Wednesday, August 03, 2011


Happy hump day everyone! It's Wednesday, it's still summer, and it's not boiling hot out at 9 am which is a nice change.

After 3 weeks of working in house at a company freelancing for them, I'm back home, doing my own thing (mainly finishing a children's book for my friend Janeil). I haven't yet posted photos, but why not? Just a few though (a teaser until I get the printed thing!).

Cover and back page sketch

Page 6 - 7 sketch

These are the sketches I did for the cover page/back page, and then the inside page 4-5.
Cover and back page finished illustration - chalk pastel

Page 6 and 7 finished illustration - chalk pastel

This book has been a challenge! My friend wanted me to do this originally in oil pastels but as I'm not super skilled in that medium, I asked her about dry pastels, and she agreed. Even with pastel pencils, I found it really difficult to get the little details, but I did it. You see the woman in the above illustration? Her face was really hard to get (pastel pencils didn't allow me to do super fine details) and she ended up with a frown instead of the smile she had in the sketch! haha To achieve the rough, painterly look, I used 140 lb Arches rough watercolour paper, and I think that probably was the biggest mistake ever. Not only is it the roughest paper ever, but each illustration took me twice as long to do because I had to fill all the grooves! I could spend an hour just blending the colour into the paper so the white 'dots' wouldn't be visible anymore. Thankfully out of 28 illustrations, I'm down to 2 2-page spreads left and the back page portrait of my friend and me which is less than halfway done. 

I've learned so much doing this project! For one,  I should have learned how to paint a suggested sky instead of the whole thing...

You see how there's only a hint of blue in the sky to suggest it's there?? I didn't learn that I could do this until more than half of my illustrations were finished. Next time though! :)


  1. Did you use your fingers to help you blend the colours into the paper? I find that they are better than any of the tools out there for blending... also using white chalk on areas that you want to keep clean is a great trick as well.
    Try Stonehenge paper next time, its heavy and smooth but with tooth to grab the chalk.
    It looks great though! 'grats!

  2. Thanks! I do sometimes use my fingers, although I do have a smudging tool. The paper was a friend's suggestion, and I believe next time I'll try a smoother paper ;)