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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sketching in Red

The past two weeks have been bustling with new full-time work, but I've been setting aside mornings to do some thinking on children's illustration. Forthwith: A series of sketches that I regard as "old-school red," which is sort of coming out of this page here from a while back.

First, I was playing with ideas for a first scene from the Red Ridinghood story. So here are some thumbnails, along with a page in which I was dithering over her look. If you click on the page, you can get a closeup of those little thumbnails on the left, but be prepared: They're ugly!

Next came a page on which I gave myself a choice between two looks. The left side was sort of cutesy-poignant. The right side hewed to the original portrait. I liked it better. Incidentally, see where the cat's face bumps right up to the line of the table leg? That's what we here in illustration call a "tangent," and this type of tangent is an E-R-R-O-R. Tangents can be used in a purposeful way. This one was an accident, and it's bad because it causes a weird little hiccup for the viewer when he or she is looking at the illustration.

Having decided on the more individualized, portraitlike Red, I just played with drawing her in different ways. I still need to work on studies in which she shows more instantly recognizable expressions. I find that while I'm drawing here, she seems determined to have a quiet strength and to be a bit reserved. In some ways, she reminds me of The Lonely Doll, and I think I want to make some of that go away. But I'm starting to see how she comes to life.

And finally — in terms of this blog post, not in terms of this little mini-project — I put her in a scene. It could be turned into a finished illustration, or I could decide on something different.

1 comment:

Kay said...

these are really fun to see. I have been trying to come up with ideas for a children's book about the Timpanogos Cave national monument where I work in the summers. I run the bookstore and there is nothing specific about the cave or park for children. The company I work for publishes regional material but that is not enough. I really think I see many little books not only about this park but others too. I have never done a children's book so your postings have been really interesting to me! I am flying to Akron on the 27th to visit my Mom and hoping to take her on the train ride through Cuyahoga Valley National park. She lives very close to there..I want to gather info for a book about there too!