Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The birds, the Witch and their Wardrobes

  Just finished this illustration for Ranger Rick magazine's February issue. The page, a regular feature called Ask Rick, answers readers' questions about wildlife, as in"Why do birds always face the same direction when they are sitting on a wire? "  Good question! The answer is: because they use the resistance of the wind  to take off; just like an airplane does.
   Half way through the illustration I began to wonder what I had tackled. This was a bit of a perspective challenge! There are  some things I would change now, but  here it is. 

                                                              And a different take.

 This assignment required a white background to accommodate text. But I have a little layering exercise I've been applying lately after assignments are finished which allows me to play with added depth and  atmosphere. My hope is that it help brings my work into more of a narrative mode. 
 I let some text wander into this one.  It turned out to look a bit like an antique postcard .
My  preference for colors is decidedly turning toward the muted. And winter's grey days are coming. I am asked to do so many bright and cheery colors that it's a relief to do some work in sombre tones.  I'm also trying to be aware of the size of eyes. I reduced the eyes of the boy in this version to be a bit less cartoony.

 Halloween was a bit uneventful here. Rain on the pumpkins, and lots of wind in the willows. That, and the spectre of deadlines!  Here's a little study I did in preparation for a personal painting I am working on that I started last year. Her name is Jane Disdain. A character for my own book.

                                                      Here is the original post of the sketch.