Like a lot of illustrators, publishers, writers, agents and whomever I may be missing out, I’ve been caught up in Bologna fever. Preparing for Bologna. It sneaked up on me really. I was probably in denial! Anyway, finishing a bookcover and preparing personal materials as well as cool stuff for our SCBWI Illustrator Members’ Showcase exhibit in April and tid bits for the SCBWI stand in Bologna. For those not in the know, SCBWI is short for Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. 
The first image with title are the second and third generation roughs for the cover of Silkie, coming out first as an audio book from Clucket Press in 2014. Silkie was originally published by Hodder Children’s Books in 1997. Plans are afoot also for digital and possibly print in the future for this wonderful story of a lonely young girl who falls in love with a Silkie boy who and uses a spell to take away his Sealskin.
The second image is the approved final drawing.
The next three images are photographs of the painting in progress. I started with an overall ground colour, lifting areas of pigment for lighter tones and floating in blues and greens. With each layer, I add in more colour, lift as needed, and glaze across the whole image (accept the girl, Silkie and the sea gull) when the painting started to feel disconnected.
The next to the last image is close, but lacking in enough dramatic tonal areas to bring the star of this image forward, the girl. Her hair was disappearing into the rock hill behind her, her face needed those stark white highlights pushed pack and her lips were waaaay too red!
In the polished cover art, I darkened her hair, the seaweed on the shore under her feet and worked with the water along with the work on her face. This is also the first painting that I introduced Acryl Gouache into the final stages.
Lastly, I am very lucky to work with a mentor who goes right to the heart of the matter and to have feedback from the discerning eye of my crit group buddies. I can’t say enough how important it is to get feedback and to receive valuable feedback that both supports and challenges you.
ZoomInfo
Like a lot of illustrators, publishers, writers, agents and whomever I may be missing out, I’ve been caught up in Bologna fever. Preparing for Bologna. It sneaked up on me really. I was probably in denial! Anyway, finishing a bookcover and preparing personal materials as well as cool stuff for our SCBWI Illustrator Members’ Showcase exhibit in April and tid bits for the SCBWI stand in Bologna. For those not in the know, SCBWI is short for Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. 
The first image with title are the second and third generation roughs for the cover of Silkie, coming out first as an audio book from Clucket Press in 2014. Silkie was originally published by Hodder Children’s Books in 1997. Plans are afoot also for digital and possibly print in the future for this wonderful story of a lonely young girl who falls in love with a Silkie boy who and uses a spell to take away his Sealskin.
The second image is the approved final drawing.
The next three images are photographs of the painting in progress. I started with an overall ground colour, lifting areas of pigment for lighter tones and floating in blues and greens. With each layer, I add in more colour, lift as needed, and glaze across the whole image (accept the girl, Silkie and the sea gull) when the painting started to feel disconnected.
The next to the last image is close, but lacking in enough dramatic tonal areas to bring the star of this image forward, the girl. Her hair was disappearing into the rock hill behind her, her face needed those stark white highlights pushed pack and her lips were waaaay too red!
In the polished cover art, I darkened her hair, the seaweed on the shore under her feet and worked with the water along with the work on her face. This is also the first painting that I introduced Acryl Gouache into the final stages.
Lastly, I am very lucky to work with a mentor who goes right to the heart of the matter and to have feedback from the discerning eye of my crit group buddies. I can’t say enough how important it is to get feedback and to receive valuable feedback that both supports and challenges you.
ZoomInfo
Like a lot of illustrators, publishers, writers, agents and whomever I may be missing out, I’ve been caught up in Bologna fever. Preparing for Bologna. It sneaked up on me really. I was probably in denial! Anyway, finishing a bookcover and preparing personal materials as well as cool stuff for our SCBWI Illustrator Members’ Showcase exhibit in April and tid bits for the SCBWI stand in Bologna. For those not in the know, SCBWI is short for Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. 
The first image with title are the second and third generation roughs for the cover of Silkie, coming out first as an audio book from Clucket Press in 2014. Silkie was originally published by Hodder Children’s Books in 1997. Plans are afoot also for digital and possibly print in the future for this wonderful story of a lonely young girl who falls in love with a Silkie boy who and uses a spell to take away his Sealskin.
The second image is the approved final drawing.
The next three images are photographs of the painting in progress. I started with an overall ground colour, lifting areas of pigment for lighter tones and floating in blues and greens. With each layer, I add in more colour, lift as needed, and glaze across the whole image (accept the girl, Silkie and the sea gull) when the painting started to feel disconnected.
The next to the last image is close, but lacking in enough dramatic tonal areas to bring the star of this image forward, the girl. Her hair was disappearing into the rock hill behind her, her face needed those stark white highlights pushed pack and her lips were waaaay too red!
In the polished cover art, I darkened her hair, the seaweed on the shore under her feet and worked with the water along with the work on her face. This is also the first painting that I introduced Acryl Gouache into the final stages.
Lastly, I am very lucky to work with a mentor who goes right to the heart of the matter and to have feedback from the discerning eye of my crit group buddies. I can’t say enough how important it is to get feedback and to receive valuable feedback that both supports and challenges you.
ZoomInfo
Like a lot of illustrators, publishers, writers, agents and whomever I may be missing out, I’ve been caught up in Bologna fever. Preparing for Bologna. It sneaked up on me really. I was probably in denial! Anyway, finishing a bookcover and preparing personal materials as well as cool stuff for our SCBWI Illustrator Members’ Showcase exhibit in April and tid bits for the SCBWI stand in Bologna. For those not in the know, SCBWI is short for Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. 
The first image with title are the second and third generation roughs for the cover of Silkie, coming out first as an audio book from Clucket Press in 2014. Silkie was originally published by Hodder Children’s Books in 1997. Plans are afoot also for digital and possibly print in the future for this wonderful story of a lonely young girl who falls in love with a Silkie boy who and uses a spell to take away his Sealskin.
The second image is the approved final drawing.
The next three images are photographs of the painting in progress. I started with an overall ground colour, lifting areas of pigment for lighter tones and floating in blues and greens. With each layer, I add in more colour, lift as needed, and glaze across the whole image (accept the girl, Silkie and the sea gull) when the painting started to feel disconnected.
The next to the last image is close, but lacking in enough dramatic tonal areas to bring the star of this image forward, the girl. Her hair was disappearing into the rock hill behind her, her face needed those stark white highlights pushed pack and her lips were waaaay too red!
In the polished cover art, I darkened her hair, the seaweed on the shore under her feet and worked with the water along with the work on her face. This is also the first painting that I introduced Acryl Gouache into the final stages.
Lastly, I am very lucky to work with a mentor who goes right to the heart of the matter and to have feedback from the discerning eye of my crit group buddies. I can’t say enough how important it is to get feedback and to receive valuable feedback that both supports and challenges you.
ZoomInfo
Like a lot of illustrators, publishers, writers, agents and whomever I may be missing out, I’ve been caught up in Bologna fever. Preparing for Bologna. It sneaked up on me really. I was probably in denial! Anyway, finishing a bookcover and preparing personal materials as well as cool stuff for our SCBWI Illustrator Members’ Showcase exhibit in April and tid bits for the SCBWI stand in Bologna. For those not in the know, SCBWI is short for Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. 
The first image with title are the second and third generation roughs for the cover of Silkie, coming out first as an audio book from Clucket Press in 2014. Silkie was originally published by Hodder Children’s Books in 1997. Plans are afoot also for digital and possibly print in the future for this wonderful story of a lonely young girl who falls in love with a Silkie boy who and uses a spell to take away his Sealskin.
The second image is the approved final drawing.
The next three images are photographs of the painting in progress. I started with an overall ground colour, lifting areas of pigment for lighter tones and floating in blues and greens. With each layer, I add in more colour, lift as needed, and glaze across the whole image (accept the girl, Silkie and the sea gull) when the painting started to feel disconnected.
The next to the last image is close, but lacking in enough dramatic tonal areas to bring the star of this image forward, the girl. Her hair was disappearing into the rock hill behind her, her face needed those stark white highlights pushed pack and her lips were waaaay too red!
In the polished cover art, I darkened her hair, the seaweed on the shore under her feet and worked with the water along with the work on her face. This is also the first painting that I introduced Acryl Gouache into the final stages.
Lastly, I am very lucky to work with a mentor who goes right to the heart of the matter and to have feedback from the discerning eye of my crit group buddies. I can’t say enough how important it is to get feedback and to receive valuable feedback that both supports and challenges you.
ZoomInfo
Like a lot of illustrators, publishers, writers, agents and whomever I may be missing out, I’ve been caught up in Bologna fever. Preparing for Bologna. It sneaked up on me really. I was probably in denial! Anyway, finishing a bookcover and preparing personal materials as well as cool stuff for our SCBWI Illustrator Members’ Showcase exhibit in April and tid bits for the SCBWI stand in Bologna. For those not in the know, SCBWI is short for Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. 
The first image with title are the second and third generation roughs for the cover of Silkie, coming out first as an audio book from Clucket Press in 2014. Silkie was originally published by Hodder Children’s Books in 1997. Plans are afoot also for digital and possibly print in the future for this wonderful story of a lonely young girl who falls in love with a Silkie boy who and uses a spell to take away his Sealskin.
The second image is the approved final drawing.
The next three images are photographs of the painting in progress. I started with an overall ground colour, lifting areas of pigment for lighter tones and floating in blues and greens. With each layer, I add in more colour, lift as needed, and glaze across the whole image (accept the girl, Silkie and the sea gull) when the painting started to feel disconnected.
The next to the last image is close, but lacking in enough dramatic tonal areas to bring the star of this image forward, the girl. Her hair was disappearing into the rock hill behind her, her face needed those stark white highlights pushed pack and her lips were waaaay too red!
In the polished cover art, I darkened her hair, the seaweed on the shore under her feet and worked with the water along with the work on her face. This is also the first painting that I introduced Acryl Gouache into the final stages.
Lastly, I am very lucky to work with a mentor who goes right to the heart of the matter and to have feedback from the discerning eye of my crit group buddies. I can’t say enough how important it is to get feedback and to receive valuable feedback that both supports and challenges you.
ZoomInfo
Like a lot of illustrators, publishers, writers, agents and whomever I may be missing out, I’ve been caught up in Bologna fever. Preparing for Bologna. It sneaked up on me really. I was probably in denial! Anyway, finishing a bookcover and preparing personal materials as well as cool stuff for our SCBWI Illustrator Members’ Showcase exhibit in April and tid bits for the SCBWI stand in Bologna. For those not in the know, SCBWI is short for Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. 
The first image with title are the second and third generation roughs for the cover of Silkie, coming out first as an audio book from Clucket Press in 2014. Silkie was originally published by Hodder Children’s Books in 1997. Plans are afoot also for digital and possibly print in the future for this wonderful story of a lonely young girl who falls in love with a Silkie boy who and uses a spell to take away his Sealskin.
The second image is the approved final drawing.
The next three images are photographs of the painting in progress. I started with an overall ground colour, lifting areas of pigment for lighter tones and floating in blues and greens. With each layer, I add in more colour, lift as needed, and glaze across the whole image (accept the girl, Silkie and the sea gull) when the painting started to feel disconnected.
The next to the last image is close, but lacking in enough dramatic tonal areas to bring the star of this image forward, the girl. Her hair was disappearing into the rock hill behind her, her face needed those stark white highlights pushed pack and her lips were waaaay too red!
In the polished cover art, I darkened her hair, the seaweed on the shore under her feet and worked with the water along with the work on her face. This is also the first painting that I introduced Acryl Gouache into the final stages.
Lastly, I am very lucky to work with a mentor who goes right to the heart of the matter and to have feedback from the discerning eye of my crit group buddies. I can’t say enough how important it is to get feedback and to receive valuable feedback that both supports and challenges you.
ZoomInfo

Like a lot of illustrators, publishers, writers, agents and whomever I may be missing out, I’ve been caught up in Bologna fever. Preparing for Bologna. It sneaked up on me really. I was probably in denial! Anyway, finishing a bookcover and preparing personal materials as well as cool stuff for our SCBWI Illustrator Members’ Showcase exhibit in April and tid bits for the SCBWI stand in Bologna. For those not in the know, SCBWI is short for Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

The first image with title are the second and third generation roughs for the cover of Silkie, coming out first as an audio book from Clucket Press in 2014. Silkie was originally published by Hodder Children’s Books in 1997. Plans are afoot also for digital and possibly print in the future for this wonderful story of a lonely young girl who falls in love with a Silkie boy who and uses a spell to take away his Sealskin.

The second image is the approved final drawing.

The next three images are photographs of the painting in progress. I started with an overall ground colour, lifting areas of pigment for lighter tones and floating in blues and greens. With each layer, I add in more colour, lift as needed, and glaze across the whole image (accept the girl, Silkie and the sea gull) when the painting started to feel disconnected.

The next to the last image is close, but lacking in enough dramatic tonal areas to bring the star of this image forward, the girl. Her hair was disappearing into the rock hill behind her, her face needed those stark white highlights pushed pack and her lips were waaaay too red!

In the polished cover art, I darkened her hair, the seaweed on the shore under her feet and worked with the water along with the work on her face. This is also the first painting that I introduced Acryl Gouache into the final stages.

Lastly, I am very lucky to work with a mentor who goes right to the heart of the matter and to have feedback from the discerning eye of my crit group buddies. I can’t say enough how important it is to get feedback and to receive valuable feedback that both supports and challenges you.

Pencil Icon

Creating Drama with Cropping

In the continuing saga behind the wordless book I am illustrating for Books Beyond Words, I’ve just turned in the colour roughs on all 51 images. As always, I keep thinking there is more that I could do to build the world that these characters live in - more setting sketches and character sketches and colour studies, 3 dimensional models in clay and more time honing the colour themes weaving through the book. At the moment I have a colour chart that outlines all the colours for each scene, character and setting. I know this all comes from my animation background that I don’t feel I’ve done the absolutely best I can unless I have done all this style book background. But it isn’t just that, which brings me to the subject of this blog post. It’s also about storytelling and drama. In a wordless book I don’t have text or dialogue to clarify the imagery.

There are several ways to build in drama into visual storytelling; framing or scale, tone or lighting, angle, and colour . This is all after choosing the right moments to illustrate. Because the book I’m working on is for readers with learning and communication difficulties, I had to be careful about how I show each sequence. I didn’t have the option of varying viewpoints in each scene for example, because that would be too confusing. In this blog post I am going to play with cropping in the first ten frames to emphasise the drama of family conflict.

Below are the first 10 panels of the wordless book introducing the main characters and the family situation. These are colour roughs and the drawings are still in process in some areas.

The opening sequence opens up like any other family dinner with the arrival of the older son. We do get a hint that not all is well with Father’s body language and expression, but it’s with panel 4 that things kick off. Comparing the old panel 4 above with the crop below, which adds more drama to the story?

Continuing the dramatic panels:

Pushing the angles and cropping closer in in panel 6 takes us out of the usual family meal view into the realm of ruined dinners, hurt, anger and fear. The next panel (7) I was torn between the young girl feeling small on the staircase listening to the chaos in the dining room by looking up at her from the bottom stair, or, cropped up close.

All 51 panels are now being put together to be put in front of focus groups for the second time. So far the book has had three major go throughs fine tuning the narrative; dropping scenes and characters that were not needed to tell this story.

Which crops work for you?

For Christmas I got the Charles Bargue Drawing Course which was just what I wanted. Well that and an easel light. It was suggested by my mentor at SmArtschool to help improved drawing practice. I’ve set two drawing practice goals that entail drawing every day; 100 heads/faces, 5 minutes each with the goal of accurate placement of features regardless of angle - thank you Pixelovely, and reading and drawing from the Drawing Course weekly as part of my warm up practice. I start teaching Life Drawing at the end of January for 8 weeks to university students, so hope to get live model work in there too.
ZoomInfo
For Christmas I got the Charles Bargue Drawing Course which was just what I wanted. Well that and an easel light. It was suggested by my mentor at SmArtschool to help improved drawing practice. I’ve set two drawing practice goals that entail drawing every day; 100 heads/faces, 5 minutes each with the goal of accurate placement of features regardless of angle - thank you Pixelovely, and reading and drawing from the Drawing Course weekly as part of my warm up practice. I start teaching Life Drawing at the end of January for 8 weeks to university students, so hope to get live model work in there too.
ZoomInfo

For Christmas I got the Charles Bargue Drawing Course which was just what I wanted. Well that and an easel light. It was suggested by my mentor at SmArtschool to help improved drawing practice. I’ve set two drawing practice goals that entail drawing every day; 100 heads/faces, 5 minutes each with the goal of accurate placement of features regardless of angle - thank you Pixelovely, and reading and drawing from the Drawing Course weekly as part of my warm up practice. I start teaching Life Drawing at the end of January for 8 weeks to university students, so hope to get live model work in there too.

Who Are These People Anyway?
Character Sheets for Wordless Book
First image, character sheet for Anna, the main character.
In this post, I wanted to share the beginning stages for a wordless book I’m working for Books Beyond Words. I started with figuring out who the characters were by creating lots of little thumbnails on how they might look, and then working up the character sheets I’m posting here. It helps me to work out expressions (the main ones dictated by the story) and different viewpoints ahead of time, so when I am doing the initial thumbnails, then sketches, I don’t have to think, oh, I wonder what this character looks like from behind, the side, sad, angry, happy, I have it. I also like to have a feel of what type of gestures they might take or do, or clothes they might wear. In my ideal world I would do what Alison Bechdel talks about in her LaydeezDoComics podcast, posted 1 January 2013; create a sketchbook/notebook ahead of time with all the character sketches, places where they live or go, thoughts for scene colour themes, floor plans for houses and whatever else I think it needs in it. As it happens, some of these character sheets happened before the thumbnails and first narrative sequence pass, and some later. The main characters I needed to identify with first where Anna (the main character) and James, her brother. Interestingly, Books Beyond Words don’t always assign characters names right away. As each narrative sequence and colour theme goes through an approval process with the authors (a panel of experts in their field) the editor, publisher and focus groups trials, they allow for names to emerge. Anna and James are names that came to me. Who knows, maybe they’ll stick?
Second character sheet
This is James, Anna’s brother. There is talk that James will have a book of his own in the future. He is very important to Anna and is actually one of the stabilizing elements in her life. This book is about the cycle of abuse in families and how it continues in choices made by children raised in these conditions. Something very close to me. My family background includes generational alcohol abuse.
Third character sheet 
Anna’s boyfriend. He is a charming, sweep you off your feet type of guy. (Yep, I know him.) Things do move very fast for them, and really, that is not an exaggeration in these types of relationships where patterns are repeated before we figure out how to not do it!
Fourth Character Sheet
Anna and James’ mom, or mum as it’s said here in the UK. I see her as someone who project on the outside, a bit glamorous, dressed well, and is all about keeping up appearances of a home with ‘nothing wrong here’ attitude. She lives in denial and when things go wrong, they go really wrong.
Fifth Character Sheet
Dad. He holds down a job. Puts food on the table, and he drinks, a lot. Dinners are mine fields for disaster. James has already left home unable to cope with his role of attempting to protect his mother and sister from his father’s alcoholic outbursts.
First colour theme for first scene
I’m able to show this first scene, because it’s already changed! This is a colour strip for the colour theme that will be used in this first scene that opens the book. We are now in our third pass on the narrative structure, fine tuning the emotions, gestures and positioning of the characters acting out this family drama. I’ve not talked about the places where the actors or characters will act, that will be another post.
You may have noticed that I use a blue pencil for sketching. It is a habit I got into years ago working on hand drawn animation. For those of you who love to hear about materials: I use a Prismacolor Co-erase blue pencil that you can order through Amazon. The lead is soft and has the right texture for different types of line weights. So far, on this project, I’ve gone through 18 pencils!
ZoomInfo
Who Are These People Anyway?
Character Sheets for Wordless Book
First image, character sheet for Anna, the main character.
In this post, I wanted to share the beginning stages for a wordless book I’m working for Books Beyond Words. I started with figuring out who the characters were by creating lots of little thumbnails on how they might look, and then working up the character sheets I’m posting here. It helps me to work out expressions (the main ones dictated by the story) and different viewpoints ahead of time, so when I am doing the initial thumbnails, then sketches, I don’t have to think, oh, I wonder what this character looks like from behind, the side, sad, angry, happy, I have it. I also like to have a feel of what type of gestures they might take or do, or clothes they might wear. In my ideal world I would do what Alison Bechdel talks about in her LaydeezDoComics podcast, posted 1 January 2013; create a sketchbook/notebook ahead of time with all the character sketches, places where they live or go, thoughts for scene colour themes, floor plans for houses and whatever else I think it needs in it. As it happens, some of these character sheets happened before the thumbnails and first narrative sequence pass, and some later. The main characters I needed to identify with first where Anna (the main character) and James, her brother. Interestingly, Books Beyond Words don’t always assign characters names right away. As each narrative sequence and colour theme goes through an approval process with the authors (a panel of experts in their field) the editor, publisher and focus groups trials, they allow for names to emerge. Anna and James are names that came to me. Who knows, maybe they’ll stick?
Second character sheet
This is James, Anna’s brother. There is talk that James will have a book of his own in the future. He is very important to Anna and is actually one of the stabilizing elements in her life. This book is about the cycle of abuse in families and how it continues in choices made by children raised in these conditions. Something very close to me. My family background includes generational alcohol abuse.
Third character sheet 
Anna’s boyfriend. He is a charming, sweep you off your feet type of guy. (Yep, I know him.) Things do move very fast for them, and really, that is not an exaggeration in these types of relationships where patterns are repeated before we figure out how to not do it!
Fourth Character Sheet
Anna and James’ mom, or mum as it’s said here in the UK. I see her as someone who project on the outside, a bit glamorous, dressed well, and is all about keeping up appearances of a home with ‘nothing wrong here’ attitude. She lives in denial and when things go wrong, they go really wrong.
Fifth Character Sheet
Dad. He holds down a job. Puts food on the table, and he drinks, a lot. Dinners are mine fields for disaster. James has already left home unable to cope with his role of attempting to protect his mother and sister from his father’s alcoholic outbursts.
First colour theme for first scene
I’m able to show this first scene, because it’s already changed! This is a colour strip for the colour theme that will be used in this first scene that opens the book. We are now in our third pass on the narrative structure, fine tuning the emotions, gestures and positioning of the characters acting out this family drama. I’ve not talked about the places where the actors or characters will act, that will be another post.
You may have noticed that I use a blue pencil for sketching. It is a habit I got into years ago working on hand drawn animation. For those of you who love to hear about materials: I use a Prismacolor Co-erase blue pencil that you can order through Amazon. The lead is soft and has the right texture for different types of line weights. So far, on this project, I’ve gone through 18 pencils!
ZoomInfo
Who Are These People Anyway?
Character Sheets for Wordless Book
First image, character sheet for Anna, the main character.
In this post, I wanted to share the beginning stages for a wordless book I’m working for Books Beyond Words. I started with figuring out who the characters were by creating lots of little thumbnails on how they might look, and then working up the character sheets I’m posting here. It helps me to work out expressions (the main ones dictated by the story) and different viewpoints ahead of time, so when I am doing the initial thumbnails, then sketches, I don’t have to think, oh, I wonder what this character looks like from behind, the side, sad, angry, happy, I have it. I also like to have a feel of what type of gestures they might take or do, or clothes they might wear. In my ideal world I would do what Alison Bechdel talks about in her LaydeezDoComics podcast, posted 1 January 2013; create a sketchbook/notebook ahead of time with all the character sketches, places where they live or go, thoughts for scene colour themes, floor plans for houses and whatever else I think it needs in it. As it happens, some of these character sheets happened before the thumbnails and first narrative sequence pass, and some later. The main characters I needed to identify with first where Anna (the main character) and James, her brother. Interestingly, Books Beyond Words don’t always assign characters names right away. As each narrative sequence and colour theme goes through an approval process with the authors (a panel of experts in their field) the editor, publisher and focus groups trials, they allow for names to emerge. Anna and James are names that came to me. Who knows, maybe they’ll stick?
Second character sheet
This is James, Anna’s brother. There is talk that James will have a book of his own in the future. He is very important to Anna and is actually one of the stabilizing elements in her life. This book is about the cycle of abuse in families and how it continues in choices made by children raised in these conditions. Something very close to me. My family background includes generational alcohol abuse.
Third character sheet 
Anna’s boyfriend. He is a charming, sweep you off your feet type of guy. (Yep, I know him.) Things do move very fast for them, and really, that is not an exaggeration in these types of relationships where patterns are repeated before we figure out how to not do it!
Fourth Character Sheet
Anna and James’ mom, or mum as it’s said here in the UK. I see her as someone who project on the outside, a bit glamorous, dressed well, and is all about keeping up appearances of a home with ‘nothing wrong here’ attitude. She lives in denial and when things go wrong, they go really wrong.
Fifth Character Sheet
Dad. He holds down a job. Puts food on the table, and he drinks, a lot. Dinners are mine fields for disaster. James has already left home unable to cope with his role of attempting to protect his mother and sister from his father’s alcoholic outbursts.
First colour theme for first scene
I’m able to show this first scene, because it’s already changed! This is a colour strip for the colour theme that will be used in this first scene that opens the book. We are now in our third pass on the narrative structure, fine tuning the emotions, gestures and positioning of the characters acting out this family drama. I’ve not talked about the places where the actors or characters will act, that will be another post.
You may have noticed that I use a blue pencil for sketching. It is a habit I got into years ago working on hand drawn animation. For those of you who love to hear about materials: I use a Prismacolor Co-erase blue pencil that you can order through Amazon. The lead is soft and has the right texture for different types of line weights. So far, on this project, I’ve gone through 18 pencils!
ZoomInfo
Who Are These People Anyway?
Character Sheets for Wordless Book
First image, character sheet for Anna, the main character.
In this post, I wanted to share the beginning stages for a wordless book I’m working for Books Beyond Words. I started with figuring out who the characters were by creating lots of little thumbnails on how they might look, and then working up the character sheets I’m posting here. It helps me to work out expressions (the main ones dictated by the story) and different viewpoints ahead of time, so when I am doing the initial thumbnails, then sketches, I don’t have to think, oh, I wonder what this character looks like from behind, the side, sad, angry, happy, I have it. I also like to have a feel of what type of gestures they might take or do, or clothes they might wear. In my ideal world I would do what Alison Bechdel talks about in her LaydeezDoComics podcast, posted 1 January 2013; create a sketchbook/notebook ahead of time with all the character sketches, places where they live or go, thoughts for scene colour themes, floor plans for houses and whatever else I think it needs in it. As it happens, some of these character sheets happened before the thumbnails and first narrative sequence pass, and some later. The main characters I needed to identify with first where Anna (the main character) and James, her brother. Interestingly, Books Beyond Words don’t always assign characters names right away. As each narrative sequence and colour theme goes through an approval process with the authors (a panel of experts in their field) the editor, publisher and focus groups trials, they allow for names to emerge. Anna and James are names that came to me. Who knows, maybe they’ll stick?
Second character sheet
This is James, Anna’s brother. There is talk that James will have a book of his own in the future. He is very important to Anna and is actually one of the stabilizing elements in her life. This book is about the cycle of abuse in families and how it continues in choices made by children raised in these conditions. Something very close to me. My family background includes generational alcohol abuse.
Third character sheet 
Anna’s boyfriend. He is a charming, sweep you off your feet type of guy. (Yep, I know him.) Things do move very fast for them, and really, that is not an exaggeration in these types of relationships where patterns are repeated before we figure out how to not do it!
Fourth Character Sheet
Anna and James’ mom, or mum as it’s said here in the UK. I see her as someone who project on the outside, a bit glamorous, dressed well, and is all about keeping up appearances of a home with ‘nothing wrong here’ attitude. She lives in denial and when things go wrong, they go really wrong.
Fifth Character Sheet
Dad. He holds down a job. Puts food on the table, and he drinks, a lot. Dinners are mine fields for disaster. James has already left home unable to cope with his role of attempting to protect his mother and sister from his father’s alcoholic outbursts.
First colour theme for first scene
I’m able to show this first scene, because it’s already changed! This is a colour strip for the colour theme that will be used in this first scene that opens the book. We are now in our third pass on the narrative structure, fine tuning the emotions, gestures and positioning of the characters acting out this family drama. I’ve not talked about the places where the actors or characters will act, that will be another post.
You may have noticed that I use a blue pencil for sketching. It is a habit I got into years ago working on hand drawn animation. For those of you who love to hear about materials: I use a Prismacolor Co-erase blue pencil that you can order through Amazon. The lead is soft and has the right texture for different types of line weights. So far, on this project, I’ve gone through 18 pencils!
ZoomInfo
Who Are These People Anyway?
Character Sheets for Wordless Book
First image, character sheet for Anna, the main character.
In this post, I wanted to share the beginning stages for a wordless book I’m working for Books Beyond Words. I started with figuring out who the characters were by creating lots of little thumbnails on how they might look, and then working up the character sheets I’m posting here. It helps me to work out expressions (the main ones dictated by the story) and different viewpoints ahead of time, so when I am doing the initial thumbnails, then sketches, I don’t have to think, oh, I wonder what this character looks like from behind, the side, sad, angry, happy, I have it. I also like to have a feel of what type of gestures they might take or do, or clothes they might wear. In my ideal world I would do what Alison Bechdel talks about in her LaydeezDoComics podcast, posted 1 January 2013; create a sketchbook/notebook ahead of time with all the character sketches, places where they live or go, thoughts for scene colour themes, floor plans for houses and whatever else I think it needs in it. As it happens, some of these character sheets happened before the thumbnails and first narrative sequence pass, and some later. The main characters I needed to identify with first where Anna (the main character) and James, her brother. Interestingly, Books Beyond Words don’t always assign characters names right away. As each narrative sequence and colour theme goes through an approval process with the authors (a panel of experts in their field) the editor, publisher and focus groups trials, they allow for names to emerge. Anna and James are names that came to me. Who knows, maybe they’ll stick?
Second character sheet
This is James, Anna’s brother. There is talk that James will have a book of his own in the future. He is very important to Anna and is actually one of the stabilizing elements in her life. This book is about the cycle of abuse in families and how it continues in choices made by children raised in these conditions. Something very close to me. My family background includes generational alcohol abuse.
Third character sheet 
Anna’s boyfriend. He is a charming, sweep you off your feet type of guy. (Yep, I know him.) Things do move very fast for them, and really, that is not an exaggeration in these types of relationships where patterns are repeated before we figure out how to not do it!
Fourth Character Sheet
Anna and James’ mom, or mum as it’s said here in the UK. I see her as someone who project on the outside, a bit glamorous, dressed well, and is all about keeping up appearances of a home with ‘nothing wrong here’ attitude. She lives in denial and when things go wrong, they go really wrong.
Fifth Character Sheet
Dad. He holds down a job. Puts food on the table, and he drinks, a lot. Dinners are mine fields for disaster. James has already left home unable to cope with his role of attempting to protect his mother and sister from his father’s alcoholic outbursts.
First colour theme for first scene
I’m able to show this first scene, because it’s already changed! This is a colour strip for the colour theme that will be used in this first scene that opens the book. We are now in our third pass on the narrative structure, fine tuning the emotions, gestures and positioning of the characters acting out this family drama. I’ve not talked about the places where the actors or characters will act, that will be another post.
You may have noticed that I use a blue pencil for sketching. It is a habit I got into years ago working on hand drawn animation. For those of you who love to hear about materials: I use a Prismacolor Co-erase blue pencil that you can order through Amazon. The lead is soft and has the right texture for different types of line weights. So far, on this project, I’ve gone through 18 pencils!
ZoomInfo
Who Are These People Anyway?
Character Sheets for Wordless Book
First image, character sheet for Anna, the main character.
In this post, I wanted to share the beginning stages for a wordless book I’m working for Books Beyond Words. I started with figuring out who the characters were by creating lots of little thumbnails on how they might look, and then working up the character sheets I’m posting here. It helps me to work out expressions (the main ones dictated by the story) and different viewpoints ahead of time, so when I am doing the initial thumbnails, then sketches, I don’t have to think, oh, I wonder what this character looks like from behind, the side, sad, angry, happy, I have it. I also like to have a feel of what type of gestures they might take or do, or clothes they might wear. In my ideal world I would do what Alison Bechdel talks about in her LaydeezDoComics podcast, posted 1 January 2013; create a sketchbook/notebook ahead of time with all the character sketches, places where they live or go, thoughts for scene colour themes, floor plans for houses and whatever else I think it needs in it. As it happens, some of these character sheets happened before the thumbnails and first narrative sequence pass, and some later. The main characters I needed to identify with first where Anna (the main character) and James, her brother. Interestingly, Books Beyond Words don’t always assign characters names right away. As each narrative sequence and colour theme goes through an approval process with the authors (a panel of experts in their field) the editor, publisher and focus groups trials, they allow for names to emerge. Anna and James are names that came to me. Who knows, maybe they’ll stick?
Second character sheet
This is James, Anna’s brother. There is talk that James will have a book of his own in the future. He is very important to Anna and is actually one of the stabilizing elements in her life. This book is about the cycle of abuse in families and how it continues in choices made by children raised in these conditions. Something very close to me. My family background includes generational alcohol abuse.
Third character sheet 
Anna’s boyfriend. He is a charming, sweep you off your feet type of guy. (Yep, I know him.) Things do move very fast for them, and really, that is not an exaggeration in these types of relationships where patterns are repeated before we figure out how to not do it!
Fourth Character Sheet
Anna and James’ mom, or mum as it’s said here in the UK. I see her as someone who project on the outside, a bit glamorous, dressed well, and is all about keeping up appearances of a home with ‘nothing wrong here’ attitude. She lives in denial and when things go wrong, they go really wrong.
Fifth Character Sheet
Dad. He holds down a job. Puts food on the table, and he drinks, a lot. Dinners are mine fields for disaster. James has already left home unable to cope with his role of attempting to protect his mother and sister from his father’s alcoholic outbursts.
First colour theme for first scene
I’m able to show this first scene, because it’s already changed! This is a colour strip for the colour theme that will be used in this first scene that opens the book. We are now in our third pass on the narrative structure, fine tuning the emotions, gestures and positioning of the characters acting out this family drama. I’ve not talked about the places where the actors or characters will act, that will be another post.
You may have noticed that I use a blue pencil for sketching. It is a habit I got into years ago working on hand drawn animation. For those of you who love to hear about materials: I use a Prismacolor Co-erase blue pencil that you can order through Amazon. The lead is soft and has the right texture for different types of line weights. So far, on this project, I’ve gone through 18 pencils!
ZoomInfo

Who Are These People Anyway?

Character Sheets for Wordless Book

First image, character sheet for Anna, the main character.

In this post, I wanted to share the beginning stages for a wordless book I’m working for Books Beyond Words. I started with figuring out who the characters were by creating lots of little thumbnails on how they might look, and then working up the character sheets I’m posting here. It helps me to work out expressions (the main ones dictated by the story) and different viewpoints ahead of time, so when I am doing the initial thumbnails, then sketches, I don’t have to think, oh, I wonder what this character looks like from behind, the side, sad, angry, happy, I have it. I also like to have a feel of what type of gestures they might take or do, or clothes they might wear. In my ideal world I would do what Alison Bechdel talks about in her LaydeezDoComics podcast, posted 1 January 2013; create a sketchbook/notebook ahead of time with all the character sketches, places where they live or go, thoughts for scene colour themes, floor plans for houses and whatever else I think it needs in it. As it happens, some of these character sheets happened before the thumbnails and first narrative sequence pass, and some later. The main characters I needed to identify with first where Anna (the main character) and James, her brother. Interestingly, Books Beyond Words don’t always assign characters names right away. As each narrative sequence and colour theme goes through an approval process with the authors (a panel of experts in their field) the editor, publisher and focus groups trials, they allow for names to emerge. Anna and James are names that came to me. Who knows, maybe they’ll stick?

Second character sheet

This is James, Anna’s brother. There is talk that James will have a book of his own in the future. He is very important to Anna and is actually one of the stabilizing elements in her life. This book is about the cycle of abuse in families and how it continues in choices made by children raised in these conditions. Something very close to me. My family background includes generational alcohol abuse.

Third character sheet

Anna’s boyfriend. He is a charming, sweep you off your feet type of guy. (Yep, I know him.) Things do move very fast for them, and really, that is not an exaggeration in these types of relationships where patterns are repeated before we figure out how to not do it!

Fourth Character Sheet

Anna and James’ mom, or mum as it’s said here in the UK. I see her as someone who project on the outside, a bit glamorous, dressed well, and is all about keeping up appearances of a home with ‘nothing wrong here’ attitude. She lives in denial and when things go wrong, they go really wrong.

Fifth Character Sheet

Dad. He holds down a job. Puts food on the table, and he drinks, a lot. Dinners are mine fields for disaster. James has already left home unable to cope with his role of attempting to protect his mother and sister from his father’s alcoholic outbursts.

First colour theme for first scene

I’m able to show this first scene, because it’s already changed! This is a colour strip for the colour theme that will be used in this first scene that opens the book. We are now in our third pass on the narrative structure, fine tuning the emotions, gestures and positioning of the characters acting out this family drama. I’ve not talked about the places where the actors or characters will act, that will be another post.

You may have noticed that I use a blue pencil for sketching. It is a habit I got into years ago working on hand drawn animation. For those of you who love to hear about materials: I use a Prismacolor Co-erase blue pencil that you can order through Amazon. The lead is soft and has the right texture for different types of line weights. So far, on this project, I’ve gone through 18 pencils!

sterlinghundley:

A bit of process behind the painting “A Fruitless Endeavor”. It is one of the largest that I’ve painted at 8.5’ x 5’. It sold to a patron in Russia and took two years of sporadic work to complete. The real work was in defining the style and direction for the pieces in the exhibition and body of work that followed. www.sterlinghundley.com

biglittletale:

I’ve been working on a wordless book for a special needs publisher since last June called Books Beyond Words. Their readers range from a variety of learning disabilities and also cater to non-English speakers. Content draws on everything from confusing and difficult times to hard issues around…

biglittletale:

image

Like many creatives, I’ve set myself my own professional development plan that I follow every year. Sometimes it’s about learning a new skill I need to have for illustrating, animating, or storytelling, or it’s something completely different to shake things up a bit. Inspired by print artist…