For more information on books by Lorraine Dey visit…
This month I thought I’d talk a little about the differences of digital vector art and digital raster art and why I choose one style over the other when illustrating a project. Most of my children’s book art is done in Adobe Photoshop as raster digital files. I choose this style for a more painted look to the finished art. Using a Wacom tablet and stylus pen, I literally paint the image in a style of brush strokes similar to my traditional painting style in hopes of not looking too digitally produced.
Pages 6 and 7 from a picture book, “The Rain Forest Party” written and illustrated by Lorraine Dey and available in the Fall of 2011 from Raven Tree Press.
I almost always create a pencil sketch first. Then I scan the sketch to a digital JPG file on the computer and use the sketch as a basis for painting in the color and details in layers over the sketch. Most of the work I create for istockphoto as royalty-free licensed art is done as a vector digital file. I create a large amount of work in vector style with Adobe Illustrator CS for freelance clients as well. Here is a vector chef that was commissioned by T.Marzetti Company for use on their website as well as large display signs. A vector file is scalable to any size without losing clarity therefore it was a perfect choice for this project. The style was requested by the client.
Both styles will begin as a sketch that is scanned into the computer before beginning final work on the illustration. Vector art is perfect for technical and educational work such as instructional illustrations and charts. The clean, sharp edges and ability to scale to any size make it ideal for everything from web icons to full size bill boards or vehicle graphics.
Here is a tutorial on using the Pen Tool in Adobe Illustrator… The basics of vector illustration.
Here is a quick and simple vector tutorial video…Light Ribs.
Here is a high-speed video of a raster digital painting being produced… Spider Man.
For more instruction on creating digital illustration images in various programs try a visit to Lynda.com Enjoy!
click on image above to get a PDF file.
A resource for illustrators.
For many, the switch to digital illustration is one that takes some getting used to. One of the issues that often comes up is how to get the same natural colors which traditionally came from mixing paint colors. Here are some tips on setting up your palate for a digital painting. Also, check out this article on the differences between RGB screen color vs CMYK process print color.
I find that you really need to look closer at actual colors in small blocks. If you are painting a shadow on the snow for example, take a close look at that shadow in real life first. Remember your traditional training and get out there and do some live paint sketches. Forget for a moment what the subject is that you are looking at and look only at a small area of the object, (such as a shadow in the snow) as if you were going to match a paint swatch. You may be surprised to find out that you will have to add an awful lot of blue in there that you never thought was there. Our minds want to believe that a color should be what we think it is.
Here is a closer look at choosing colors.
If you work from photos, you can try this experiment… Grab a JPG file of any photo that you like. In Photoshop, use your eye-dropper tool to select from a small area on an object in the photo. You may have to select a few times since you may be selecting from a tiny pixel that is actually darker or lighter than the pixel next to it in the same color area. Select with the eye dropper until the color block in your tool palate shows a swatch that pretty much matches the overall look of the object. Now you have a starting point for painting in your base color for that object. Add this color to your set up palate that you are building. Select from various objects and areas of the image, filling the color blocks in your pallet until you feel you have enough colors, (digital paint) to work with.
Check out some great tips and watch illustrator Jason Seiler paint digitally in his Schoolism Class.
Below you can see the differences in color appearance between RGB and CMYK digital color especially in the greens and reds. RGB version is on the left and the CMYK version on the right.
It’s usually a good idea to set up your color palate before beginning work on a painting, (the same as in traditional painting). I create a separate pallet file and fill square blocks of color with the basic color theme I will be using. There are color swatch sample themes on websites such as Kuler But I like to create my own. Sometimes I will pick colors from a photo image that I particularly like the feel or mood of. I will use the eye dropper tool to select from various areas of the image, creating my color palate based on the color theme of the photo. Photoshop allows for you to make adjustments to your color but it will work out best if you start your painting using the colors that are as close to what you are looking for. You will want to keep in mind the end use for the image. If it will be reproduced for printing purposes such as a children’s picture book, you will want to work in CMYK mode. If you work in RGB mode on an image that will be in print, you will wind up with a completely different look to the color when you convert it later from RGB to CMYK. Avoid the surprises and start out in CMYK. Happy painting!
click on image above to get a PDF file.
A central hub for illustration resources.
In my last post I mentioned that I had submitted my first written manuscript to the publisher. Well it looks like this year I will be starting out 2010 as an author/illustrator! Happy New Year!
Raven Tree Press has contracted my book “Hector-Armando’s Big Rain Forest Party”, (working title). It is scheduled for a Fall 2011 release and I will be spending this year creating all of the illustrations for this book about a little armadillo. I plan to keep a journal as both the author and illustrator, and will include information on the “process” in future posts. This first post is where I start working… the rough story boards and cover designs.
This means I have to come up with sketches of the scenes to be depicted on each spread and also the front and back covers. I will put the roughs together following the page sequence that they are to appear in the book. This small mini version of the book is called a book dummy or mock-up. I had been making sketches and little rough scribbles as I was writing the book. Now I need to bring it to the next level so the publisher can see what I have in mind for the entire book layout. Here’s an interesting look into the process and What Happens inside a Children’s Publishing Company.
(This is a very rough initial draft of a cover possibility and it will likely change before the final art is produced).
Here is my journaling so far for anyone interested in how this whole process looks and how long it takes…
Dec. 21, 2009 – Submitted manuscript to publisher. (This is a publisher I have already worked with. It would take much longer if you are submitting to a new publisher)
Jan. 12, 2010 – Received an email from publisher… Lorraine,
“Exciting news! People at our home offices love your book proposal. I have just gotten a green light to offer you a contract for the book and to establish a production schedule with you.”
My Schedule: The first thing I will need to focus on now is finalizing the rough story boards and book dummy. If I were to have submitted this manuscript to a publisher I never worked with before, I would have created a dummy book to submit along with the manuscript. And possibly a finished spread or two to go along with it.
Feb. 28th – Rough covers and story boards are due to the publisher
Mar. 15th – Final cover art is due to the publisher
April 15th – Final Illustrated spreads 1 – 3, (pages 3 to 7) due to publisher
Aug. 15th – Final Illustrated spreads 4 – 7, (pages 8 to 15) due to publisher
Sept. 30th – Final Illustrated spreads 8 – 11, (pages 16 to 23) due to publisher
Nov. 15th – Final illustrated spreads 12 – 16, (pages 24 to 32) due to publisher
Fall 2011 – One year later, the tentative publishing release date for “Hector-Armando’s Big Rain Forest Party”
I am very excited to illustrate my very own picture book this year. I look forward to sharing the progress with you here on my blog each month. For a look at my first illustrated picture book that I completed last year, “A Sweater for Duncan”, visit the FB fan page.
click on image above to get a PDF file.
A weekly opportunity for Illustrators to showcase their work.