12 May 2006

How To Make A Book part five: Drawing & Painting the Illustrations

(This series of posts starts with part one and continues with parts two, three and four)

This post, as befits the subject, will be more pictures than words.

Armed with my story board and my list of required illustrations, I decide which illustration to tackle next then start out by making a rough pencil drawing onto watercolour paper.


The pencil drawing is then inked with various sizes of waterproof ink pen, refining and improving the original pencil sketch, then the pencil is rubbed out with a mouldable putty rubber.



The drawing is then attached to a rigid board with masking tape and painted with gouache watercolour. If you check out my flickr thingy by clicking on the next image, you'll find 20 photos showing each stage of the painting but I've just used a handful of them here. The basic rules (which I nearly always get wrong at some point) are work your way from light colours to dark, top left to bottom right (unless you're left handed).


When the painting's done, it's left until completely dry. If any of the lines have become indistinct under the paint, these are re-inked. Finally, the completed illustration is removed from the rigid board and scanned.

The whole process can take anything from an hour to a couple of days depending on the size and complexity of the image. I have a (much regretted and fought against) tendency to overpaint a lot of stuff, especially during this project, so everything probably took a good deal longer than it should have.

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