|Illustration contest submission for Jane Yolen's "Infirm Pachyderm".|
As one can see, I have been heavily involved with elephants lately. Nothing wrong with that!
The New England SCBWI Conference (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) is only a couple weeks away. I had to pause portfolio preparations to submit to this year's poster illustration contest: Jane Yolen's poem "Infirm Pachyderm". My gut reaction to the first 30 or so reads were all somber. I wanted to gauge other illustrator's responses, so I preformed an image search... same reactions there. Since the poem is written for an audience that's Middle Grade age group at max, I wanted to illustrate a positive spin on the poem's outcome.
Construction the illustration was a little less positive. I'm going to admit I have a weakness with Black & White drawing, so naturally I wanted to cut TONS of grey-scale images! Since my technique dwells on paper texture it's tough to translate the volume for high contrast. To maximize contrasts I tried to deter away from the supremely wrinkled areas, and focused on stronger contrasting color values. Here's my process:
|Step 1: Initial elephant sketch.|
|Step 2: Color blocking with high contrast tones and values.|
|Step 3: Grey-scale manipulation.|
|Example of an elephant low and high contrast.|
I know I did not have to make a GREY elephant, but with the flurry of activity happening on the page, I didn't want it to compete. I started out making the green elephant (100% GREEN,) but I obviously ran into this issue by missing the high contrast values. So in the future, somewhere between my scribble sketch and final line work, I need to sneak in value blocking. I would appreciate any suggestions for value studies.
I've added more of the elephant sketches (and a random ostrich) to the Sketchbook area on my blog. Thanks for peaking at my work!