Illustrating a new picture book…

One of the books currently on the illustration schedule…

http://www.deystudio.com

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This Month’s Book Project…

Here is the current book illustration project I am working on. “Gypsy” – Written by India Blake.  It is a story about a shelter dog’s trials and tribulations, and it takes place in the Florida Keys.

Gypsy_PromoDEY

This book should be complete by mid-April this year. Keep watching my blog for the next two book illustration projects scheduled for April-May.

Thanks for visiting!

Lorraine Dey

http://www.deystudio.com

The current book project…

Here is the book illustration project I am currently working on…

Illustrations by Lorraine Dey, www.deystudio.com
Illustrations by Lorraine Dey, http://www.deystudio.com

A book-in-the-works!

I am taking on another book project. I am currently sketching out the page illustrations for a book I am working on.  It features “Jodie”, a little tiger cat that has no stripes!?! This sketch from the preliminary pages is perfect for this week’s IF image.  The topic is “Separated”. Look for more on Jodie coming very soon. 🙂

Look for more on “Jodie” and the new book…”My Cat Wears Blue” by Lorraine Dey.

Happy Holidays! Thanks for stopping in. 🙂

Lorraine

www.deystudio.com

“Creating More Natural Digital Colors”

“Creating More Natural Digital Colors”

For many, the switch to digital illustration is one that takes some getting used to.  One of the issues that often comes up is how to get the same natural colors which traditionally came from mixing paint colors.   Here are some tips on setting up your palate for a digital painting.  Also, check out this article on the differences between RGB screen color vs CMYK process print color.

 

I find that you really need to look closer at actual colors in small blocks.  If you are painting a shadow on the snow for example, take a close look at that shadow in real life first.  Remember your traditional training and get out there and do some live paint sketches. Forget for a moment what the subject is that you are looking at and look only at a small area of the object, (such as a shadow in the snow) as if you were going to match a paint swatch.  You may be surprised to find out that you will have to add an awful lot of blue in there that you never thought was there.  Our minds want to believe that a color should be what we think it is.

 

Here is a closer look at choosing colors

If you work from photos, you can try this experiment…  Grab a JPG file of any photo that you like.  In Photoshop, use your eye-dropper tool to select from a small area on an object in the photo.  You may have to select a few times since you may be selecting from a tiny pixel that is actually darker or lighter than the pixel next to it in the same color area.  Select with the eye dropper until the color block in your tool palate shows a swatch that pretty much matches the overall look of the object.  Now you have a starting point for painting in your base color for that object.  Add this color to your set up palate that you are building.  Select from various objects and areas of the image, filling the color blocks in your pallet until you feel you have enough colors, (digital paint) to work with.

Check out some great tips and watch illustrator Jason Seiler paint digitally in his Schoolism Class.

Below you can see the differences in color appearance between RGB and CMYK digital color especially in the greens and reds.  RGB version is on the left and the CMYK version on the right.

(Deystudio images from Getty Images and istockphoto.com)

It’s usually a good idea to set up your color palate before beginning work on a painting, (the same as in traditional painting).  I create a separate pallet file and fill square blocks of color with the basic color theme I will be using.  There are color swatch sample themes on websites such as Kuler  But I like to create my own.  Sometimes I will pick colors from a photo image that I particularly like the feel or mood of.  I will use the eye dropper tool to select from various areas of the image, creating my color palate based on the color theme of the photo.  Photoshop allows for you to make adjustments to your color but it will work out best if you start your painting using the colors that are as close to what you are looking for.  You will want to keep in mind the end use for the image.  If it will be reproduced for printing purposes such as a children’s picture book, you will want to work in CMYK mode.  If you work in RGB mode on an image that will be in print, you will wind up with a completely different look to the color when you convert it later from RGB to CMYK.  Avoid the surprises and start out in CMYK.  Happy painting!

Lorraine Dey

illustrator – Deystudio, LLC (www.deystudio.com)
(click on the “about” tab above to see more about Deystudio, LLC)
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FREE Vector of the month from Deystudio, LLC:

click on image above to get a PDF file.

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This month’s featured site…”EFII”

A central hub for illustration resources.

 
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Featured image for this month…(from my RF stock portfolio)

Creating Story Boards and Picture Book Dummies

Creating Story Boards and Picture Book Dummies

In my last post I mentioned that I had submitted my first written manuscript to the publisher.  Well it looks like this year I will be starting out 2010 as an author/illustrator!  Happy New Year!

Raven Tree Press has contracted my book “Hector-Armando’s Big Rain Forest Party”, (working title).  It is scheduled for a Fall 2011 release and I will be spending this year creating all of the illustrations for this book about a little armadillo.   I plan to keep a journal as both the author and illustrator, and will include information on the “process” in future posts.  This first post is where I start working… the rough story boards and cover designs

This means I have to come up with sketches of the scenes to be depicted on each spread and also the front and back covers.  I will put the roughs together following the page sequence  that they are to appear in the book.  This small mini version of the book is called a book dummy or mock-up.  I had been making sketches and little rough scribbles as I was writing the book.  Now I need to bring it to the next level so the publisher can see what I have in mind for the entire book layout.   Here’s an interesting look into the process and  What Happens inside a Children’s Publishing Company.

(This is a very rough initial draft of a cover possibility and it will likely change before the final art is produced).

Here is my journaling so far for anyone interested in how this whole process looks and how long it takes…

Dec. 21, 2009 – Submitted manuscript to publisher. (This is a publisher I have already worked with.  It would take much longer if you are submitting to a new publisher)

Jan. 12, 2010 – Received an email from publisher… Lorraine,
“Exciting news!  People at our home offices love your book proposal. I have just gotten a green light to offer you a contract for the book and to establish a production schedule with you.” 

 My Schedule:  The first thing I will need to focus on now is finalizing the rough story boards and book dummy.  If I were to have submitted this manuscript to a publisher I never worked with before, I would have created a dummy book to submit along with the manuscript.  And possibly a finished spread or two to go along with it.

Feb. 28th – Rough covers and story boards are due to the publisher
Mar. 15th – Final cover art is due to the publisher
April 15th – Final Illustrated spreads 1 – 3, (pages 3 to 7) due to publisher
Aug. 15th – Final Illustrated spreads 4 – 7, (pages 8 to 15) due to publisher
Sept. 30th – Final Illustrated spreads 8 – 11, (pages 16 to 23) due to publisher
Nov. 15th – Final illustrated spreads 12 – 16, (pages 24 to 32) due to publisher
Fall 2011 – One year later, the tentative publishing release date for “Hector-Armando’s Big Rain Forest Party”

I am very excited to illustrate my very own picture book this year.  I look forward to sharing the progress with you here on my blog each month.  For a look at my first illustrated picture book that I completed last year, “A Sweater for Duncan”, visit the FB fan page. 

Lorraine Dey
illustrator – Deystudio, LLC (www.deystudio.com)
(click on the “about” tab above to see more about Deystudio, LLC)
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FREE Vector of the month from Deystudio, LLC:

click on image above to get a PDF file.

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This month’s featured site…”Illustration Friday”

A weekly opportunity for Illustrators to showcase their work.

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Featured image for this month…(from my RF stock portfolio)

 

“Working With a Development Editor.”

“Working With a Development Editor.”

Many picture book illustrators decide to try their hand at writing the manuscript as well as illustrating a picture book.  I took that plunge this Fall and created a manuscript for a picture book with a working title of “Hector-Armando’s Big Rain Forest Party”. 

sneak-preview sketch… 

Since this was my first attempt at writing one, I hired a development editor to help me in making sure the plot, characters, and narrative, all flowed properly.  I contacted Simone Kaplan who was very easy to work with.  For me, the use of an editor was crucial and in working with Simone, I gained a great deal of insight into the writing process and learned so much from her.  Thank you Simone!

NOTE: I have submitted the manuscript to the publisher and will let you know as soon as I hear any news, (good or bad).  Wish me luck!

There are several different types of editors you can hire to help finalize and polish your story.  Since I had a particular publisher in mind when creating this manuscript, I felt that I needed to concentrate more on the actual structure of the book.  A copy editor will correct things like punctuation, spelling, etc. but the publisher I am focused on already has a copy editor and so I needed to use more of a development editor for help with the foundation of the story and characters.

I came across this old SCBWI France Interview with Simone when she was still working as an editor at Harper Collins in 2001. (though I’m not sure she’ll appreciate me pulling this from the dust pile).

Here is some valuable information on getting your manuscript read and out of the publisher’s slush pile.  This is a helpful article by another editor, Harold Underdown.

And here is a great article on what editor Cheryl Klein  likes to see in an artist’s portfolio. Also, Cheryl has a great post on “How to write a query letter”.

Don’t be afraid to use an editor for your first manuscript.  It is well worth the effort. 

Lorraine Dey
illustrator – Deystudio, LLC (www.deystudio.com)
(click on the “about” tab above to see more about Deystudio, LLC)
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FREE Vector of the month from Deystudio, LLC:

click on image above to get a PDF file.

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This month’s featured blog…”Children’s Publishing”

Children’s Publishing information from Scot Franson.

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Featured image for this month…(from my RF stock portfolio)