Ok, but that's a few months from now.... for today I thought I'd take you through my process and what I have created so far for "The Fox".
First there was early character development...
These are a bunch of sketches exploring different shapes and styles of the fox. These are not exhaustive, but give you a sense of exploration. There is also the "old grey woman" in the story so I added her in too. You can see a line up of the fox and the old grey woman at the bottom.
After working on character I started doing research into the environment that the fox lives in. I decided to set the scene in rural England since the British are so famous for hunting foxes. I thought it would make for quaint scenery that would fit nicely in a picture book and also would be fun to paint! I used the internet to assist me with this and created an "environment board". You can see that below.
After environment I worked on the storyboard. I envisioned this as a full 32 page picture book so I had a lot of frames to work with to create some interesting compositions. I wanted to show the journey the fox had to make to find his supper, the excitement of the chase, and the comfort and safety of being back at his den with his family. I created several storyboards and received some great feedback from my instructor at AAU. Below is the storyboard as it is today, but I still see some areas for improvement, so it is by no means final.
Value studies and color studies followed...
I chose three images that I wanted to take to completion for my class work...ultimately I want to take the whole book to completion:-) Which three would you chose? It was a tough choice. Some compositions were working better than others and I wanted to show a range in my compositions with the three that I chose. I didn't want to chose three that were all basically the same. I'll skip the value studies and just jump to the color studies of the three I decided to start with....
Then came the painting....that's the fun part! All of the upfront work helps to make the painting process go so much easier! I have my references, my character development, my environment reference, my storyboard sketches and color studies....now it was time to enjoy the fruits of my labor and paint:-)
Below are what I am calling almost finished illustrations. I still have a few small areas to work on and a few critiques from my instructor to address, so you will be seeing an update on these. But to make this post complete I decided to include the finishes at the state they are right now.
So there it is! What do you think? Leave me a comment. I have on my easel the next two that I am working on, so be on the look out for an update on them as well. Hope you enjoyed:-)