picture book dummy

This week at Valdraws: May 30 - June 4

Most of my time this week went to working on sketches for my dummy. I'm a bit slow, but it's coming along. I did these this week:

I also got inspired by this mini portfolio by illustrator Stephanie Graegin, and I think I'm going to make a mini story to send out as a promo piece. It will take awhile since I'm determined to stayed focused on this dummy until it's done, and I'll need about eight pieces for the mini story, so I'm tentatively planning it for December's mailing; it's about knitting and crocheting, so it seems like a good time of year for that. In the meantime, I'm going to continue to send single image postcards with existing work from my portfolio; I'm scheduled to send one out in a couple of weeks. I think this time I will just put contact info on the back, including social media links, and not do a second image.

That's it for now. Until next time...

May 8 - May 14: this week at Valdraws

I only did one very ugly master study this week, which I won't post here, but not because I was being a slacker; I spent a lot of time working on my Butterfly Girl book dummy and I feel good about how much I got done. It's all still quite rough and some pages only have a faint scribble to describe what will be on the page, but I currently have a stack of 28 individual sheets that constitutes almost the entire book, so I have a pretty good idea of what the final dummy will look like.

I also bought a couple of new figure drawing books after struggling more than I should have with drawing my main character; sometimes it feels like I've forgotten everything I ever learned about making art and I need a refresher. My favorite of the new books is Drawing the Head and Figure, by Jack Hamm. It's clear and to-the-point and has a lot of simplified step-by-step instructions for drawing various body parts, facial features, hair, and even clothing. I've only had it three days and it's already been tremendously helpful; I used some of the instructions to help draw this sketch of my book's main character:

I also checked out a couple more wordless picture books from the library, The Red Book and The Only Child, which is longer and almost more of a graphic novel, and listened to most of It's Only Too Late If You Don't Start Now, by Barbara Sher, to help me stay inspired, as well as watching a video on gouache by James Gurney, which I bought on Gumroad.

I also found an artist I had never heard of, James Tissot, who did a lot of gouache over graphite, so I saved a bunch of images for inspiration. I'm not too fond of the religious content in the paintings, but the technique is really nice.

It felt like a pretty productive week, but scanning all my rough dummy sketches would be pretty tedious, so I'll just leave it at that! Until next time!