men ikke i dag

Quite a few months ago I illustrated my first children's book. It's written by Kim Fupz Aakeson and published by Gyldendal. It just got published a little over a week ago in Danish. The title translated is: ''But Not Today'', and is about a little girl whose dog is died. She finds a way down to the land of the dead, brings him back, but it's not at all the same as before. It's about understanding and accepting death.

I have a lot of sketches and tests, but I'll post them below the illustrations. Here's the final pages, without the text:

And to the sketches. First off, I had to choose which type of dog she should have.

Then I had to figure out how the girl should look.

Then I made some different coloring tests. 
The first two are with watercolor and colored pencils. I liked the authentic feel, but I wouldn't know how to do an entire illustration like this, with the backgrounds and everything. Or perhaps I merely wussed out. The lack of control still gets me all sweaty and annoyed.

Here's are some with a more digital approach. They were fun to do, but I found them a little too distant and stylized for this story.

Here's another watercolor test, this time a little rougher.

Here's the first initial sketch of how the dead people and animals could look.

Here I thought I had found a balance between the digital and the analog feel.

So I tried it out on the first illustration of the book. It just didn't feel right. I went back to testing again.

In the end I figured that I needed both the flexibility of digital coloring and the authentic and feel of the hand drawn. I ended up cutting out all the characters and elements in paper, something I've never done before. Then I drew on them in pencil and scanned them with a black background so they were easily separated. And that's pretty much how I did all the final illustrations as well.

Oh, and a final thing, I did a pattern for the endpapers.

No comments: