Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Behind the Scenes of Charlie's Dirt Day - PART 4 - final art

Another look at a finished spread from my new children's book.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Behind the Scenes of Charlie's Dirt Day - PART 4 - sketch

For this sketch, I tried to make the composition more interesting by playing with the foreground. I liked the idea of bringing the viewer into the scene on the left side of the spread with a close up of a bowl of freshly picked tomatoes while Charlie and Mr. Martino made a sauce in the background on the right side. Whenever possible, I like to integrate the text with the image and the bowl provided the perfect opportunity for that.

Because Charlie is so short, my initial plan had been to have him standing on a stool, stirring the pot of sauce. However, my publisher pointed out that it wasn't the safest place to put a little boy, something I hadn't considered when I was coming up with ideas for the spread. I reworked the drawing to instead show Charlie offering Mr. Martino tomatoes from the bowl.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Behind The Scenes of Charlie's Dirt Day - PART 3 - final art

Here's another peek at some of the final art from my next book.

The Character of Charlie was based on a sketch I had done when I was traveling through Europe. At one point, my husband and I were living in Paris and I was drawing more than I ever have in all my life. I did a lot of sketches of children at that time and there was one in particular that I really liked but had never been able to use in a project. When I read the manuscript for Bye, Bye, Butterflies! a few years ago, that sketch immediately came to mind for the character of Charlie.

Both of the Charlie books that I've illustrated were written by Andrew Larsen and his stories were based on experiences that he had with his son. Knowing this, when I designed the character of Charlie's dad for Bye, Bye, Butterflies! I based it on a photo that I had seen of Andrew.

The older man in this illustration is Mr. Martino and he comes entirely from my imagination.  For that character, I liked the idea of an older man with an eclectic sense of style.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Behind the Scenes of Charlie's Dirt Day - PART 3 - sketch

When designing an illustration for a picture book, you need to leave room for the text. This double page spread had quite a bit of text to work around. In my initial thumbnail, I had envisioned the older man on the right side filling most of the page, however, I ended up needing to adjust him quite a bit to make even more room for text in the space behind him.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Behind the Scenes of Charlie's Dirt Day - PART 2 - final art

This illustration is probably my favourite one from Charlie's Dirt Day because I included lots of personal touches. Several of the characters in this spread made appearances in my first picture book, Bye, Bye Butterflies, such as the lady in the yellow cardigan on the left, the little boy pulling the wagon and the little girl in the right corner with the green ribbon in her hair.  I thought it would be nice for the children who were familiar with the other book to make those connections.

In Bye, Bye Butterflies, the lady in the yellow cardigan appeared on the opening spread. I used the pattern in her shirt to reference an upcoming event in that book. Her shirt had butterflies on it. In Charlie's Dirt Day, I used the pattern in her dress in the same way.

The little boy pulling the wagon is actually based on my husband. He used to work for Apple as an iPhone technician and wore a dark blue shirt with an apple on it. I lightened the shirt and substituted a different kind of fruit. I'd also like to draw your attention to the words on the side of the wagon. My husband's name is Dario.

There is a mom in a green dress, a dad in a green hat and a little girl in a red dress at the top left. They're based on my friends, Kelci Hind and Colin Leach and their daughter, Juniper. Kelci and Colin own The Silk Road Spice Merchant and have been extremely supportive of my illustrative career and my previous book.

The woman in the red dress in the top right is based on my friend, illustrator Karen Klassen.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Behind the Scenes of Charlie's Dirt Day - PART 2 - sketch

This image is one that I had in my mind from the very beginning, and you can see from the initial thumb nail sketch below that it didn't change much. Because of all of the characters that I wanted to include, this spread was quite intimidating for me. I ended up spending a lot of time on it in order to fit in everything in a way that worked.

When dealing with a double page spread, it's really important to pay attention to the gutter, that's the part of the image where the page folds. You don't want to have anything important, like someone's face, crossing that line. The part of the illustration that goes through the gutter can get lost once the book is bound.

In the end, I had quite a lot of fun with this spread and as a result, it's probably my favourite illustration from the book. I'll share the final art tomorrow, along with some of the personal things that I snuck into the image.

Follow my hashtag, #CharliesDirtDay.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Behind the Scenes of Charlie's Dirt Day - PART 1 - storyboards

To kick things off, I'd like to share my initial thumb nail sketches and storyboards for my soon-to-be-released children's book, Charlie's Dirt Day, written by Andrew Larsen and published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside.

The first thing I did when I got the manuscript was read it over many times, making notes in the margins and jotting down ideas and images that came to mind. Once I had a good feel for the story, I started to think about pacing, how the story would unfold, and began the process of breaking up the text. I found it helpful to cut up the actual manuscript so that it was easier to move around the blocks of text.

Once I was satisfied, I started making little thumbnail drawings to explore different ways of illustrating each page. Having the entire book laid out on one piece of paper made it easy to see how the illustrations related to each other. I worked on the thumbnails until I felt like there was enough variety to keep the spreads interesting.

There's quite a lot of work that goes into the planning of a picture book before the drawing of larger and more detailed sketches can begin.

Follow my hashtag, #CharliesDirtDay.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Charlie's Dirt Day update

For those of you who inquired about when my next picture book, Charlie's Dirt Day by Andrew Larsen, will be available, the release date has been pushed to Monday, December 15th. A few people mentioned wanting to buy it as a Christmas gift and although I recommend supporting brick and mortar book stores, you can also pre-oder it on right now :) 

As a lead up to the release, I thought it would be fun to share some of the finished interior art as well as some of the behind the scenes process of making a picture book. I've put together a 7 part series and will post the first part, storyboards, tomorrow. Follow my hashtag, #CharliesDirtDay.

I also have an Instagram account where I tend to post photos of work in progess (jacquelinehudon).

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

giraffe - finished art

Here's my finished piece for the 'It's a Jungle Out There' illustration show, on now at the EPCOR CENTRE's Ledge Gallery.

If anyone's interested, you can see my sketches for this project HERE, and I posted photos of my painting process below. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

giraffe - sketches

These sketches are from a painting that I just did for the 'It's a Jungle Out There' show. It's the first illustration that I've worked on since I had my baby last July and it was so great to get back to that.

The idea behind this show is that the animals have escaped from the zoo and are loose in the city. Each participating artist got an animal and it was up to the artist the decide what the animal did in the city.

I got the giraffe and I spent quite a lot of time thinking about my concept because i really wanted to take advantage of the giraffe's long neck. I also wanted to come up with an interesting way to fit it into the horizontal format of the project.

I don't often draw animals so it took me a few tries before I ended up with something that I was happy with. My initial sketches were too realistic for my tastes, but I needed to get those out of my system in order to arrive at something more simple and playful.