Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hank Zipzer in progress

Working on this book cover. Thought I would take pics along the way. 

First there is the sketch which was done with pencil on paper, but in various stages, and on various papers. I will scan in a separate drawing of the dog or of one of the characters, leaving them all in layers in a photoshop document. Then I ge
t to continually adapt my sketch depending on how the different elements are working together. In this case, none of us liked the two characters on the bottom right of the page, so we are leaving them out in the final. The face of Hank was good from the first sketch I submitted, and I want to preserve the elation in his expression. One thing that happens during the process sometimes is that you end up drawing the same face so many times it becomes a little stiff. Luckily
, that did not happen this time. 

I sanded the gessoed illustration board (probably three layers or so...I like it very smooth for these types of cover illustrations), then projected the approved pencil sketch to scale on the surface.  Then I did a light wash of Sap Green over everything. Dont quite know why I picked that color, but I did it for one of the pieces in the BOB book and it turned out with this really nice depth to it. I think I chose Sap Green because of th
at unmistakeable feeling you get in the south or the east coast during a hot summer. This lush, thick green that is just overpowering. I am sensing it in this piece now, as I get closer to being finished so I am stoked it worked out. I also like Ultramarine Blue and Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna and even a Cad Red. Depends on the final mood of the piece. If I want to kick it in a certain direction nice and early, this is one way to really expedite that. Get it all early summery feeling from the beginning. 

Then begins the process of layers. "The magic of layers," as I tell my painting students constantly. Nothing but time spent filling in the shapes and building up the highlights and shadows. Not too technical or tricky or even difficult. Just takes work and patience. 

Next step is the T-shirt, the buildings and the pants. Once the layers on those are starting to shape up, then back to the face and the skin, and then back to the buildings,.... 
...and on and on and on and on. 

OK, now I am done with the last Hank Zipzer book. Well, at least I think I am. I emailed the jpeg to the boss (bosses) and we will see. 

Peace Out, Hank. You've been a blast, kid!