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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Shirley Ng-Benitez recaps her experience at the 6th Annual SCBWI Illustrator Day in San Francisco

Children’s Book Illustrator Shirley Ng-Benitez  generated quite a following after she began showcasing her wonderful watercolors online.  We are so lucky and happy that she is sharing part of her journey and with us. Please join us as she recaps her experience at the 6th Annual SCBWI Ilustrator Day in San Francisco.
“Seeking Clarity”

It’s been six days since the event, and I have enjoyed pausing and reflecting upon all of the information shared from the panel of Martha Rago (Harper Collins Creative Director), Antoinette Portis (author/illustrator of “Not a Box”), Dan Yaccarino (author/illustrator/creator of Oswald, 50+ books), as well as from fellow illustrators Laura Zarrin, Tracy Bishop, Joy Steuerwald, Casey Girard, Sungyeon Joh, Felicia Hoshino, Chiaki Darski, and so many others.

Martha Rago‘s presentation described the typical process of a picture book from start to finish at Harper Collins. She started with the following text by Barbara Bader. I had to write this down as certain things resonate with me when I see them, and this is one…

“A picture book is text, illustrations, total design; an item of manufacture and a commercial product: a social, cultural, historical document, and, foremost, an experience for a child. 

As an art form it hinges on the interdependence of pictures and words or the simultaneous display of two facing pages and on the drama of the turning of the page.

On it’s own terms it’s possibilities are limitless.”~ Barbara Bader, children’s literature critic

Martha then described the process of a picture book project at Harper Collins. The project usually begins with the manuscript, next, along with Martha’s creative direction, her internal art department provides mood boards to help determine what type of artist or artwork would be paired with the text. Once the illustrator is determined, the package goes into a business realm where a profit and loss analysis is determined, marketing is brought in, and then I believe she said that is when they bring the project to acquisitions. Once the project is successfully passed through acquisitions and the illustrator is contacted, the illustrator develops thumbnails and then Martha and the illustrator go back and forth with edits/art direction/page layouts/typographic choice, etc. The illustrator then creates final artwork, the book goes to press, and she describes F&G’s and signatures, and completes with the final physical book. In regards to how she views children’s book illustration, she stated that she relies upon using her instincts; comparisons in the marketplace; with a business eye; and how the book fits into a certain market.

She touched on the path of a submission by Antoinette Portis…and the wonderful dummy that Antoinette sent which immediately caught her attention. Martha conveyed her love of the book tremendously. Every project is different from one another and Martha told us that she enjoys the entire process of creating a picture book. She is so very highly-regarded in the industry and it was great to hear her talk about illustration and what makes some very successful at telling a story.

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New Posting Schedule

POSTING SCHEDULE

For those who haven’t noticed, we  have changed our posting schedule.

Norm and I along with our guest contributors will be posting Monday -Friday. Taking the weekends off to generally write and compile the posts for the following week!

We hope you are enjoying the new format and we look forward to hearing from you about the things you’d like to see or learn more about. Just drop us a note or comment here!

We look forward to bringing you more resources and information!

Bobby Chiu demonstrates how to add highlights and scales using Sketchbook Pro

Today I received an email from Schoolism and Autodesk highlighting a new bonus tutorial video from Bobby Chiu. In the video he demonstrates how to add highlights and scales on a fictional creature using Sketchbook Pro. Of course, I watched it immediately because I am a big fan of both Sketchbook Pro and Bobby Chiu. Should’ve known Mr. Chiu would be releasing training videos using sketchbook with him having created the box art for Sketchbook Pro 6. To watch the full 10 minute video tutorial follow the link here to Schoolism’s blog or watch the video below after the break.

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Lynne Chapman walks us through the genesis of her book, “Swap” Part 6

Part 6 of our exploration of Lynne Chapman’s posts about the process of her new book Swap. From pitching it to the publisher to dropping the final art in the mail.
You can see Part 1 here.
You can see Part 2 here.
You can see Part 3 here.
You can see Part 4 here.
You can see Part 5 here.

Today we post another five blog posts from Lynne’s journey.  To jump to the end and see all the posts now, drop by Lynne’s blog!

In her 26th post Lynne discusses coloring a couple of the images that proved to be a bit difficult to compose.

In her 27th post the initial scans of the artwork have been returned and Lynne needs to go in and remove all that pink from her backgrounds using Photoshop!

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UDON & Blizzard announce World of Warcraft Tribute Contest

At New York Comic Con UDON Entertainment and Blizzard Entertainment announced their next contest in the UDON “tribute” deluxe art book series. UDON and Blizzard will start accepting submissions November 1st for the World of Warcraft tribute art book. This contest is open to everyone, so start getting your illustrations from Azeroth ready. UDON’s previous ‘Tribute’ books have included such great franchises as Street Fighter and Mega Man. Blizzard and UDON will select the most impressive pieces and your artwork could appear at San Diego Comic-Con 2013! For full World of Warcraft tribute artwork submission details, go to WarcraftTribute.com. Contest entries will be accepted no later then noon PST on January 15, 2013. Good luck!

3 helpful PhotoShop coloring tutorials from Deviant art

There are lots of great artists on DevianART and it’s great when they share their techniques with all of us. These tutorials are not the entire process to create these drawings but give a lot of good information.
The first is by Rokoroko. She walks you through her process for creating the brushes she uses when painting. There is also a quick walk-through of painting hair which I found useful. Rokoroko also uses blend modes to create the skin tone and the color of the dress. I found this to be an interesting way to add color to your image. Here is the link to the full tutorial.
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Cartoon Network celebrates it’s 20th birthday


Its been a week of birthdays on Once Upon a Sketch (Lego had it’s 80th birthday) and we have one more. Happy belated birthday Cartoon Network. On October 1st Cartoon Network celebrated it’s 20th birthday and is having a party all month long. Cartoon Network is owned by Turner Broadcasting which launched Cartoon Network on October 1, 1992, after Turner bought Hanna-Barbera Productions in 1991. Turner used Cartoon Network as a place to rebroadcast 24-hours of classic animation and started creating it’s own original content in 1994. Cartoon Network’s original programing has given us such iconic characters like The Powerpuff Girls, Dexter’s Laboratory, Johnny Bravo, Samurai Jack and Ben 10. Having grown up with all these characters they have a special place in my heart. I can remember sitting down with my brother and father watching Johnny Bravo and being inspired by the design of their characters. I think a little bit of it is still in my work today.

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Lynne Chapman walks us through the genesis of her book, “Swap” Part 5

Part 5 of our exploration of Lynne Chapman’s posts about the process of her new book Swap. From pitching it to the publisher to dropping the final art in the mail.
You can see Part 1 here.
You can see Part 2 here.
You can see Part 3 here.
You can see Part 4 here.

Today we post another five blog posts from Lynne’s journey.  To jump to the end and see all the posts now, drop by Lynne’s blog!

In her 21st post Lynne discusses switching things up and working on the vignettes of  Sparky a bit!

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The building of an empire brick by brick, the Lego story

Lego is an iconic toy brand but not many know the story behind the company. This year Lego is celebrating its 80th birthday and telling their story with a short animation created by Danish CG studio, Lani Pixel. The tale is an inspirational one of fighting through the trials and tribulations of starting a company in the early 1930s. The film is narrated by founder Ole Kirk Kristiansen‘s grandson Kjeld. If you have an extra 17 minutes I would give this a watch.

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