Saturday, September 26, 2015

Picture Book Sketches (part 3)

Title: Maas and the Abandoned Orchestra
Size: Each frame is 4 and 1/2 by 3 inches
This week's picture book features a kitten named Maas and his adventures through an abandoned orchestra pit. Writing first worked so well last week that I decided to try it again. My sister suggested I write a story that included plenty of instruments, so I decided to use an orchestra.

This story was fun to draw because of all the proportions. It's one thing to draw an instrument, but another to try and make them the right size. I also enjoyed looking for reference photos of kittens. :P

Friday, September 25, 2015

Whimsical Watercolor - 18th Century Owl

Title: Eighteenth Century Owl
Size: 7 by 5 inches
This week I wanted to do something a little more whimsical. It's been a while since I did something a silly piece. And so I bring you.... A burrowing owl in a powdered wig!

I think where this piece came from was my visit to an aviary earlier this week. It had me thinking about owls, and I really wanted to do a burrowing owl. I've done doodles of animals in different historical clothing before, so when I was looking at pictures of owls I thought "hey, that one looks like he's wearing a cravat and waistcoat" and thus this was born.

I think I like doing goofy little things like this because it's half in your head. I added a powdered wig and some shoe buckles, but the rest I just enhanced. Some of these owls do look almost like they have a necktie, and the way their feathers fade could almost look like an inversely colored vest and trousers. Add white leg feathers to knee high socks and poof! Enter eighteenth century owl.

When I started this piece I was having a lot trouble with defining lines. The whole thing looked kind of muddy. After I decided to switch this piece to be a mixed medium piece, rather than just a watercolor, things started going better. I used black and red pens to help define some boundaries and used some white paint to clean up the highlights (there's no white in watercolor).

Thursday, September 17, 2015

More pencil drawings - Meeting Brandon (part 2) and picturebook sketches

Title: Meeting Brandon Sanderson
Size: 10 and 1/2 by 12 inches
Here's the finished version of the pencil portrait I was working on last week. It's my parents and I getting our picture with the most amazing fantasy author of all time: Brandon Sanderson. It was pretty fun to finish this up, and I like how it turned out.

Next up is some storyboarding for another possible picturebook.

Working title: Never Lose Your Seven League Boots
Size: frames are roughly 2 and 1/2 by 4 inches
After last week's plot-less story, I decided to start writing first this time. Theoretically, so that I'd actually have a plot this week. I forgot to take into account the fact that every time I try to write dialogue it immediately turns into plot-derailing banter. Every time. So that's why pretty much every frame is of talking.

This plot took some work to come up with. After consulting multiple online plot generators and then ignoring most everything they said, I came up with a story about a grumpy, pen-stealing sprite named Quinn who loses his winged seven league boots. He and his (human) friend Johanna go on a quest to get them. Also, there's vanishing spells and Latin. So yeah.

I think I like this story better than last week's, seeing as there's a plot, but I would have to cut out an awful lot of banter to get anything to happen. I do like the characters though. Banter does that to me.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Starting Pencil Drawings - Picture Book Sketches and Meeting Brandon

Working Title: Meeting Brandon
Size: 11 by 14
This is a drawing I've been wanting to do for a while. It's the time my parents and I met Brandon Sanderson (my favorite author of all time). I decided to draw out where things go, and then start filling in the spaces, like a coloring book. A black and white, non-color coloring book. :P

I decided it would probably be for the best if I started by drawing (filling in? shading?) myself, as my drawing talent usually needs to warm up a bit and only gets better as I go longer. Unfortunately, the picture I'm working from is rather blurry, so it's unclear where exactly my hair ends and my shirt starts. Yup. That could be a problem.

These next pictures are from my sketchbook, and are an experiment/rough draft for a picture book I'll hopefully be creating later this year. I'll be playing with several different storylines over the next few weeks, so this is the first of a series.

Working Title: Adventures of Harper - Rough Draft
Size: Each frame is about 2 and 1/2 by 4 inches.
...So the story behind this story is that I wanted an excuse to draw a wombat. And I wanted my protagonist to be a toddler. Those were literally my only criteria. ...Which is why this story currently has no plot.

And the wombat hasn't even really shown up yet.

Anyway, for any and all humans interested in my plot and worldbuilding, this story takes place in southern Australia. My little toddler is named Harper. One day Harper was going on a walk through some (Australian!) woods with her parents when she got noticed a lizard. (A tiny, baby monitor lizard that will one day grow to be somewhere between 8 inches and 10 feet long depending on the species). Distracted, she is left behind by her parents.

Theoretically, next she'll make friends with a giant wombat, and pass the time with him until her rescue.

What will happen next?! Will Harper be lost forever? Will her parents come back looking for her? Will the wombat ever make an appearance?! Tune in next time to Adventures of Harper to find out!