I've been working on a series of fairies...more to come!
For the sketch, I usually spend a lot of time messing around with shapes, the silhouette of the character, the intent/concept, and details in the costume. Scale is something I'm playing with, too, in this series. I am establishing the size of these fairies compared to bees, dragonflies, and other winged insects, all of which are also relative to flowers and other botanicals. My meditating fairy might be too large for the scale I am considering. Anyway, more to come. Enjoy!
If you are following my "Little Mermaid" reboot, I am still working on that story. It is currently deep in the writing phase, so I have no artwork to show. Hoping to have the story wrapped up by August so I can move on to thumbnailing pages!
For some time now I have been developing several stories of my own, but have decided to focus solely on my version of "The Little Mermaid" told in the Viking era. Originally I set the world in the Samurai era, which I still think would be pretty cool, but since I have roots in my Scandinavian heritage, I decided the project would be a cool way to learn more about the era of my ancestors.
I am planning thorough research on my little mermaid character, but I really wanted to design the main viking character first, since he would firmly set the era in place for my story. I'm really glad I spent so much time working on him since designing the character brought to mind some interesting story twists and ideas that I hadn't thought of previously.
I imagined he is a prince of the village (if vikings really had "princes") and expected to help navigate and organize raids. He is reluctant, however, since he has a strong interest in music. He would be much happier roving around with local musicians but his father does not approve.
Here is some exploration for the character:
And finally a story painting. I spent a lot of hours on this painting, but in the end, I am still not sure about this style and color palette. I may go back and repaint this more graphically after I finish my Little Mermaid designs.
I was so excited earlier this year because I had the opportunity to illustrate a Whisker Haven Tales "Little Golden Book"! I'm STILL excited about it now that the work is finished, too! I love Disney's Palace Pets and the world we've worked so hard to create for them in the animated shows.
On the animated show, I have been responsible for designing the environments and color palettes at Ghostbot, where they are produced and directed by the talented bots. The "Little Golden Book" I illustrated was based on the episode, "Masquerade Ball". It was so thrilling to translate the animated short into book illustrations. Painting everything to the nine's was super fun and definitely a learning experience that I hope to try again someday!
The process involved working up pencils for the entire book. Here are a few samples:
And after the pencils were approved by both Random House and Disney, I moved ahead with full color. The fun part! I could hardly wait for this stage, where I got to experiment with brushes in Photoshop to get the texture I was looking for. If I ever get to illustrate another book, I would like to push it even further.
Look for "Pawesome Costume Party" with the Palace Pets from Random House "Little Golden Books" coming soon!
UPDATE: I didn't get into the book. It is definitely disappointing, but I am hopeful that some of the work I am doing THIS year might be accepted. You win some, you lose some. I am currently working on a book and some exploratory paintings throughout this year. Here's to next year! Like a lot of artists, every year I submit a few images to be considered for entry into the Spectrum annual illustration book. Like a lot of artist, I have yet to get into the book. The book is a badge of honor in the art world, and so it is worth trying. This year I decided to enter this small series of paintings I did, all digital, of fairies I painted last year. My fairy series always come out of sketchbook musings and aren't necessarily attached to any particular project, just a bit of whimsy.