I'll make as many generations of these as I like, working out ideas. I call this the Ugly Stage; no one sees it but me.
How I Work
The finished watercolor original.
I learned that my favorite red doesn't reproduce well, so I no longer use it for print work.
Now it's time to make decisions about the color and line. I always paint in watercolors but when I use an outline it's sometimes pencil, sometimes ink. Top to bottom you see brown color pencil, black ink and then brown ink. I used brown ink in the book for reality and colored ink for fantasy scenes.
Next, I take photos or go to the library, my bookshelves, or my computer for reference. This wonderful little boy agreed to model for me. He's not so little any more!
Eventually, I sketch using the text and the actual page shape, but the drawings are still tiny. At this stage I may meet with my editor or art director to make sure things are heading in the right direction. Here I had to make sure Otto looked safe.
This generation of full-sized sketches gets shown to the publisher and I make revisions as needed. I like to draw on tracing paper taped over the galley type.
copyright 2013 PRLevy Illustration ・ all rights reserved
It's always exciting to see the printed page!
When a manuscript arrives, the first thing (after reading it several times) is to make a bunch of scribbly little thumbnail-sized drawings.
If I'm doing a book, I set the drawings up as facing pages, like below.
Pamela R. Levy