Monday, January 16, 2012

Processes of the Heart

Last time I posted a page and revealed the title of my new book, Heart.  Today I will share some information on my style and process.  Since I am more of an illustrator than a writer, I tend to work backwards and thumb the pictures before I write the story.  I had a general idea of what I wanted the book to be about.  I had specific scenes in my head and drew those out first.  When I have enough key scenes in my head, I begin telling the story in between.  I work with pictures a lot and having a visual start than a literary one only helps when it comes to the writing process.

I start off with really rough sketches and then work out a rough draft from those.  I then thumb out the scenes on this storyboard concept paper I use.  It's a 8.5x11 paper with 16 squares per sheet.  As I work on the thumbnails,  whether it's adding or deleting squares, I am simultaneously editing the text.

When I feel that the beginning is solid enough or I have a good chunk to work from, I start making pages.  I got to a certain point and ended up putting the book on the back end.  Now that I am back to working on it, I did one more final draft and eliminated or added thumbnails to make the story flow better. 

At this point, I had two and a half sheets of thumbs to do. When I finished my final draft I was more than halfway done making pages. 

As for the look of the book, I decided to work with water colors.  I've never worked with water colors before and this was a style I felt fit the overall look of the book I had in my head.  It was a simple story that did not need complex Photoshop work. It took me awhile to adjust to using watercolors as I am impatient with anything that deals with paints.  To help me ease into it better, I would rough out my page with some watercolor pencils before going into it with the actual paints. When I run a brush over the pencils, they blend in with the paint and it becomes part of the final end result.  The more I get the hang of it, the faster I've been knocking out these pages.

And for your viewing pleasure, here is another look at Heart:

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