Monday, November 30, 2009

Page 3 done. Page 4 undercoat

Finished page 3. I'm having fun playing with the purple smoke. As I mentioned before I tried to get the smoke into panel #5 but it ended up starting to look like light rays so I just went with that on that panel. Light rays works fine for that one. But I am enjoying painting purple swirls in front of the clif walls and behind the character when there's nothing but sky behind him. I hit the wash with a dash of blue to indicate the sky poking through the smoke.

It's fun to paint the dark bees and the darkness of the inside of the cave. I enjoy getting dark colors in watercolor. I never use black. I used to use neutral tint from time to time, but I'm going to do this book without it. I'm getting good darks with different combinations of burnt sienna, sap green and ultramarine blue.

My biggest challenge so far is to remember which concentration of what colors I'm using for the boy's clothes. I've got a color test I did, but as I've been going on I've used a little green here and a little red there that I hadn't used in the color test, so he's changing a little bit like a chameleon from shot to shot. But I'm not too concerned about that. So long as the darks things are dark and the light things are light, I don't think the exact colors need to match from panel to panel. Anyone might appear to be made up of different colors depending on the angle of view and lighting.

I do plan on adding a wash of cerulean blue across the cliff wall to make the stone a bit more cold and help the character to stand out a bit more. The page is pretty orange as it is.

Here's the cerulean blue undercoat for page 4. I've gone in and painted the rope and hinted at the smoke for each panel, and have done a bit of light color work here and there as I got distracted for the undercoat. But soon I'll get on to the full on painting. I can't say what method I prefer most yet. Painting across the entire page and all panels as I've got the colors wet, or working on one panel at a time.

I assume I'll fal into a rhythm at one point, but it ain't happened yet.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Page 3 painting in progress

Page 3 painting is coming along well. Here I am painting a panel with a beehive perched right next to a cave in the cliff wall. I've used cerulean blue as the undercoat shadow of the cave. I prefer it to ultramarine blue as it is light, and I can cover it up if I so choose.
Here I've gone in with burnt sienna and ultramarine blue to get a dark brown, while leaving patches of light which were originally to represent smoke rising (though I ended up making it look more like light shafts in the end). At this stage I'm starting to get the tones I want.
By the end of the panel I've gone over again and popped out the forms of the cave beasts without being to obvious that there are two hairy lumps in the cave. I'd like it to be a little vague as to what they are, but if you can tell, it's not a big deal. I added a touch of cadmium red to their coats to break them up a little from the rocks around them. I painted the bees with a thick coat of ultramarine blue and burnt sienna, with cadmium yellow highlights.

I won't be able to finish the page for a few more days as I'm taking my wife away for her birthday this weekend.

I've really got to pick up my pace soon, but I'm still not that comfortable with my approach yet. I need to take the time I'm taking to insure the quality level I'm striving for. How do you balance quality with speed? In the end I want something that I can be proud of, but I'd like to finish the book within the next year. What I've got now is a product I am proud of, and at the moment, quality is more important than efficiency. So, hopefully in time my efficiency will catch up to my quality and this beast of a book will finish itself.

Thanks for keeping up on my project.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Page 4 pencils complete

I finished the pencils for page 4, though I haven't yet started painting page 3.

At the top we watch as Kodo sews a needle through a piece of wax, then lowers it to his companions below. He continues to carve out honeycomb and pass it down. Then, from within the darkness of the opening in the cliff wall, a beast moves into the light, and Kodo jumps back, panicked. It is only a female, therefore not as large as the males, but Kodo has never before been this close to one of the apes, and it looks large enough for him to make a quick retreat.

I am planning on painting the beast mostly in shadow, but I drew the whole thing so I know where to paint the lights and darks. I do want to show the creature well enough that you can tell how it will differ from the beast that Eleya fights in the arena, so I want to give you a pretty good view. You will see it a bit more on the next page as well. I had originally written that the beast in the arena was your first introduction to the creatures, but later thought it'd be good to show the reader a beast in its natural setting. I want you to see that they are just animals living their lives, and that it is the humans who have created this legend around them.

Tomorrow I'll start the painting for page 3.