I've been having a blast working with the nonprofit art educational group, Carnegie Picture Lab, to create a curriculum based children's book encompassing the Native American culture of the Walla Walla area. Though, there is much more work to be done, there is still even more preparatory work to share! Illustration is a field that has required more from me then simply creating a single image; I find my self doing extensive research on environments, historical figures, attire, customs, and the like to bring accuracy to each page. Problem solving is done with a multitude of composition sketches, value studies, and color renderings. Lastly, the back and forth of consistent client communication leads to greater creative solutions. I love it.
This love for the preliminary work is what I wish to share with you today. An individual illustration is comprised of numerous exploratory renderings in which undergo a client selection and alteration process from thumbnails, to comps, and line work.
Thumbnails, or tiny rough sketches, are the first step in my illustrative process. Thumbnails are kept small, about a few inches on each side (hence the name) to allow for quick gestural forms. Thumbnails are generally ratio to the final product. These gestural sketches help generate broad ideas and focus on the clients' compositional possibilities. Sometimes value structures are thrown into these small renderings to add more depth.
Thumbnail Gallery (click to enlarge)
Comps, short for comprehensive sketches, are then developed based on the few thumbnail sketches selected by the client. These small scale, but further developed sketches, are designed to further instruct the progression of the illustration. They are kept black and white to continue focus on the compositional usage but are larger in size and retain more detail than the thumbnails made earlier.
Comp Gallery (click to enlarge)
Line work is the foundation for the final illustration. The line work is a crisp preview for the client to determine final alterations or share thoughts on color and value. This is my favorite step as is allows me to get truly excited about the finished product!
Line work gallery (click to enlarge)
Finished off with color and value, the drawing has come to a conclusion! This is the end product of countless sketches, value renderings, and color tweaks. This is the illustration!
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