I just wrote another “odd happenings” post, so just like last time I’m going to follow it with another work-in-progress photo sequence of my latest illustration from my children’s book “Kris & Krampus Kringle”. Again sorry for the poor photo quality. I’ll probably post the much better scanned version of it later…or maybe I’ll be a big meanie and just make you buy the book.
Here’s what I was able to get with my phone to sort of give you the idea of my process. First the final pencil sketch. It was a more complicated one that required me finding a lot of reference images online; taking me almost five hours to complete from scratch.
Next I inked it, which took me about another hour. You can see that this photo was taken before I attacked the whole thing with a kneaded eraser to clean up all the graphite, so you can see both the pencil lines and the inked outline simultaneously.
I let the ink completely dry overnight this time before I hit it with the eraser. It’s not necessary to do that and usually I’m not even patient enough, but the ink from these pens can dry deceivingly slowly. The heat of my desk lamp probably doesn’t help the situation, and there’s nothing worse than cleaning up my nice perfect ink outline with an eraser and dragging a big black smudge across the page in the process. So pretty much if I’m at a place where I can either take a break or let it dry overnight, I always try to do that.
Here’s the inked outline with the pencil lines erased:
Then I started the coloring with my faithful Prismacolor markers. I colored Kris and Dasher first, and also a tree for some reason. My desk was a mess.
Then I started on the underpainting of the snow:
Maybe you’ve never thought about it before but snow is never just white (insert yellow snow joke here.) Seriously though…because of the way it reflects light and shadows snow is actually pretty colorful. Here’s it after I added more layers of color to the snow and also some of the shadows:
Then I realized I hadn’t colored in the frozen creek yet, so next I did that.
Then I did a bunch of other stuff because I couldn’t stop. I basically finished the entire illustration, minus the falling snow from the blizzard.
Yikes, the colors look horrible in these pictures. The scan will be much, much better!
Here’s one more crappy photo of the final piece. In case you were wondering, I painted in the snow with a white-out pen in order to give it that classic Rankin/Bass look. All of the coloring took me about five hours to do, so all in all this is about an 11-hour illustration. Yep, contrary to what so many may unfortunately believe, quality artwork takes time!
Oh well, what did you think you were gonna get for free anyway?