All posts tagged coloring

Beyond The Bramble: Advance Reader’s Copy Cover Art

Published August 2, 2016 by baileyquillincooper

Since the last time I wrote on here I have been working on two very different projects, so I figured that it would make the most sense to just write two separate posts. You can expect the second post to show up sometime early in this week, so keep checking! The first project that I did over the past two weeks was the cover art for my friend Sarah Marie Bacavis’s children’s fantasy adventure book, Beyond The Bramble. I probably mentioned before that this was just the cover for the Advance Reader’s Copy; that first run that she will be sending to her early readers to get some feedback before she starts shopping the book to any literary agents or publishers. At a later date I will be designing a more detailed cover that will be used for the final print when it is ready for submission. During the second half of of July I started designing some of the characters from her story to use in the artwork, which was mostly what my last blog post was about. After I got the go-ahead on the character sketches, I began to sketch out a layout for the cover. I used her original sketch as my main source of reference.

beyond the bramble cover sketch (1)

Also, this picture of her actual dachshund, Annette.


I changed the layout of the cover a bit, and I made sure to incorporate “Advanced Reader’s Copy” into the design. Here is what I came up with:


I made sure to leave plenty of “bleed zone” this time, because now that I’ve learned so much about the online printing process through my own book (much to my husband and layout artist Martyn’s chagrin), I now know that most printers require a bleed area about as wide as my wrist on all sides. Sarah really liked the sketch, but later decided that the word “Advanced” should actually be “Advance.” Luckily, I hadn’t inked it yet at that point, so this was a very easy fix.

Here’s some point during the inking process:


Here’s the inking completed:

Beyond The Bramble Advance Reader LineworkAt some point while I was inking this, I washed my hands and got some soapy water trapped under my big scary Medusa biker ring. I discovered this as I was drawing some perfectly clean little detail lines with a micron pen when SUDDENLY EVERYTHING WAS ALL WET AND SMUDGING MY INK EVERYWHERE!!! Not to be melodramatic or anything, because in the long run this is never too big of a problem. Minor smudges like the ones you can see around the goblin Wilden’s right ear and hat always seem to disappear once I add the many layers of overlying color. Still, I really hate it when that happens and I need to remember to not wear any clunky jewelry while I’m working!

To prove how not a big deal that smudge was though, here’s what the drawing looked like after color:

Advance Reader Cover

Since the final design will be a cropped version of this image minus all the bleed zone on the outside, here is how I imagine it will probably look on the cover of the book:

Advance Reader Cover Cropped.jpg

Or something like that. Sarah seemed really psyched about the finished cover art and recently ordered the first run of books from Lulu. I can’t wait to see how they come out!

So yeah, more about that other project in my next post!


Bertha Illustration Coloring

Published July 5, 2016 by baileyquillincooper

Hope y’all had a happy ‘Merica Day! I finished up that illustration of Bertha on Sunday night, so here’s some final work in progress pictures I took of the coloring process as well as the final piece.

First, here’s where I left off in my last post after I was all done with the inking:

Bertha Linework

Then I started blocking in some color with my trusty Prismacolor markers.


Added some more layers of color.


Even more layers still, scribbling some dark navy blue shadows into the leaves for that extra richness and depth.


I honestly didn’t take that many photos. Whoops. Here it is pretty much finished on my art desk.


Here’s the final scan.

Bertha Illustration Final

I probably mentioned this in my last post, but the reason I made this illustration was for some promotional postcards that I plan to get printed from┬áto send along with the snail mail submissions of my children’s book. I just dropped off the files for my book at Office Depot yesterday to get the first round of five dummies printed for the publishers, which should be finished by the end of this week. I can’t wait to see them! For the back of the postcards I will most likely be using the same old world fairytale font style as we did in “Kris & Krampus Kringle”; perhaps with a spot illustration of some toadstool mushrooms for an extra little accent. I might try and figure out that part out tonight. Till then, be safe, and watch out for any remaining patriotic explosions!


Another Illustration in Progress Sequence

Published February 10, 2016 by baileyquillincooper

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.

Pencil Drawing

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.

Inked Pencil Lines.jpg

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:

Inked Cleaned Up

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.

Messy Desk

Then I started on the underpainting of the snow:

Snow Underpainting

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:

Snow Before Ice

Then I realized I hadn’t colored in the frozen creek yet, so next I did that.

Just Snow

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.

Before Snow

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!

Final Crappy Photo

Oh well, what did you think you were gonna get for free anyway?