Monday, October 17, 2011

Rough Secrets

Another busy weekend has passed where I managed to get stuck into the roughs for my latest book. Of course I can't show you anything here, but I did want to share a little more about my processes.
When it comes to roughs I don't use traditional sketch paper (cartridge paper). I prefer to use Bank Paper.

It's a light 45gsm weight which means that I can trace with it really well. This is important to me because I very rarely use an eraser! Instead I usually do a series of really rough loose sketches to get a feel for a pose or a character. Then I pick one that's getting close and I trace it off with a bit more detail. If somethings not right about it, then I trace it off again making any required alterations. This process continues over and over until I get the final look I am after.

Unfortunately this often results in the use of HEAPS of paper. These are all the roughs for just for one book!

If the character is used throughout the book then I need to draw it in various poses to get a feel for how it will look and to make sure that I can comfortably redraw it to maintain consistency in the book. I really enjoy this part. Here's how I tackled a project from last year. Of course I don't always get it right first time. Sometimes there's a bit of back and forth to create something that suits every one's vision for the book.

So this is the process I am enjoying at the moment. This current book is based on one central character so I have sent off a page of various poses to the publisher illustrating the look and feel I am going for, and I will await some feedback before getting to much further down the track. Such fun!
Type Summary HereType the rest here


K said...

Okay. I'm laughing. Last week, I had to make a cover for my new book. It had been at Scholastic since mid 2009 - they wouldn't reject it, but they couldn't seem to get to dealing with it - i have no agent to push for me (never have had). So, after consulting with friends in the biz, and realizing that things are changing in my end of the industry, I decided to pull the thing and publish it myself as an Amazon ebook. This opens all kinds of questions, but a book is meant to be read, and this one is fading from neglect.

So. I had to have cover art. This is one of the things that had made me put off this decision for so long - where to get a cover? Then I decided to do it myself.

I am no artist.

I found the concept in that seam between sleep and waking and then went to the net for images - photographs - that might help me pull together the image I wanted. I ended up using myself as a model and then having to do all kinds of editing in order to make this almost 60 year old body into a slim sixteen year old one (HA).

After five solid days of work, I came up with a composite, using several photos (with permission) but taking them to pieces - and when I had the final thing put together, made a watercolor treatment of it all (again Photoshop).

I guess what I'm getting to here is that my process was oddly like yours - no tracing paper, but file after file. I'd take one, over-lay it - sometimes thinning out the layers so that I could use the lines and elements below while tailoring the new elements to fit, and to change, the original file. Then save that file as a new file. I must have a GB's worth of incremental roughs, each one minutely - sometimes extremely different in some way.

So when I saw your stack of roughs, I wondered, if mine were on paper rather than in pixels, how large my stack would have been.

Of course, in the end, my work has nothing of the lovely charm and magical line yours has, but it's satisfying to have done my own. And frankly, I like it WORLDS better than some of the covers that have been done FOR me by publishers.

have i mentioned that i love your work?

Hannah Sommerville said...

Hi,I'm your newest follower. I just found your blog and am really enjoying it so I thought I'd better pop in and say hi :)