Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Behind the Scenes of Charlie's Dirt Day - PART 6 - final art


A final sneak peek inside the finished pages of Charlie's Dirt Day...
This image is one of my favourites. It was really fun to work on and until it was completely finished I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out.

I hope you've enjoyed the preview of the book as well as some of my process over the last few weeks. If you want to see more, you'll have to buy the book :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Behind the Scenes of Charlie's Dirt Day - PART 6 - sketch

This is the last sketch that I'll be sharing from my new children's book, Charlie's Dirt Day. Stay tuned to see how the final art turned out; I'll be sharing that illustration tomorrow.

If you've missed any of my previous process posts from this book, you can find them all under the hashtag #CharliesDirtDay.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Behind the Scenes of Charlie's Dirt Day - PART 5 - final art



Here's another finished spread from my upcoming picture book.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Behind the Scenes of Charlie's Dirt Day - PART 5 - sketch



This scene takes place a year after the rest of the story as the characters are heading to the next annual Dirt Day. The same characters who attended the previous year have decided to come back, but because so much time has passed, I included some small changes in their appearance, such as the hair on their heads and facial hair. The two little girls who met at Dirt Day last year became friends and are going together this year.

You can see from my sketches below that I had to alter my original layout in order to be able to fit in everything I wanted to include plus have enough room for all the text. The final sketch features some of the things that Charlie wants to grow in his garden.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Behind the Scenes of Charlie's Dirt Day - PART 4 - final art

Another look at a finished spread from my new children's book.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Behind the Scenes of Charlie's Dirt Day - PART 4 - sketch


For this sketch, I tried to make the composition more interesting by playing with the foreground. I liked the idea of bringing the viewer into the scene on the left side of the spread with a close up of a bowl of freshly picked tomatoes while Charlie and Mr. Martino made a sauce in the background on the right side. Whenever possible, I like to integrate the text with the image and the bowl provided the perfect opportunity for that.

Because Charlie is so short, my initial plan had been to have him standing on a stool, stirring the pot of sauce. However, my publisher pointed out that it wasn't the safest place to put a little boy, something I hadn't considered when I was coming up with ideas for the spread. I reworked the drawing to instead show Charlie offering Mr. Martino tomatoes from the bowl.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Behind The Scenes of Charlie's Dirt Day - PART 3 - final art

Here's another peek at some of the final art from my next book.

The Character of Charlie was based on a sketch I had done when I was traveling through Europe. At one point, my husband and I were living in Paris and I was drawing more than I ever have in all my life. I did a lot of sketches of children at that time and there was one in particular that I really liked but had never been able to use in a project. When I read the manuscript for Bye, Bye, Butterflies! a few years ago, that sketch immediately came to mind for the character of Charlie.

Both of the Charlie books that I've illustrated were written by Andrew Larsen and his stories were based on experiences that he had with his son. Knowing this, when I designed the character of Charlie's dad for Bye, Bye, Butterflies! I based it on a photo that I had seen of Andrew.

The older man in this illustration is Mr. Martino and he comes entirely from my imagination.  For that character, I liked the idea of an older man with an eclectic sense of style.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Behind the Scenes of Charlie's Dirt Day - PART 3 - sketch


When designing an illustration for a picture book, you need to leave room for the text. This double page spread had quite a bit of text to work around. In my initial thumbnail, I had envisioned the older man on the right side filling most of the page, however, I ended up needing to adjust him quite a bit to make even more room for text in the space behind him.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Behind the Scenes of Charlie's Dirt Day - PART 2 - final art


This illustration is probably my favourite one from Charlie's Dirt Day because I included lots of personal touches. Several of the characters in this spread made appearances in my first picture book, Bye, Bye Butterflies, such as the lady in the yellow cardigan on the left, the little boy pulling the wagon and the little girl in the right corner with the green ribbon in her hair.  I thought it would be nice for the children who were familiar with the other book to make those connections.


In Bye, Bye Butterflies, the lady in the yellow cardigan appeared on the opening spread. I used the pattern in her shirt to reference an upcoming event in that book. Her shirt had butterflies on it. In Charlie's Dirt Day, I used the pattern in her dress in the same way.


The little boy pulling the wagon is actually based on my husband. He used to work for Apple as an iPhone technician and wore a dark blue shirt with an apple on it. I lightened the shirt and substituted a different kind of fruit. I'd also like to draw your attention to the words on the side of the wagon. My husband's name is Dario.


There is a mom in a green dress, a dad in a green hat and a little girl in a red dress at the top left. They're based on my friends, Kelci Hind and Colin Leach and their daughter, Juniper. Kelci and Colin own The Silk Road Spice Merchant and have been extremely supportive of my illustrative career and my previous book.


The woman in the red dress in the top right is based on my friend, illustrator Karen Klassen.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Behind the Scenes of Charlie's Dirt Day - PART 2 - sketch


This image is one that I had in my mind from the very beginning, and you can see from the initial thumb nail sketch below that it didn't change much. Because of all of the characters that I wanted to include, this spread was quite intimidating for me. I ended up spending a lot of time on it in order to fit in everything in a way that worked.

When dealing with a double page spread, it's really important to pay attention to the gutter, that's the part of the image where the page folds. You don't want to have anything important, like someone's face, crossing that line. The part of the illustration that goes through the gutter can get lost once the book is bound.

In the end, I had quite a lot of fun with this spread and as a result, it's probably my favourite illustration from the book. I'll share the final art tomorrow, along with some of the personal things that I snuck into the image.

Follow my hashtag, #CharliesDirtDay.