Friday, February 25, 2011

Interior Art

Today I was working on the first 2 page spread for our book. I've already worked up a very rough sketch indicating placement and proportion, and Kimberlee shared what she was envisioning. The first sketches are always rough because there will be changes and unforeseen developments. No need to waste time and effort on tight detailed drawings at this stage. The sketch at left is on tracing paper that allows for quick erasing and placement of elements before starting the actual painting. I quickly traced over sketches in my sketchbook, placing them in the template sized 8 x 11 inches per page and adapting size and proportion. We decided to add a loose border treatment of slender vines or branches and drape the art along the lower portion of both pages. I like to keep some butterfly wings, my sketches and reference materials near by.

I work with layers and scraps of of tracing paper, making small changes then attaching them right over the rough draft. Not having to erase or redraw something speeds up production time and helps my ideas formulate without breaking the flow. At top right you can see some of my botanical references, sketch pad and multiple layers of sketched ideas.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ever seen a beautiful caterpillar?

See below for accompanying music by The Cure - The Caterpillar. (one of my favorites) 

So, as you have seen Beatrice, she has an early version of herself to portray in the book and that is herself in caterpillar form. Have you ever seen a beautiful caterpillar face?  They can be quite scary as I am sure nature intended to ward off predators.
Alice in Wonderland - type caterpillar
Many artists have made cute little caterpillars, but they are very cartoonish.

The trick is, how will Helena convey a caterpillar face which is realistic, yet able to emote for the story? I cannot wait to see what she comes up with. (yes - I ended in a preposition.) I consider blogs more of casual spoken English which is not always the most proper. Anyway, Helena has been busy with the things that are bringing in an income for her - so you blame her? So, she requested my help in finding more caterpillar faces for her. Here is what I was able to find. Hopefully it will give her inspiration. If not, maybe the song will. :)

Watch The Cure - The Caterpillar in Music  |  View More Free Videos Online at

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Bios and Beatrice

So I am proceeding forth with my submission of material and want everything to go smoothly. Despite being under the weather lately, Helena has finished the painting we anticipate for use as the cover image! I love it, but I love all her work so I think I could never be disappointed. :)

I have sent the bios off to a friend for review. Another pair of eyes never hurts even though I did pay for professional editing. I also am going to go forth with registering the name of my book series. So please wish me success in that area. I have done brief searches and did not find any thing with the same name registered so I hope it is not rejected. I don't really want to hire a trademark lawyer, but.....maybe I will check around with some other sources first. I know someone who works at a brand marketing company. Maybe they could do a brief service for me at a minimal price.

And hopefully spring will be here soon and Helena will have more daylight to paint and I cannot wait to see more of Beatrice. This is the type of butterfly Beatrice is: Polyommatus icarus. She is so beautiful, is she not?