Category: Blog

“Everything Is Tricky…”: When to Expect the Book

“Everything Is Tricky…”: When to Expect the Book

Hey, all. Sorry this update is two days late. I’m sick again and behind on everything. I hope this bout doesn’t last two weeks like the last one did.

As some of you my know from my Facebook post, Everything Is Tricky When A Dragon Is Your Pet will not be on Kickstarter until February 2018.

As I worked on the illustrations this past week, I realized that I have way more work to do on it than I first thought. While I know artwork is never perfect, I still want to finish the illustrations to the best of my abilities. In my original schedule, I didn’t give myself enough time to do that.

Pushing the launch date to next year gives me time to finish the illustrations well, and also allows me to scan them and format the book before the launch. This will also give me time to get samples of the book before I ship them out.

I really appreciate all your support, and I look forward to finally being able to share this book with you.

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“Everything Is Tricky…”: So Many Noses

“Everything Is Tricky…”: So Many Noses

My work this week has looked something like this:
Spread all the illustrations over my desk. Find all the __________ (examples: bears, balloons, dragons, noses, etc.). Paint. Repeat.

I feel a bit like an illustration factory. My huge desk feels much too small.

But I love it. I love seeing the characters in color. I love adding little details here and there. And I especially love how the illustrations look more and more like they belong in a children’s picture book. Sometimes it’s hard to believe this is really happening.

I think everything is more or less on schedule. It’s a bit hard to tell in the middle of everything, but as of now, I still plan to have the illustrations finished before October 16.

On a side note, I am drawing dinosaur characters and posting them daily on my Instagram account for Inktober (for info on the Inktober drawing challenge, click here). So, if you like dinosaurs, go check it out and follow me there! (Samples below.)

 

“Everything Is Tricky…”: Nearing the End of Stage 1

“Everything Is Tricky…”: Nearing the End of Stage 1

Hey friends! I don’t have much time to write this week, but I wanted to post a quick update on “Everything is Tricky…”

  1. I now have twenty-two sketches finished, and I should finish the rest this week. (Huzzah!)
  2. The Kickstarter launch date is now scheduled for October 16 so I have time to finish the illustrations. The campaign will run for four weeks, which will allow me enough time to get the books printed and shipped in time for Christmas.
  3. Every time I work on this project I get more and more excited about it. I can wait to share the finished story with you all!
“Everything Is Tricky…”: Not What I Expected

“Everything Is Tricky…”: Not What I Expected

So far, “Everything Is Tricky…” has been one of those projects where I had an idea, and nothing looks quite like I planned. Scheduling has been a grand disaster from the start, I completely reworked some character designs in the middle of the final sketch stage, a bunch of random life stuff happened this week to further muddle both the timeline and the illustration plans…

purple, blue, and yellow dragon illustration
Sneak peak of Dragon’s final character design with colors and everything

You know those projects where you have an idea and the result is very different from what you planned, but in a good way? It’s pretty cool, and a little terrifying because I never know quite where those projects will take me.

Status update for the project:

I have five preliminary sketches and six final sketches done. I may not do preliminary sketches for some of the pages, as my thumbnail sketches have proven to be more useful than any of the larger sketches I’ve done so far. Often when I use my light box to transfer the sketch onto watercolor paper for the final, I lose the energy in the picture. I don’t have that problem as much when I draw everything freehand. It takes a bit longer, but I think overall it’s better–at least for this project. (I may regret this if I have to repaint too many pages though…)

I also have my color scheme mostly picked out. (Yes, Dragon is yellow and purple and grey-blue.) I’m planning to limit the number of colors… I’m not sure how well that will go.

Anyway. Thanks for your interest in thins project. I’m super excited to share more of it with you as it develops.

“Everything Is Tricky…”: On Being Flexible

“Everything Is Tricky…”: On Being Flexible

When writing out the timeline for “Everything Is Tricky When a Dragon Is Your Pet,” I added a note at the top of the page: “To be discombobulated later.” I wrote that on September 4th. On the 5th, I caught the flu…

Character sketches-N-face.jpgAs you probably guessed, the timeline I wrote last week is no longer accurate. I’m torn between wanting to finish illustrating the book as quickly as possible and wanting take my time. For now, I am planning to launch it on Kickstarter in October, but I would prefer to have all the illustrations finished before then. And if I don’t get over this cough soon, I’ll have to readjust the timeline yet again.

At the moment, the manuscript is about 90% finished, and I have thumbnail sketches for each page, as well as multiple sketches for the main characters. Tomorrow I’ll start on the full size sketches for each page.

“Dora Goes to Chloe’s Farm” and Other Upcoming Children’s Books

“Dora Goes to Chloe’s Farm” and Other Upcoming Children’s Books

Hey, all!Cover
I’m thrilled to announce that “Dora Goes to Chloe’s Farm” is now available for purchase! This was my main work throughout May and June, and I am so excited to finally be able to share this project with you all. Please go check it out and let me know what you think!

E-book, soft cover, hard cover versions are available on Blurb, and soon should be available on Amazon.

So. What’s next?

Granny Mouse (June 2017).jpgWell, I have two other books in progress: “Granny Mouse Goes to Paris” and a book I think will be called “Everything is Tricky when a Dragon is Your Pet”. Granny Mouse now has a pretty solid manuscript, but still needs a good bit of editing. I will be tightening that up and creating the book dummy in August.

Nicolo and Dragon

“Everything is Tricky…” has about half of a first draft. Nicolo the Bear stars in that story along with his friends that I created in my (very much behind) character-a-day challenge. My goal is to finish the manuscript and illustrations for “Everything is Tricky…” in time for it to be released either late October or early November.

 

Related to “Everything is Tricky…”… I’m looking into the possibility of making some of my animal character designs into greeting cards… What do you all think? Would you, or someone you know be interested in something like that?

Overall, I’m excited about the work planned for August, and I can’t wait to share it with you all!

 

“A Melancholy Comfort”

I will be the first to admit I’ve gone far too long without posting. I am indeed sorry about that and have a proper update post in the works. In the mean time, I want to share “A Melancholy Comfort” with you.

I painted this at the end of May, but I had the general idea for it a couple of months before that. I was still working on the illustrations for my uncle’s book (more on that in the update post), but I hadn’t painted any of them yet, and I wasn’t sure how I wanted to go about it. I had an idea for a layered technique, but, having never tried it, I wasn’t sure if it would work.

So “A Melancholy Comfort” is a bit of an experimental piece for me–both in the limited color palate and in painting technique used.

A Melancholy Comfort - 5.29.2017.jpg

 

About the Process

Typically, instead of mixing colors before laying them on the paper, I’ll mix them directly on my painting. It’s definitely not the most precise method, but usually it works for me. I didn’t want that with this painting or with the illustrations for the book. I wanted to be able to see the hints of yellow behind the blue without the piece looking green. I wanted the blue to overlay the red without everything looking purple.

This was a huge breakthrough for me in working with watercolors, and I’m excited to see the shift in my painting style. I still mix colors on the paper, but I’m trying to be more patient with my work so I can build up the layers.