Working up the preliminary dummy early helps provide a kind of procedural map that is the groundwork upon which to start establishing plot sequences, define and develop characters, arrange apt page turns, workout pacing and maintain forward movement. Once the initial m/s and dummy are completed, the revision process essentially begins and goes back and forth until the final drafts are fleshed out. I am struck by the dictionary like thickness of the stack of drawings it sometimes take to produce a single 40 page picture book, the m/s not withstanding. Not every project is the same, but the revisionary process of carving out a proper, finished picture book is daunting, challenging, satisfying, fulfilling, a thing of beauty, etc..
I decided to stop looking at and wondering about color markers whenever I’m at the art store… so I bought some. I am currently using them in a picture book project I felt would be ideal for this particular medium. My previous use of color markers was limited to poster art, when helping my daughter complete a school project. Well… as it turns out, there’s a lot more to those ink filled cylinders with the matted wool fabric delivery point. CM’s offer Strong color depth, pungent brights and mid-tones that are also translucent. I use a smooth, no bleed, plate paper to minimize penetration and avoid streaking. Prismacolor markers with a variety of tip selections, is great for drawing and coloring small areas. I prefer the AD color markers when creating larger areas of color, as strokes are seamless due to the blunt, extra moist tip and heavier ink concentration. This is great when painting skies and vast land ranges, etc. Numerous volume levels and color variations can be achieved by overlapping (shading) the lighter and midrange colors. Once I’m done with the markers I’ll then clarify my edges with pen and ink, including a thick framing outer border. The end result is a bold, interactive, well defined image.
I did the Illustrations for Astronaut Kalpana Chawla, reaching for the stars; the story of the first Asian American woman in space, written by Ai-Ling Louie and published by Dragoneagle Press. This wonderful and inspiring Picture Book is illustrated with dozens of crisp, poignant images and is available at amazon.com.