Illustration Process

Painting process

I was always fascinated with the  stories on Mr. Roger’s neighborhood that showed how things were made. I learned how they made crayons, furniture, blue jeans, and all kinds of everyday items.  If you enjoy the process of things as they develop into the final result, you may like this post.

My illustrations begin with a sketch in pencil on a sketch pad.  Then I re-draw the design on watercolor paper.  I determine the color scheme of the painting and carefully apply watercolor paint.  After the paint is applied, depending on the shadows involved and what I want to emphasise in the work, I include minimal ink outlines to define the illustration.  This inserted photo shows the sketch and watercolor steps.  I will show the later part of this process next week.

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In Process

I have always had lofty, pie-in-the-sky thoughts of floating on the sea of an easy children’s illustration career.  HAH! And double HAH! This is not to say that it is not attainable, nor that I am one to give up easily when the process gets tough.  But I am finding that just like Michael Jordan makes a lay-up look graceful and easy, a good author and illustrator makes their work seamingly easy.

Building a book is similar to building a house.  You need to have a solid structure in place before you can decorate it.  Here is a picture of the storyline idea for my first book.  There will be changes and adjustments as I learn to format the correct way.  Guidelines include a specific number of pages, page proportions, and proper flow of the story married with exciting illustrations.

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Time to Grow

When I was a young girl I had a favorite pair of jeans.  These jeans fit just right and were so comfortable. I always new I could rely on them.  That is why I hated it when they became “high waters”.  The hem-line no longer graced the level of my ankles but now threatened the higher elevation of the calf area.  The waist size, well lets just say “snug” was a mild description.  It wasn’t the pants’ fault that they were too small.  I was a child growing into a young lady.  My old clothes didn’t fit and it was time to wear something new.

There are times in our lives when we get so comfortable in what we do, what we trust, and in who we are.  It is just like that favorite pair of jeans.  We like what we have, we don’t want to change, we don’t want a challenge to overcome, we don’t want to trust that there is something else for us.  We grieve the loss of the familiar and continue to try to sqeeze ourselves into what no longer fits for us, and it is very uncomfortable.

What we don’t realize is that there is something better around the corner.  We are designed to continue growing, (I am not refering to muffin-tops).  There are always lessons to learn and tough choices to be made, it is what makes us stronger. Change is hard, but it is time to get out of those little girl pants and wear what is more fitting. Time to explore your dreams, learn to fly, to go… where no man has gone before…oops, sorry,  that is another subject.

I don’t know about you, but I am putting away those patch-worked low-rise bell bottoms with the purple tassle belt.  I will laugh as my girls wear them for “Hippy Day” at school.  I will choose to trust that there is something new for me, something more fitting.  Perhaps it requires stretch fabric and hidden tummy support, but I can really style it up with that purple tassle belt! (Around my left thigh!)

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