Thursday, March 01, 2007

Busy Times...

What a week! Friday, after my post, I went into a frenzy of sketching so that when the author came by that evening, I had everything ready to go. He loved the rough pencils and couldn’t wait to see the results in colour...





Most of the weekend was spent drawing and painting. My hands were tired by the end of it all, but I was very satisfied! This time, when I began to get scared, I just kept drawing or painting. I refused to indulge in a panic party because I just didn’t have the time! It was also much easier this time to truly understand that this IS my style. That is what my hands produce and so that is what I need to showcase.

The two character sketches were done with coloured pencil, brush markers and inked outlines. I showed Owen in his dinosaur jammies...



and then “Butch” the dinosaur when he is crying during one scene.



After those were done, I transferred the sketch of the main scene to watercolour paper and soaked it before attaching it down to the board. When I went looking for my roll of special tape to seal off the edges (and help the paper stay flat) it was nowhere to be found and by then the stores were all closed... so I just got out the staple gun and anchored it as best as I could. It meant a few more waves in the final painting but I can probably press them out if they ever decided to use this. Here’s how it turned out:



And here’s the page guide overlaying it to show how much of the image will actually be on the page (a bit more actually since it is painted at 110%)



So Monday morning, the copies went off with the manuscript and some other samples. Of course they may not accept either, they may assign their own illustrator, they may just tell us to go on a LONG fossil hunting trip... you just never know unless you take that chance.

What I did learn is that the pro artists at DragonCon were absolutely right. The more you do, the easier it gets.

The minute the envelope got off, a huge graphics assignment came in that has eaten most of my waking hours since then and is now in the final proof stage. Since March Break starts tomorrow, the timing is perfect. I plan to do ABSOLUTELY nothing work related (and maybe not even a blog entry) for the duration of the break. With flu and project deadlines, school assignments, colds, meetings, spelling bees and essay awards, February has left us all feeling just a wee bit frazzled. It is time to just be a family!

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

As I read the last bit, I imagined your 'dragon family' taking wing and flying off to a quiet place together ... enjoy your rest ... the illustrations look amazing! What a gift you have ...

Geri said...

... and a gift you are (sorry .. I hit enter too soon :) )

Erica said...

Your illustrations are simply magnificent Jen - as they always are.

Thank you so much for sharing so much of yourself here in this blog. It is so inspiring and heart-warming to hear and see you work.

Enjoy your March break!

Pam B said...

I can't wait until this book comes out with your illustrations. :) I love reading about your hectic family/work life as it makes mine seem not so extrodinary with being busy.

Adana said...

It's been a while since I've checked in here, but I was thrilled to see you drawing dinos. I have a grandson who is a dinosaur freak and if this is a book, I'll just have to have one for him. Beautiful work.