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!