This illustration was for the cover of a book catalog (QPB). I was asked to come up with some summertime scenes focusing on reading. I worked with QPB quite regularly so they were comfortable with seeing rough initial sketches. Mom reading by the glow of lightning bugs was my favorite but the fishing cover got the final nod.
2. Final pencil
The intial sketch is redrawn for final approval.
3. Line art
Once approved the final pencil is placed into illustrator and traced. Line weights are varied to better define the characters. Grays are used to fill the lineart and draw the background.
4. Flat color
The artwork is then filled in with flat color. Sometimes gradients are used as in the bodies of the fish and the water.
5. Adding highlights, shadows, and coloring outlines
My favorite part. At this point the artwork finally starts to come to life. Paths are drawn for highlights and shadows.
This side by side shows how all the little details make a big difference.
After adding all the highlights and shadows to the background the Illustrator file is brought into Photoshop. Here I'll add any textures and usually adjust the overall color of the scene.
7. FInal cover
What happened to the sunset you ask? The client thought the colors of the sunset were more autumnal as opposed to summer so I had to go back in and revise the art as a nice, bright sunny day. Lucky I keep those illustrator files handy:)
In June I had a great time talking to some first grade art classes about being an illustrator.
Mrs. Kaisla, the art teacher, gave the kids an assignment: draw a comic strip. As an example for the class I drew a comic strip of a frog eating a fly.
Amazing comics of conquest and carnage came from the imaginations of these first graders. Zombie cats eating people, wolves devouring girls stuck in trees, sharks attacking swimmers.. you get the idea. In the other classes when drawing my frog strip I made sure the fly got away...
This was a fun 2-page scene search for Clubhouse Jr. magazine.