Discovered these old sketch books in September. Looked at them. Placed them on a shelf. Lost them again.
Rediscovered the sketch books again this weekend. Marveled at how much time was invested. Considered how these books were populated with sketches of classmates, drawings of roommates and other ephemera in a place and time were smart phones, tablets and laptops were not ubiquitous.
What would you be able to create if you were not glued to your smart phone for more than four hours a day?
Fear motivates. The paralyzing fear that if I mess up the coloring of this book cover art, I will have to start the whole process over again. And the completion date is fast approaching. But the task needs to be done. So, onward.
Watercolor washes begin the color process for the book cover illustration.
Paint to the edges and then let the colors bleed. The basic color palette had already been determined weeks prior to the final execution of the cover art. But once the water and pigment are activated on the surface of the paper, the color palette organically builds to its own organized spontaneity.
Details. There are always small details that many casual observers may not detect at first glance. For example, the color for the shotgun shell includes multiple wash layers of different pigments — each layer pulling or pushing color from previous layer.
Once the final art is approved, I finished the design with title bar and a map overlay to texture the collage art.
The foundation of a great painting is a solid drawing. At least that was my goal when I worked on this book cover illustration for Orison Books. The collage features a firewheel — sometimes called Indian blanket — blossom, shotgun shell and expansive Texas landscape.
The purpose of thumbnail sketches is to advance the concept of artist, art director and editor to a final product. It seems like a lot of busy work, but three elements are essential: brainstorming, mind-mapping and closing the gap. The following images illustrate the process of thumbnail sketches as it relates to a book cover illustration. Three thumbnail cover comps presented to the publisher a couple months back. Full-size book cover sketch to gauge color temperature and composition of elements.
For years have pushed art making away from me. Partly due to lack of space and consolidating my paintings into small sketchbooks. Then I replaced paint for pen and ink, and drew smaller images into Moleskines until my drawings disappeared into lines of characters trying to … Continue reading →