It’s been ages since I’ve posted anything… I’ve been sidelined by other work but I’m back at it now and here’s a photo of the process so far. I’ve put all the sketches together in storyboard format and made notations, mainly as reminders for myself, but also as sketch translation notes to the publisher and editor as a few of of my scribbles are only decipherable by me, and some elements will only become apparent later on in the colour work. Some notes also came from my meeting with the editor in mid-April (along the line of things to watch out for/things to emphasis/elements to revisit/places to tie the illustrations more directly to the text). The notes also plot out colour transitions/time of day, etc, for when I get into the colour stage. I’ve printed out a hard copy to tape to the wall above my workspace and will continue to add notes/ideas/etc to it as the project progresses.
At this point, I’ve also roughed in the text to give myself a better idea of where I’ll need to leave a bit more breathing room for text blocks and where I might be able to achieve a nicer interplay between text and illustration. There are definitely illustrations that don’t play nice with the text block and I’ll need to rework those compositions. Ultimately the text should be part of the composition, rather than an occupant of a hole left in the illustration. I’ll continue to lay text into the illustrations as the drawings progress to check that I haven’t ‘accidentally’ filling up my text area with drawing. It happens. It’s amazing what one can forget when one’s working while tired.
My next stage is final drawings – but first, I’ll do a couple of rough colour comps to give my publisher (and myself) a concrete idea of what I had in mind. The colour comps will be smaller than the final illustrations, and based pretty tightly on the roughs, without any reworking of things. Once I hit final drawing stage things might change a bit. Nothing drastic – but when a double page spread is enlarged from a 4 1/2″ x 12″ sketch, the composition doesn’t always hold up and there is also is much more room to flesh out details.