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  • Writer's pictureSimon Faiers

Book update

Updated: Feb 20, 2020

The Tortoise and Hare pictures are still coming along, albeit at my usual glacial pace. I've gone back and changed the look of the tortoise as the shape of his head wasn't quite tortoise-y enough, and am a lot happier with his new design. The next problem is how to progress beyond the rough, pencil drawing stage of the pictures and into something more befitting a set of children's book illustrations.

It must be nice to be one of those artists who know exactly what their medium is and don't find themselves on a massive learning curve every time they embark on a new project. I'm good at drawing in pencil, and, as such, was in my element working as a visualising artist at Dorling Kindersley, as all I was required to do was produce the rough versions of the pictures, the completed articles being the domain of the books' illustrators.

Children's picture books are required to be in colour. That is an absolute. Sticking to monochrome would be within my comfort zone, but not appropriate for the story being told.

With the test images above, I really liked the roughness of the pencil lines and, rather than going over those lines in pen, I tried scanning the picture as it was and started colouring it in on my computer. It looked nice to begin with, but when I added more colour and the background last night, it just kind of fell apart. I think it may be that the colouring in the first version is more rough and therefore goes with the lines, whereas the colouring in the second version is more finished and contrasts unfavourably with the lines.

This was my biggest issue at art college; the tutors were always remarking on the fact that they liked the liveliness of my sketchbooks and were less keen on the deadness of my more "finished" (painted) work.

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