s book I’ve had a chance to illustrate since I joined In The Picture, a project aimed to encourage illustrators, authors & publishers to include disabled children in their books for young readers. I’ve incorporated one little girl in a funky wheelchair in this illustration as my first contribution to In The Picture. (Read on …)

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

Tartan Meets the Queen | Pointy Shoes

By heather at 4:41 pm on Friday, May 9, 2008

With only 3 illustrations left, the finish line is in sight for Charline & Lauren’s story, “Tartan Meets the Queen!” Here’s one of the most recent illustrations completed, I’m hoping to have the rest done in the next few weeks (depending on how long my baby Hera naps each day to let me draw!)
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, illustrations, childrens books, Tartan Meets the Queen2 Comments »

Tartan Meets the Queen | Teaparty

By heather at 5:47 pm on Friday, April 11, 2008

Just finished anorher illustration for Charline & Lauren’s story, “Tartan Meets the Queen.”

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, illustrations, childrens books, Tartan Meets the Queen3 Comments »

The Little Boy’s Smile | Gone to print!

By heather at 1:18 am on Thursday, April 3, 2008

I’m pretty stoked as my most recent children’s book, “The Lottle Boy’s Smile” by Tom Krause, has gone to print at Trafford! I’m not too embarrassed to say I’m proud of this book and am happy with how the illustrations turned out! I was given quite a bit of creative freedom in the project, thanks to the generous author, and I think my enjoyment in the project reflects throughout. Will post once it’s printed & available online.

Filed under: work in progress, illustrations, childrens books, The Little Boy's Smile1 Comment »

The Little Boy’s Smile | All done!

By heather at 9:49 pm on Thursday, February 14, 2008

little boy's smile illustrations acrylic roses characature

I just finished painting the last of the illustrations for Tom Krause’s “The Little Boy’s Smile” Not a day too soon as I’m taking some time off for maternity leave tomorrow! I will to leave you in suspense as to how the rest of the illustrations turned out until they are all approved & sent to the printer… but in the mean time, here are a couple of my favourites from the book  :)

little boy's smile illustrations acrylic roses characature

Filed under: work in progress, illustrations, childrens books, The Little Boy's Smile2 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 »
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