Work starts on the book

Posted: December 9, 2015 in artwork for children, process
Tags: , , , ,

The first thing I have to do to begin illustrating my out-of-print children’s book is think about style. I thought it would be designing the little boy, Benj. But actually, I can’t start on that till I know which style I want to do the illustrations in.

The original publication of Splat! was illustrated by Paula Martyr. I never met her, but Hamish Hamilton sent me a few choices/samples from various illustrators to have a look at and I remember picking hers out. At the time I think I wanted the gentle pastel look, and certainly the figures in her samples must have appealed. From her other books, of course. So Paula it was. Here is her first page for Splat!

 

Splat! original page 5

Words Eleanor Patrick, illustration Paula Martyr

That was 1991 and this is 2015. In between, the book has been hugely useful to me in school visits where I have been asked to do younger classes too – ones not suitable for my Lothian Dragon books for 8s-12s. Obviously I’ve had to use large print-outs of the main pictures as it’s o.o.p. and  not been able to sell copies for a few years now.

The gap between then and now has seen children looking ever older and images becoming slicker. I’m definitely going for the older because the book is in the Cartwheel series aimed at those who’ve started reading – probably rising 6s if you think about it. Or else having it read to them. It should maybe always have had an older feel.

Plus I want a more edgy, messy look. More energy. I tried scanning in pencil work but the figure turned cartoony. So I started again directly on screen with a digital pencil from Kyle Webster called Animator Pencil New and found it worked comfortably like my real scrawled biro sketches. Bingo. So this is how things look now. Note the now. It could change 🙂

Screen Shot page 5 EP blog

I’m always happy to have likes, but if you have an opinion, I’d love to hear it now before I progress!

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