Wednesday, January 8, 2014

New Picture Book!

I am working on final illustrations for a new book to be out Spring 2015!
It takes place in western Africa, and I am so thrilled to be illustrating it. It has been a while since I've painted sequential images for a picture book, and I'm getting back into the swing of things and working methodically.

I loooove painting- but there is so much to do before putting paint to paper:
- transferring the drawings that I've done into the computer (by scanning)
- editing and printing out drawings (to scale of the final book- easy to do if not for various forms of technology sabotage! Don't get me started)
- preparing the paper (measure, cut, tape to drawing board)
- gesso-ing the paper (gesso is thick acrylic white paint)

squeezing a scribble of gesso onto the watercolor paper

spreading it out to cover the entire page with a thick brush

paint it smooth and leave to dry!

- painting a base coat of pinkish-orange acrylic onto the papers (it shows through in skin tones and makes them look warm)
- transferring the drawings onto the final paper to paint on (thank you, tracing paper and light box- you light up my life)
- making sure paintbrushes are clean and dry and happy (if I've been good, I've washed them the night before and they are dry a as a bone with soft bristles)

(these brushes are not happy)

- mixing oil paint colors! (dark, medium and light skin tones)

and FINALLY I jump in! 

Oh, and I cannot paint without music- right now it's "Tartit" and "Mamadou Kelly", whom I saw in concert this summer--- having good music makes all the difference when trying not to worry about deadlines and things, and every book ends up having kind of its own soundtrack!


  1. Thanks for the step-by-step how-to. Can you tell me what a light box is?

    1. Sure! It's literally a box with a light in it that allows you to illuminate drawings from behind so it's easier to trace them. You can check one out here:

  2. Can't wait to see the new picture book! Good luck! ;)