A book’s rebirth

Posted: December 17, 2015 in art style, artwork for children, Younger fiction
Tags: ,

I’m making the most of some precious free time before New Year. In between journal editing cycles and other work that comes and goes, a breather is always a chance for me to really concentrate on something else. So it’s my ‘words and illustration’ – of course.

The challenge of thumbnailing

Thumbnails have always been a problem for me because I’m the sort who invents as I go – almost the same way as I write stories. A basic idea and framework and off I go. Revision comes naturally to me as an editor, so this is the way I do everything. If I drew the required sketchy stuff for thumbnails, it would get totally altered later because I would be in a different flow when I started painting.

For this reason, I’m doing special properly illustrated thumbnails in the kind of style I want to end up using for the reprint of my out-of-print book. I’m using Photoshop, but could have easily been using Manga Studio 5 (Clip Studio Paint), it’s such a lovely program now.

Do publishers want my artwork?!

I know full well that publishers want to pair artists of their choice for any given story words. In this instance, though, I think an illustrated miniature might convince them a republish is worthwhile. Even if they dislike my art – which is quite possible! – and choose someone else. I’ve used this book in schools very successfully, including when no further copies were available. So I’m hedging my bets by illustrating. I can always self-publish.

In case you’re interested, here’s a small version of thumbnails so far. splat thumbs screenshot

Limited palette and brushes

I’m trying to stick to a limited palette and a few brushes only. In this case, these from Kyle Webster (the EP prefix is from the times I needed to find them – but they’re all his) plus occasionally the generic airbrush provided in PS:

current tools


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