Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sketchbook Doodles: Robo-Bugs

For some reason I started playing around with mashing up insects (and arachnids) with robots. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say mechanical vehicles. I took two of the doodles into photoshop and added some color. 
 It's important to let your mind wander, you never know what it will lead to.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Puppies! Puppies! Puppies!

With July comes the launch of a new chapter book series that I’ve been illustrating entitled Palace Puppies, written by Laura Dower.

Whenever I’m discussing what goes into illustrating a book cover I explain how the cover illustration should engage the reader, how it should convey information about the character and the setting, and most importantly how it should make the reader curious about what is happening inside the book. With Palace Puppies there was one task that superseded all the others; make some really really really really cute puppies.

Another interesting aspect of illustrating these covers was the specific directions I received regarding the color palette (Sunny and the Royal Party was to be a little more pink, Sunny and the Snowy Surprise a little more blue, etc). I didn’t really appreciate the reasoning behind this until I saw all for covers presented as a group, with the varying color trim. I enjoy looking at the 4 books together as a set, it reminds me of a box of puppy marzipan or something.

Creating the text illustrations for Palace Puppies was fun on a number of levels. It was fun to show the regal lifestyle of Annie and James, the princess and prince in the fictitious kingdom of Glitter Rock, and their puppies, Sunny and Rex. The royal family has loved dogs for generations, so wherever possible I tried to incorporate canine elements into the lavish palace d├ęcor.

I was allowed to be creative with the placement of the illustrations and how they interacted with the copy. This meant more work for the designer, who sometimes had to bend the shapes of the paragraphs, but I think it makes for an end product that is much more fun to read. I'm really hoping young readers enjoy this fun new series.